Tenenbaum, Joseph L.

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TENENBAUM, JOSEPH L. (1887–1961), U.S. urologist, Zionist leader, and author. Tenenbaum was born in Sasov, Poland, and in 1919 he was a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference, representing the Jewish National Council of Poland. Immigrating to the United States in 1920, Tenenbaum became a urologist and surgeon, teaching at Columbia University (1922–24) and subsequently working in several New York hospitals. Along with his distinguished medical career, Tenenbaum was a leader in U.S. Jewish life, serving as chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Congress (1929–36), as vice president of that organization (1943–45), and as a member of the administrative committee of the World Jewish Congress (1936). He was the founder and chairman of the Joint Boycott Council (1933–41), an organization that promoted the boycott of German materials in the United States before and during World War ii. As president of the American and the World Federation of Polish Jews, Tenenbaum twice visited Poland after the war to bring aid to the remaining Jews there.

His writings include Peace for the Jews (1945); In Search of a Lost People (1948); Underground (1952), a book about World War ii; and Nazi Rule in Poland and the Jewish Medical Profession, which appeared as one part of a three-part work entitled Martyrdom of Jewish Physicians in Poland (ed. by Louis Falstein, 1964). His most comprehensive and fundamental work, Race and Reich (1956, reprinted and enlarged Hebrew edition, 1960), explains the racial character of the German people, its roots, and its integration into the National Socialist movement. Although dealing primarily with the persecution of the Jews throughout the whole occupied area of Europe, it also deals with the religious and economic policy of Hitler.

[Moshe Gottlieb]