The Transfer Agreement and the boycott movement: A Jewish dilemma on the eve of the Holocaust

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The Transfer Agreement of 1933 between the Jewish Agency and Nazi Germany undermined, in fact, the Jewish boycott of German goods and thus evoked much criticism. But the boycott failed to seriously harm the German economy, endangered the situation of German Jews, and could have damaged Polish Jewish business. Despite these drawbacks, Polish Jewry supported the boycott because it viewed the situation in Germany as dangerous for the entire diaspora, and regarded the boycott as its only weapon against Nazi anti-Jewish policies. Most of German Jewry opposed the boycott and supported the Transfer Agreement; the Yishuv also supported the Agreement as helpful for developing the country. Some Zionist leaders deliberately gave the interests of the Yishuv precedence over those of the diaspora. The Zionist movement was divided on the issue of the boycott and Transfer Agreement - while Labor supported the Agreement, the Revisionists were mainly critical of it. The boycott's advocates evinced much idealism, even heroism, in their struggle; however, as a means of rescuing what could be rescued, the Transfer Agreement was more practical.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-171
Number of pages43
JournalYad Vashem Studies
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

See also in Hebrew. Including Polish Jewish debates about the boycott movement.

RAMBI Publications

  • Rambi Publications
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Economic aspects
  • Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Poland
  • Jewish refugees -- Eretz Israel
  • Jews -- Germany -- History -- 1933-1939
  • Zionism


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