History Faculty Research

History Faculty Research

Catch up with research from the history department at Merrimack College.

Previous slide
Next slide

Dr. Walker Robins

At a 1941 event at the Hotel Astor in New York City, Zionist statesman Chaim Weizmann took the stage before 2,500 guests to hail American columnist Dorothy Thompson as a “modern Deborah” and to thank her for her efforts on behalf of the Jewish people.2 Those efforts were by then well known to the American public. As a journalist, Thompson had been among the earliest, most vociferous critics of Nazism. As a political commentator, she had used her platform to focus Americans’ attention on the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe while privately organizing support for the refugee population. By the 1941 event in New York, Thompson was well on her way to becoming perhaps the most high-profile non-Jewish supporter of Zionism in the United States. She was unrelenting in these causes. Some called her Cassandra for her oftprophetic tones. For Jews like Weizmann, though, she was Deborah.