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The Last Million: How a Million Refugees Became Postwar Pawns of the Allies

Hosted By: Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program ("CSP")

The violence of World War II did not end with the signing of ceasefires, truces, or peace treaties,” writes David Nasaw in his new book – THE LAST MILLION: EUROPE’S DISPLACED PERSONS FROM WORLD WAR TO COLD WAR. Millions of concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators in flight overwhelmed a ruined Germany. After exhaustive efforts to repatriate the malnourished and desperate refugees, there remained more than a million displaced persons left behind in Germany: Jews, Poles, Ukrainians, and other Eastern Europeans who refused to go home or had no homes to return to. No countries were willing to accept the 200,000–250,000 Jewish people who remained trapped in Germany—including the United States, which severely limited the entry of Jews on suspicions of their being Communists. It took the controversial partition of Palestine and Israel’s declaration of independence to find home for the Jews who remained in displaced persons camps in Germany. Join Orange County CSP as David Nasaw will discuss The Last Million and the until now largely hidden story of postwar displacement and statelessness, a story whose contemporary resonance shows us that it is our history as well.

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Teacher

David Nasaw

David Nasaw is the author of The Patriarch, selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year and a 2013 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography; Andrew Carnegie, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the recipient of the New York Historical Society's American History Book Prize, and a 2007 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in Biography; and The Chief, which was awarded the Bancroft Prize for History and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Nonfiction. He is a past president of the Society of American Historians, and until 2019 he served as the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center.
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Host

Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program ("CSP")

The Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program (“CSP”) is a program offering adult Jewish education and family Jewish celebrations.
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