Shabtai B. Beit-Zv

Shabtai B. Beit-Zvi (1906-1994) was born in Lita (a Yiddisch name for territory corresponding approximately to modern Lithuania) in 1906. He studied electricity engineering and worked as an engineer in Russia. In 1947 he immigrated with his family to Palestine. After his son, Zvi, fell in battle during the 1948 War, he changed his last name to Beit-Zvi.

At the end of the fifties, while being active on behalf of Soviet Jewry he found out that Israeli society, the Israeli authorities, and the Zionist movement had followed an approach which put the narrow interest of the struggle over the land of Israel above the importance of helping and rescuing Diaspora Jews, whenever they felt these two interests are opposed.

This conclusion that "Reduced Zionism" prefers the means over the goals, motivated him to investigate the roots of this narrow Zionist approach and its implementation by the leadership of the Jewish population of Mandatory Palestine during the Holocaust.

He also studied the Holocaust's historiography written by the research authorities in Israel. He found what he called "an aimed tendentiousness" in the history written by these researchers. In 1977 after a long research of about 20 years, he published his results in a Hebrew version text. After its publication, the book was ignored by the Israeli academic establishment. However, in the early nineties researchers started to give the book more recognition, leading to publication of an English version on 1991.