David Wyman

Actor

BIOGRAPHY

David Sword Wyman (born  1929) is the author of several books on the responses of the United States to Nazi Germany's persecution of and programs to exterminate Jews. Wyman was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, the son of Ruth (Sword) and Hollis Judson Wyman, a teacher. His grandparents were Protestant ministers. Wyman earned an A.B. in history from Boston University and a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. From 1966 until his retirement in 1991, Wyman taught in the History Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he also chaired the Judaic studies program. Wyman holds honorary doctoral degrees from Hebrew Union College and Yeshiva University, both in New York City. He is currently chairman of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C. Deborah Lipstadt characterizes Wyman's book, Paper Walls; America and the Refugee Crisis, as having stood for many years as "one of the most important books," on American immigration policy in the Nazi years. In Paper Walls Wyman discusses the combination of antisemitism, nativistic nationalism, economic crisis and isolationism that made rescue inconceivable. In his later work, Wyman's position shifted. He came to believe that the attitude of American Jews during the Nazi era was to be faulted, and that the approach of the Bergson Group was the correct one. If American Jews had taken a more forceful approach, government policy could have been changed.

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