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Sunday, July 22, 2012

1938 Desperation: For Jewish National Homeland Entrance But Denied

Nadene Goldfoot
Hitler was in the act of persecuting Jews in the 30's who had become the scapegoat of the ills of Germany.   It was a time when small Jewish children weren't even allowed to play in parks with other children.  On the doors of schools was painted:  "Cursed be the Jew."

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called up an international conference at Evian, France for July 1938 which was called a humanitarian gesture of concern for Jewish victims of the Nazis but had no solutions for reducing emigration barriers of these people.  Jews had been standing in lines in Vienna and other cities trying to leave and escape the Nazi persecution without success.

Austrian Jews seemingly overnight were stripped of their security rights and all their property in most cases.  By the end of April 1938 more than 500 Jews had committed suicide.  They saw the Jews in Vienna and other cities turned down by all the foreign consulates one after the other.  No country would take them in.  Only a few countries had quotas that hadn't yet been filled while many wouldn't allow Jews in at all because they did not have baptism certificates.  .

32 countries could not bring themselves to help out the Jews and Palestine, according to the British who held the mandate of rule there stated that "only limited immigration could even be considered."  They said that its absorptive capacity of Jews" had been pronounced to be full."  Truth was that they did not want Jews to enter, and they were the ones holding the mandate with the responsibility to develop the Jewish Homeland, and they were doing everything possible to keep Jews out.  Such people as Anthony Eden, Britain's Foreign Secretary from 1935-1938 and innumerable other positions  was most anti-Semitic.  His secretary noted in his diary in 1943 that he is immovable on the subject of Palestine.  He loves Arabs and hates Jews.  Britain's Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, who shaped so much of British policy from 1937-1940 told his cabinet that " if we must offend one side, let us offend the Jews rather than the Arabs."  So at a time when Jews needed their own land desperately, they could not enter what was designated to be  the Jewish Homeland save but a few.  Thus, 6 million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust.

Chaim Weizmann was kept out of the Evian meeting because Jews had no state to represent them and only states were invited to the meeting.  He couldn't even speak in a private meeting there because Great Britain protested against it.  The United States was not about to change their laws at this crucial point in time to allow more than their usual restricted amount of Jews into the country.  The USA quota of Jews per year  from Germany and Austria combined was 27,370 and that was not changed.

Peru also had strict quotas for Jews entering their country.  They also had a ban on doctors and lawyers out of fear of an invasion by intellectuals.   They praised the USA for their quotas on Jews and said that this guided their immigration policies in Peru.  The rest of the countries followed suit.  The one exception was Santo Domingo who offered to take in 100,000 refugees, and Holland and Denmark, who decided to let in refugees without restrictions.  We know what happened to Holland's Jews towards the end of the war with "The Diary of Anna Frank."  Denmark was then invaded by the Nazi in 1940 so Jews were under attack then.  The Danes managed to help many of them escape to Sweden.  Only 645 Jews made it to Santo Domingo  though 5,000 visas were issued.

Resource:  Book:  From Time Immemorial-the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine by Joan Peters p. 333-334

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