Towards the end of WWII Hitler ordered his killing machine into overdrive to exterminate the Jews. Joanna Saidel ’85 has written a fascinating article, “Deal with the Devil,” for The Times of Israel that delves deeply into clandestine efforts to thwart Hitler’s orders—a little known story that saved perhaps tens of thousands of European Jews.
Saidel received a master’s degree from Keene State before going on to get a Ph.D. in History from UNH Durham (her dissertation topic was “Revisionist Zionism in America: The Campaign to Win American Public Support, 1939-1948”). “My work at Keene definitely helped pave the way for the current article,” Saidel explained. “At that time I studied with Charles Hildebrandt. If I remember correctly, he was in the process of establishing a Holocaust Studies program then (probably around 1984?). He was my mentor for my master’s thesis, Jewish Life in Latin America. I enjoyed working with him very much; I could sense his genuine dedication—his emotion and spirit—as he undertook his mission to develop a Holocaust center at Keene.”
Saidel currently live in New Hampshire with her family, writing for The Times of Israel and occasionally for the Jerusalem Post.