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Ron Paul In 2009: I Wouldn’t Risk American Lives’ To Save Jews From Holocaust

The following was written by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a former Washington, D.C. prosecutor.

On the evening of Sept. 16, 2009, I was invited to a function for Rand Paul’s U.S. Senate campaign at the headquarters of Americans for Tax Reform.

I had been invited by a friend of mine via Facebook who was a passionate supporter of Ron Paul. Within minutes of arriving, I saw Rep. Paul enter the room, followed by an entourage of several college students.

I immediately walked up to Paul and introduced myself, and Paul smiled at me and shook my hand. I told him that I had always wanted to ask him a question, and that it was a hypothetical question, but I would appreciate his answer nonetheless. Paul smiled, and welcomed the question. At this point there were about 15 people surrounding us, listening.

And so I asked Congressman Paul: if he were President of the United States during World War II, and as president he knew what we now know about the Holocaust, but the Third Reich presented no threat to the U.S., would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany purely as a moral imperative to save the Jews?”

And the Congressman answered:

“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”

Paul then looked at me, and I politely thanked him for his time. He smiled at me again and nodded his head, and many of his young followers were also smiling, and nodding their heads in agreement. Clearly, I was the only one in the room who was disturbed by his response.

When I first presented the story of Paul’s comments about the Holocaust to major news media outlets two years ago, they were so stunned they were afraid to publish my story, and as a result it has remained unpublished until now.

I went to great lengths afterwards to learn more about the basis for Paul’s comments. I spoke to Eric Dondero, a former senior aide for Paul, in February 2010. Dondero is quoted in a Weekly Standard article today about Paul’s isolationist beliefs.

When I called Dondero again this morning, and told him I was finally going forward with the story, he told me that Paul had made similar comments to him.

“He told me numerous times it was not worth it to intervene to save the Jews in World War II,” Dondero said. “I don’t think that’s because he’s an antisemite. It’s because he’s an extreme isolationist and he’s trying to be 100% principled–he doesn’t think there’s any reason to intervene for human rights or any other reason anywhere on the planet.”

Calls to Rep. Paul’s congressional office and campaign office last week and this morning were not returned.

The Holocaust of World War II is not the only historical tragedy that Paul’s isolationism would disregard.

In 2007, the Congressman actually faulted Abraham Lincoln for using military force to end slavery in the Civil War: “He shouldn’t have gone to war… Slavery was phased out in every other country in the world and the way I’m advising that it should have been done is do like the British Empire did; you buy the slaves and release them.”

Editors told me two years ago that they couldn’t believe Paul would respond in the same way to a question about the Holocaust, but I wasn’t surprised. Paul’s answer is actually consistent with much of what he’s been saying for years.

Yet philosophical consistency doesn’t always translate into a policy that is practical–or presidential.

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro is a former Washington, D.C. prosecutor who served on U.S. Senator John F. Kerry’s legal team during the 2004 presidential election, studied under Governor Michael Dukakis and interned for President Clinton in the White House. He is an investigative journalist who has worked on high profile criminal cases for CBS News, TIME magazine and Gannett News Co., and now investigates news stories for Jeffrey practices law in California, Florida and Washington, D.C., and can be followed on Twitter as @jeffreyscottlaw.


13 Responses

  1. So fill me in – how many Israeli Jews have given their lives to support American interests? I hear so much about what we should do for Jews – what have they done for us? Can I have a list please? Please list American supporters for Jews versus Israeli Jewish supporters for the US who have been willing to go as far as materiel support for the US.

  2. Too bad this would have been the answer from at least 99.9% of our past presidents, so it doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s very rare that the US even intervenes in genocide, which is going on all over the world as we speak. When they do, there is an alterior motive clearly, and nothing to do with saving lives. Bush 1 went into the gulf for the oil. Bush 2 went into the Gulf for revenge. Obama went into Libia to make it a Muslim state.

  3. Yes, it is sad that Ron Paul would say these things, but let’s be clear. FDR and most of the American people sat back and watched the Jews enduring the Holocaust and decided that we should not intervene. That is a historical fact.

    And I should say something else. I interviewed some rabbis that were in Yeshiva in the US during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s and to my astonishment, they said that there was not a settled consensus that US Jews should pro-actively support entering WWII to stop the Holocaust.

    The Jewish owned NY Times on the pre-war years also did not support any substantive activist intervention to stop the Holocaust.

    So unfortunately, Ron Paul does not represent some aberration of American opinion. I think it is despicable and you may too, but our American history does not overtly support intervention to stop the Shoah and as we know now, we have a president that is more than willing to support and implement policies that could lead to another Holocaust and the very, very sad thing is that we have the majority of Jews in this country supporting this president

  4. what is the difference between this goy and the one that was in the white house at the time? Roosevelt knew exactly what was happening, the British knew also, but would not spare a bomb to stop a train from going to the camps. This is a typical goy.

  5. Why point fingers at a non-Jew. WHat about the reform Rabbis that opposed a loby to save jews from the Shoah.
    Why blame the goyim for hating us when we ourselves are full of hatred. Chiloni vs Chraeidi. Dati vs Chareidi. Belz vs Satmar, Misnagdim vs Chasidim, Askenazi vs Sephardi.

    What happened to Ahavas Yisroel?

  6. While I think it is deplorable that he has such a view, I think he is consitant none the less. He wouldnt save ANY one based on human rights. But there are those among us who dont give two hoots about the abuse of human rights in Africa. Millions have been slaughtered there over the years and not a word from the Jewish community. If the Jewish people want others to show compassion on them during their time of crisis, it is imperative that we show compassion to others as well.

  7. The seforim say that once a person becomes a leader of a nation, he loses his bechira. Ron Paul can say what he wants, but if, Ch”V, he becomes President, the puppet strings will be firmly attached to his body, and he will have no control over his actions.

  8. To: #1 “lnardozi”…

    Tragically many hundreds of Israeli Jews HAVE died! – (or more accurately, been murdered) for American interests because Israel, very foolishly, bent to American pressure to… accept the ‘Oslo Accords’, the ‘Wye Accords’, etc., to give weapons to the “palestinian police”, to do away with military checkpoints in the Shomron, and numerous other suicidal concessions.
    These were ALL done for American interests, and they ALL resulted in Jews DYING!!!

  9. fdr was wrong not to enter the war before hand to stop hilter yemach shemo, and obama is wrong not to stop Iran now. Close your eyes but the problem does not go away

  10. AinOhdMilvado, you have argued an even greater reason to vote for Ron Paul. Had he been president since 1992, there would have been no Oslo, and so on, that prevented Israel from doing what is best to protect herself.

  11. Eric, when you can only call a group ‘wackos’, w/o actually giving reasons, it means you have no idea why you calling them ‘wackos’, besides for the fact that someone else told you so.

    Do your own research and then come back and still call Paul supporters ‘wackos’.

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