“Neil has a rich history in public service and cares for the common man. He captures the listener’s imagination with his intelligence, impeccable memory of a moment in time, and has a way of translating history that captures your attention,” said Leah Rading producer of a major Californian radio show, Showbiz- view, http://www.showbiz-view.com/, that aired a program about Rolde and his Long book.
The booksigning event will take place at the Stuart Moss House, 122 Maryland Avenue NE, Washington, D.C.
Anne Zill, Director Art Gallery University of New England, and the President of the Fund for Constitutional Government is hosting the event.
“Neil Rolde coulda’ shoulda’ been a U.S. Senator from Maine lo these many years, but instead we are blessed with his indefatigable devotion to history and the written word, and this book is one of his very best!,” said Anne B. Zill.
The book focuses on the plight of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany.
During the Holocaust, while the Nazis were exterminating thousands of Jews daily, the U.S. State Department official in charge of matters concerning all European refugees was Breckinridge Long. He was known as an extreme nativist, who was suspicious of Eastern Europeans. He feared more immigrants would spoil existing cultural values and bring with them communist ideals.
“He’s an example of the banality of evil,” said Rolde. “I wanted to highlight his own accounts of his life written in all his diaries, and the times in which he lived, to give people a comprehensive look into his character.”
The exposé answers the central question: why didn’t the United States of America help save the lives of more Holocaust refugees during WWII? Many historians point fingers at Long, as he committed atrocities by finding avenues to continually limit refugee quota numbers but he didn’t do it alone. Rolde also describes an atmosphere in America generated by a portion of society that supported Long’s nativist views.
“When President Roosevelt learned about what Long had been doing he had his power over visas and refugees taken away from him,” said Rolde. “Long was very ambitious and thought he was headed for the big time to become Secretary of State. That didn’t happen.”
“Neil continues to amaze me with his innate ability to capture the hearts and minds of many through his superior ability of translating historic events to the audience in his books. His Breckenridge Long is an amazing read and brings the reader to a place of wanting more. Long was also referred to as Hitler’s Helper for his denial of Visas to the Jews while he worked in the State Department. I cannot wait for a film to come out of this great read,” said Rading.
In January 1944 Roosevelt established the War Refugee Board, which relieved the State Department of responsibility for rescue efforts. The Board may have been responsible for saving as many as 200,000 lives. The War Refugee Board is the focus of another book to be released in the near future by Rolde.
Breckinridge Long: An American Eichmann??? An Enquiry into the Character of the Man Who Denied Visas to the Jews is available from the publisher: Polar Bear & Company, P.O. Box 311, Solon, Maine, 04979 and retails at $16.95.
About Neil Rolde:
In addition to his many publications, Neil Rolde is a long-time public servant, philanthropist, Renaissance man, and gentleman. The renowned Maine historian grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. He earned a BA at Yale and a Master’s in Journalism at Columbia University. He worked as a film scriptwriter before moving to Maine with his wife of fifty-three years, Carlotta Florsheim, to raise their family. In York they brought up four children and now enjoy family visits with their eight grandchildren.
The author has won book awards from the Maine Historical Society, the Maine Humanities Council, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Most of Neil Rolde’s books involve the history of his beloved Maine and its people. With a wealth of historical knowledge about politics, the author has recently turned his skill and wit to blogging current political incidents in a historical context.
Rolde’s public service includes six years as assistant to Maine s Governor Kenneth M. Curtis and sixteen years as representative in the Maine State Legislature. He was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 1990. The author has served on many state boards and commissions, including the Maine Health Care Reform Commission, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, the Maine Humanities Council, and the Maine Arts Commission.