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Reaction to the Holocaust in America

By: Cole Arens, Holden Chi, Qingduo Tiffany, Dominic Kosters, Zack Jordan

Table of Contents The U.S. Reaction to Nazi anti-Jewish policies during the 1930’s


The SS St. Louis Case


The Holocaust


The U.S. responses to Nazi policies during the war


Works Cited


The U.S. Reaction to Nazi anti-Jewish policies during the 1930’s (Holden) During the 1930’s, immigration to the United States increased. This was caused in part to the Nazi anti-Jewish regulations in Germany. The increase of immigration cause the United States to impose more regulations to restrict access to the country. Many Americans feared that immigrants would deprive Americans of jobs by working for extremely low wages. This fear and resentment of immigrants led to legislation restricting emigration being passed in 1917, 1921, 1924, and 1929.

The Nuremberg Laws a set of laws that excluded Jews from daily life, this caused most to lose their jobs and it did allow for them to get married. While many Americans condemned the Nuremberg Laws, they did not support involving the United States in the situation in Europe.

Kristallnacht - On November 9, 1938, the Nazis used the murder of a German diplomat by a young Jew as an excuse to destroy over one thousand synagogues, kill ninety-one

Jews and move thirty thousand more to moved to concentration camps. These events caused widespread condemnation of the Nazis in the United States. This also caused the United States to remove the American ambassador from Germany and to extend the travel visas of Jews to allow them to remain in the country.

Evian Conference 1938 - In 1938 a conference was held to determine what should be done with the large number of Jews fleeing Europe. However, both the United States and the United Kingdom refused to accept more refugees.

The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees - After the Evian conference the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees was formed in an attempt to help Jews emigrate away from the Nazi regime. However, the Nazis’ economic exploitation of Jew cause many countries to reject them to prevent a large increase in impoverished immigrants. The Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees never reached an agreement with the Nazis.

The SS St. Louis Case (Zack) In May of 1939 a ship left Europe headed for Cuba with the mission of bringing 930 Jewish refugees away from the devastation of Europe.

Sadly they weren’t ever given permission to disembark in Cuba or America and were sent back to Europe where about 30% were put into concentration camps. The next year a very similar situation occurred where a ship named the SS Quanza fled from Europe with Jewish refugees on board with a few less passengers where they were rejected to disembark in South America but then continued up the coast until they were given permission to disembark in Virginia. This caused a large controversy in America over whether we should have helped and if it was America’s place to help. Another thing argued about was why the SS Quanza was allowed to disembark where the SS St. Louis was not?

The Holocaust (Cole and Dominic) The holocaust was a horrible time and cause. The German nation, lead and run by Adolf Hitler was set to create the perfect race. The Aryan race. Made up of women and men who were european and had blonde hair and blue eyes. Adolf Hitler knew that it wasn't going to be an easy goal so he set himself a final goal and steps along the way, to the removal of many non “perfect� races of people. The final solution is the plan to annihilate the Jewish people. The genocide however was a work of a decade of increasingly severe discriminatory actions. Definition - Hitler made it known who the Jews were by making them wear gold stars to show there decent and religion. This way he could isolate them. Stripping of Rights - Jewish people were denied many rights like the right to vote, denied citizenship, denied the right to own property and even doctors who were Jewish were not aloud to treat non Jewish patients.

Segregation - Jews were forced to live in a separate city from the others (slum or shanty town). Along with Gypsies, Homosexuals and disabled. Many died from disease, starvation and dehydration. They waited in this town until they were either taken to a concentration camp or killed on the spot. Concentration Camps - These were camps much like a slum where the citizens were slaves and worked until they died from exhaustion, were brought to an extermination camp. These camps consisted of the “enemies� of Hitler.

Extermination Camps - These camps were used for disposing of Jewish people. The were a way of lowering the Jewish population in the Aryan race. Most times these extermination camps were very harsh as well as unknown to the Jewish people who were there. One specific way Hitler used these camps was to use gas. And between 1942-1943 over 2 million Jewish people were gassed.

Aftermath - The camps were liberated however people still remained there, and Jewish people were left on the streets and were homeless

The U.S. responses to Nazi policies during the war (Qing) The systematic enslavement, and subsequent genocide, of European Jews during the latter half of the 1930’s and early 1940’s resulted in the widespread exodus and diaspora of several hundred thousand Jews from their native countries to surrounding European nations. While it is true that few Jews were able to escape Nazi-controlled Europe with their lives, a far more difficult reality to accept is that even when such escape was realized, few countries were willing to welcome the Jewish refugees into their borders. Of such countries was the United States, who in the period from 1938 to 1944 imposed severe restrictions on Jewish emigration. Despite public outcry over this, it was the policy of the United States Government to only allow a specific number of individuals of Jewish ethnicity to gain residency in the U.S. and its territories. As a result, several hundred Jews attempted to find residency elsewhere, such as Cuba and other South American nations. Unfortunately, the Czech, Austrian, and German Jews that were attempting to flee Europe were denied access to South American ports despite having informed the local authorities of the ongoing atrocities in Europe. As a result, several dozen Jews onboard the Cuban refugee ships attempted to appeal to President Roosevelt, who held office at the time, asking for asylum in American territory.

In response, Roosevelt authorized the transportation of nearly seventy Jews from their Cuban craft to the American controlled transport ship American Legion, thus granting to them their long sought after safety. Moreover, as a means of countering the horrors of the Holocaust and simultaneously dealing with the public backlash of not helping sooner, Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board to assist remaining Jewish refugees still trapped in Europe. Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s death in April of 1945 temporarily suspended Jewish assistance programs and left several hundred thousand Jews, those liberated in concentration camps in Europe without a clear destination for where to begin their lives once more. However, President Truman, in continuing the work of his predecessor Roosevelt, issued what became known as the “Truman Directive” which further allowed for the admittance of several thousand Jews now classified as “displaced persons.”

Works Cited "Building Nazi Germany." History of World War II. Vol. 1: Origins and Outbreak. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2005. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. "The Holocaust." World War II Reference Library. Ed. Barbara C. Bigelow, et al. Vol. 1: Almanac. Detroit: UXL, 2000. 157-179. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. "Wartime Politics." American Home Front in World War II. Ed. Allison McNeill, et al. Vol. 1: Almanac. Detroit: UXL, 2005. 70-85. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. Sword, Kirsten D. "Families at War." Americans at War. Ed. John P. Resch. Vol. 1: 1500-1815. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. 61-63. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. "Japan Attacks and America Goes to War." World War II Reference Library. Ed. Barbara C. Bigelow, et al. Vol. 1: Almanac. Detroit: UXL, 2000. 83-104. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. "The War Expands." World War II Reference Library. Ed. Barbara C. Bigelow, et al. Vol. 1: Almanac. Detroit: UXL, 2000. 61-82. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. "A Wartime Childhood." World War II. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2007. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Feb. 2014.

Reaction to the Holocaust in America