Firm lawyers long been active in addressing Holocaust issues
New York — Author and Kaye Scholer Partner Gregory J. Wallance has written a nonfiction book, America’s Soul in the Balance: the Holocaust, FDR’s State Department, and the Moral Disgrace of an American Aristocracy (Greenleaf Book Group Press), which will be published Thursday, April 19 to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
America’s Soul in the Balance recounts the tale of four US Treasury Department lawyers who discovered, at the height of World War II, the State Department had covered up reports of the Nazi extermination scheme — and then blocked the rescue of 70,000 Romanian Jews, who were forcibly marched into Transnistria in the Nazi-conquered Ukraine and left to die of starvation and disease. Wallance examines the cultural and social background of the highly educated, patrician diplomats of the State Department, which he terms a “bureaucratic black hole that defied the ordinary human physics of compassion and empathy.”
Columbia Law School Professor Kenneth Feinberg, who was named Special Master to oversee the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and the TARP Executive Compensation program, says of the book, “Wallance has written the ultimate Washington thriller by focusing on the government’s moral failure during the war. It is said that history repeats itself; this book offers a valuable and timely warning as to how government should respond in times of moral crisis. Required reading.”
A long-time human rights activist, and former federal prosecutor, Wallance is the author of two highly praised books, Papa’s Game, a non-fiction work about the theft of heroin via the “French Connection,” for which he was an Edgar Allan Poe Award nominee, and Two Men Before the Storm, a fictional account of the Dred Scott case, which the Boston Globe hailed as “an evocative historical novel.”
While Wallance writes books in his spare time, he notes that Kaye Scholer has been extremely supportive of America’s Soul in the Balance, and as a law firm, has long played a leadership role in working to resolve Holocaust issues.
“One of the firm’s most revered partners, Milton Handler, helped found the War Refugee Board in 1944, which was created in direct response to the State Department’s mishandling of the rescue of the Transnistrian Jews,” said Wallance. “The Board was ultimately credited with directly or indirectly rescuing 200,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied or satellite countries.”
Kaye Scholer Special Counsel Julius Berman, currently serves as Chairman of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which represents the international Jewish community in negotiations with the German government for material aid to the poor, needy Jewish victims of Nazism throughout the world, as well as advises on reparations issues and other Holocaust-related matters. Earlier this year, Berman joined with the Prime Minister of Belgium and the President of the European Union Council in speaking at an event in Brussels, where Belgium was officially tasked with leading the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research – now known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Organization.
To request a review copy or to learn more about the State Department’s complicity in the death of the Transnistrian Jews, visit the book’s website.
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PR & Communications Manager Kaye Scholer