Letter from Hyman Rubin to Shep Pearlstine regarding the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany, 21 November 1938

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This 1938 letter expresses the concern two prominent South Carolina Jews had for the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.  Hyman Rubin, a co-owner of J. Rubin & Sons Wholesale Dry Goods and Notions in Columbia, wrote to Shep Pearlstine, owner of Puritan Farm in St. Matthews, conveying his belief that it would be impossible to place Jewish refugees on land in the Midlands, as the land and agricultural training would be too expensive.  Rubin indicated that the community was willing to help refugees in other ways.  Rubin’s exchange with Pearlstine illustrates the active role members of South Carolina’s Jewish community played in helping Jews displaced by the Nazi regime.  The letter also demonstrates the effect events in Europe had on South Carolina, even before World War II officially began.  Hyman Rubin would go on to become a member of the Columbia City Council in the 1950s and early 1960s and a state senator from the late 1960s through mid-1980s.


Rubin, Hyman to Shep Pearlstine, 21 November 1938.  Shep Pearlstine Papers.  Manuscripts Division, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. 

Correlating SC Social Studies Academic Standards: 

Standard 5-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the economic boom-and-bust in America in the 1920s and 1930s, its resultant political instability, and the subsequent worldwide response.

Indicator 5-4.4: Explain the principal events related to the United States’ involvement in World War II—including the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the invasion in Normandy, Pacific island hopping, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—and the role of key figures in this involvement such as Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler.

Standard 7-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the causes and effects of world conflicts in the early twentieth century.

Indicator 7-5.6 Summarize the Holocaust and its impact on European society and Jewish culture, including Nazi policies to eliminate the Jews and other minorities, the “Final Solution,” and the war crimes trials at Nuremberg.

Standard USHC-8: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of World War II on United States’ foreign and domestic policies.

Indicator USHC-8.3 Summarize the impact of World War II and war mobilization on the home front, including war bond drives, rationing, the role of women and minorities in the workforce, and racial and ethnic tensions such as those caused by the internment of Japanese Americans.

Indicator USHC-8.4 Summarize the responses of the United States and the Allies to war crimes, including the Holocaust and war crimes trials.


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