Review by Choice Review
McDonald (1886-1964) was appointed the League of Nations high commissioner for refugees in 1933 and remained in that position until 1935, when he resigned in frustration over the lack of support from both his organization and the US in resolving the Jewish refugee problem. The diaries, which were never intended for publication, shed light on his thoughts and impressions of many world leaders, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who considered appointing him ambassador to Germany prior to his League position. McDonald's outspoken condemnation of Nazi persecution and discrimination, however, led to the new president's deciding not to offer him the appointment. More than most politicians, McDonald understood the radical nature of Nazi anti-semitism and sought to move not only the international community on behalf of Germany's Jews, but also the US State Department, where he found indifference, if not worse. Besides providing McDonald's record of the world's indifference to the plight of the Jews, this collection is an invaluable document in understanding the period that witnessed the Nazi "seizure of power." The volume includes an introduction by McDonald's daughter, Barbara McDonald Stewart, and Richard Breitman's concluding essay, which places McDonald's role in historical perspective. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. J. Fischel emeritus, Messiah College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.