In 1933, the Zionist movement concluded a secret and controversial pact with the Third Reich transfering some 60,000 Jews and $100 million to Jewish Palestine. In return, the Zionists halted the worldwide Jewish-led anti-Nazi boycott that threatened to topple the Hitler regime in its first year. The debate tore the pre-War Jewish world apart. Ultimately, the Transfer Agreement saved lives, rescued assets, and seeded the infrastructure of the Jewish State.
In 1984, Edwin Black broke the story. Black’s The Transfer Agreement (Macmillan 1984) consumed five years heading a team of researchers digging through archives in the US, England, Germany, and Israel, accessing thousands of previously sealed documents. Written in tense, dramatic style. The Transfer Agreement became an immediate best-seller.
Quickly, it became the subject of massive TV, radio, and print coverage. Macmillan nominated the book for a Pulitzer: and it received the Carl Sandburg Award for the best nonfiction of the year. The Transfer Agreement stunned its readers precisely because the topic was ahead of its time. The world was not ready to comprehend complicated asset transfer discussions between the Zionists and Nazis.
Now that the world has confronted the issue of pilfered Holocaust-era Jewish assets, vanquished insurance claims and slave wages, the Transfer Agreement stands out as the sole and still controversial example of a Jewish asset rescue that occured before the genocidal period. The terrible choices its negotiators undertook can now be viewed in a new light.
This special updated paperback edition includes a new author’s introduction, a new foreword by esteemed WWII book editor Edward T. Chase and newafterword by Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League.