“A Year of Extermination” - a Document on the Attitude of the Yishuv in Eretz-Israel toward Youth Movements in Europe during the Holocaust
The booklet entitled Shnat Hashmadah (A Year of Extermination) is analyzed. Published in December 1943 in Tel Aviv by Melech Neustadt (Noy), the political secretary of the World Federation of Poalei Zion, it gave an overview of the Yishuv’s activities on behalf of the Zionist youth movements in the Nazi-occupied countries. Neustadt’s critical appraisal concluded that in the first years of the war the Yishuv’s efforts to assist were unsystematic and disorganized due to the assumption that the help could not reach the Jews. The report signified a different perception of the situation of European Jewry and a more comprehensive opinion on the resistance and heroism of the underground organizations, contesting the traditional patronizing attitude of the Yishuv’s leaders. Their response did not correspond with the hopes of the Jewish youth organizations engaged in anti-Nazi resistance.