New Book Reveals FDR Laughed at Antisemitic Remark
JNS.org – President Franklin D. Roosevelt “laughed” at a senior aide’s remark about “kikes,” a new biography of the wartime president by a former New York Times editor revealed.
In His Final Battle: The last months of Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Lelyveld writes that after FDR met with the Saudi Arabian king in 1945, senior adviser Charles Bohlen remarked, “If you put any more kikes in Palestine, he is going to kill them,” and the then president chuckled. The anecdote was sourced from a previously unpublished draft of Bohlen’s autobiography.
Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, said the incident is “consistent with President Roosevelt’s own private remark about ‘Hebraic noses’ and his grandson’s statement that FDR enjoyed telling ‘antisemitic stories,’ complete with ‘Jewish’ accents.”
An essay by Medoff chronicling the history of antisemitism among US presidents will appear in a forthcoming book, From Anti-Semitism to Anti-Zionism, edited by Professor Eunice G. Pollack.