Tracking the Jews

Ecumenical Protestants, Conversion, and the Holocaust

Carolyn Sanzenbacher
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Tracking the Jews analyses the beliefs, ideas, concepts, arguments and policies of the people who tracked the Jews in an unprecedented conversionary initiative during the years immediately before, during and after the Holocaust. From the rubble of World War I to the ashes of World War II, it reconstructs from more than twenty thousand pages of archival documents the vision and motives of ecumenical Protestant architects, builders and supporters of the initiative, as well as major opposers. The narrative moves in chronological time with unfolding events and developments, back and forth between Budapest, Warsaw, London, New York, Geneva, Berlin, Vienna and other locations on a landscape of rapidly accelerating Nazi persecution. In charting the path on which the conversionary initiative was becoming ecumenical expert on the ‘Jewish problem’, it locates and follows a second social-issue trajectory as the two intersect and converge in conversionary purpose on a war-laden refugee landscape. With Nobel Peace Laureates of 1930 and 1946 on either end of a richly populated field of involvements, it marks the path taken from a 1925 call for Christian experts on the Jewish problem to the 1948 World Council of Churches founding statement on Jews, which recognised the extermination of six million Jews, while calling attention to the ‘continuing presence of a people which did not acknowledge Christ’. In so doing it brings into focus on each end of its chronological structure the theological conception of the ongoing existence of ‘the Jews’ as an unsolved problem for Christianity.

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