Rosen Admits Error Calling Holocaust Rescuers ‘Draft Dodgers’

16:27 Dec 18, ’06 / 27 Kislev 5767
by IsraelNN Staff

The author of a book on former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust has admitted he was wrong to portray two rescuers as draft-dodgers.

South Carolina attorney Robert N. Rosen admitted recently he had wrongly portrayed Yitzchak Ben-Ami and Dr. Alexander Rafaeli, two leaders of the activist Bergson Group, in his book, “Saving of the Jews: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust.”

Rosen’s turnaround came in response to protests by the families of the two men as well as other leaders of the Bergson Group, who retained the services of Washington D.C. attorney Jeffrey Weiss to press their case.

Rosen claimed that Ben-Ami and Rafaeli “sat out the war in America, preferring to agitate for the overthrow of the British in Palestine rather than enlist and fight the Nazis themselves.”

As it happens, both Ben-Ami and Rafaeli did in fact enlist, serving in the U.S. Army’s Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) as well as at the Battle of the Bulge, Normandy, the liberation of Paris, and more.

In a statement issued by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, the Jabotinsky, Rafaeli and Ben-Ami families explained why they went to the trouble of taking legal action to force the author to retract his statements:

“Robert Rosen’s error about our parents is not some minor point; it is an important part of his book’s attempt to denigrate all those who challenged FDR’s refusal to rescue Jews from the Holocaust….[he] smears our parents as fascists and terrorists who were supposedly disloyal to the Allied war against Hitler.”

The two men’s co-leaders – Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook), Samuel Merlin and Eri Jabotinsky – were exempt from military service due to their 4-F status.