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In the Shadow of Hitler, In the Shadow of Hitler, 0817313281, 0-8173-1328-1, 978-0-8173-1328-9, 9780817313289, , The Modern South, In the Shadow of Hitler, 0817381074, 0-8173-8107-4, 978-0-8173-8107-3, 9780817381073, , The Modern South, In the Shadow of Hitler, 0817358684, 0-8173-5868-4, 978-0-8173-5868-6, 9780817358686, , The Modern Sout

In the Shadow of Hitler
Alabama's Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust

E Book
2013. 342 pp.
21 illustrations
Price:  $34.95 d
Quality Paper
2016. 342 pp.
21 illustrations
Price:  $34.95 s

In the Shadow of Hitler chronicles the experiences of Alabama Jews as they worked to overcome their own divisions in order to aid European Jews before, during, and after the Second World War.

In this extensive study of how southern Jews in the United States responded to the Nazi persecution of European Jews, Dan J. Puckett recounts the divisions between Alabama Jews in the early 1930s. As awareness of the horrors of the Holocaust spread, Jews across Alabama from different backgrounds and from Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox traditions worked to bridge their internal divisions in order to mount efforts to save Jewish lives in Europe. Only by leveraging their collective strength were Alabama’s Jews able to sway the opinions of newspaper editors, Christian groups, and the general public as well as lobby local, state, and national political leaders.

Puckett’s comprehensive analysis is enlivened and illustrated by true stories that will fascinate all readers of southern history. One such story concerns the Altneuschule Torah of Prague and describes how the Nazis, during their brutal occupation of Czechoslovakia, confiscated 1,564 Torahs and sacred Judaic objects from communities throughout Bohemia and Moravia as exhibits in a planned museum to the extinct Jewish race. Recovered after the war by the Czech Memorial Scrolls Trust, the Altneuschule Torah was acquired in 1982 by the Orthodox congregation Ahavas Chesed of Mobile. Ahavas Chesed re-consecrated the scroll as an Alabama memorial to Czech Jews who perished in Nazi death camps.

In the Shadow of Hitler illustrates how Alabama’s Jews, in seeking to influence the national and international well-being of Jews, were changed, emerging from the war period with close cultural and religious cooperation that continues today.

Dan J. Puckett is an associate professor of history at Troy University.

“Puckett has written a wonderful examination of America’s Jews in Alabama and the Deep South, their conflict between orthodoxy and the more modern Reform Judaism, religious liberalism and cultural survival, and the realities of Jim Crow and Nazi mass murder. Every newspaper is examined, along with many organizations, archival documents, and synagogue newsletters—recorded in seventy-seven pages of detailed notes and bibliography. In the Shadow of Hitler is exhaustively researched, well written, and important.”
Journal of American History

"[a]... meticulously researched and carefully hewn study of Alabama Jews in the 1930s and 1940s."
—American Jewish History

“[Puckett’s] excellent chapter on Alabama newspapers’ coverage of the Holocaust, for example, is enlightening and informative well beyond its specifically Jewish relevance, as is his careful survey of expressions of anti-Semitism in the state. While Puckett’s primary focus throughout the book is on the Jewish community, his insights will be of great interest to anyone curious about the impact of global events on the American South.”
Journal of Southern History

"[Puckett's] very detailed account is packed with fascinating anecdotes, revealing Alabama’s small Jewish community as a microcosm of the nation, reflecting both unity and factionalism side by side." 
—The Jewish Sound

"This well-written and scrupulously researched account chronicles the response of Alabama’s Jews to the rise of Hitler, World War II, and the Holocaust, and analyzes the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish life."
Yearbook of German American Studies 


“In The Shadow of Hitler is a major contribution to our understanding of what people in the United States knew about Hitler and the Holocaust—and when they knew it.  By focusing on Alabama, Puckett reminds us that the history of Jews in the United States cannot be limited to New York and Los Angeles. This thoughtful, well-researched, well written study not only will broaden our knowledge of what Jews and non-Jews knew about the Holocaust and what they did about that knowledge; it will add invaluably to our knowledge of the history of Jews in the United States, to the history of the South, and, finally, to the complex history of the United States itself.”  
—Jack Salzman, editor-in-chief of Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History and, with Cornel West, editor of Struggles in the Promised Land: Toward a History of Black-JewishRelations in the United States

In the Shadow of Hitler will be a uniquely important book for us, the Alabama Holocaust Commission, and for all who are interested in the Jewish history of our state.”
—Phyllis G. Weinstein, Chair, Alabama Holocaust Commission

“Dan J. Puckett provides academic and lay readers a compelling, well-researched, and strongly written case study of how the people in a Deep South state confronted Hitler’s persecution of the Jews. This first detailed state study sheds substantial light on national issues and is a must read for anyone interested in the impact of Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, Jewish and non-Jewish responses and interactions, and the histories of African American–Jewish relations, Alabama, the South, and the nation.”
—Mark K. Bauman, editor of Dixie Diaspora: An Anthology of Southern Jewish History and the journal Southern Jewish History

“Puckett tells an important story. Its strength is to illuminate the very real and interdependent connection between major world events and the shifting parameters of local/regional life.”
—Jennifer E. Brooks, author of Defining the Peace: World War II Veterans, Race, and the Remaking of Southern Political Tradition