Tuesday, May 05, 2009

LBJ and the Holocaust

In the midst of the gazillion details involved in moving to the new house, Mike and I took last night off to attend the Houston Holocaust Museum benefit dinner.

The program featured Senator John McCain, who was given the LBJ Award for Moral Courage by the Holocaust Museum Association. He gave a good acceptance speech, but the interesting thing is what I learned about LBJ at the dinner.

I wondered why an award for moral courage was named for LBJ by a Jewish group like this. Then I learned at the dinner that when he was a young congressman from Texas before WWII, he helped a Jewish constituent from Austin bring 42 Jews out of Eastern Europe, saving their lives.

Apparently he gave the constituent 42 signed US Visas with blank names and told him to go and bring as many out as he could. This was in violation of US immigration policy at the time, which restricted Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe. Some of those who were rescued came to the US through Cuba and Mexico, with LBJ's assistance.

What a good story.

6 comments:

John Edward Harris said...

Thanks for the info at LBJ, perhaps Texas' best gift to America.

Averill said...

I had no idea, but that certainly makes me respect LBJ more.

Sue said...

That is an awesome and inspiring story.

RevDi said...

Amen!

Recovering Baptist said...

A great story. Under the rough exterior there was obviously a heart of gold. John McCain is a worthy recipient for this award also.

zorra said...

Excellent story--thanks for passing that along.