Tuvia Friling Lectures on Dr. Joseph Schwartz – ‘The Web Spinner’

This lecture was based on Professor Tuvia Friling’s forthcoming book in Hebrew ‘The Web Spinner’, Dr. Joseph (Joe) Schwartz and the J.D.C. Aid and Rescue Operations during WWII and Its Aftermath: An Operational Biography.

Drawing on Schwartz’s eleven years at JDC, primarily as its European Director (1939-1950), Friling examined how Schwartz changed JDC’s modus operandi during World War II, from a vast and vital philanthropic Jewish organization to an organization ready to be anywhere, anytime, with any means, to help and save Jews in harm’s way. He did so with his team and backed by a quasi “emergency cabinet” at the head office in New York.

Friling discussed Schwartz’ role in organizing the immigration of tens of thousands of Jewish refugees in Spain and Portugal during World War II, handling the DP (displaced persons) camps, involvement in Bricha from Europe and emigration from the Middle East and North Africa, and setting up various programs for absorbing refugee immigrants in the young state of Israel.

Tuvia Friling is an Emeritus Professor at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.