Humanity is Not Concerned with Us: The United States Congress and the Jewish Refugee Problem, 1936-1941



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The purpose of this thesis is to expand on the existing historiography of the United States and the Holocaust by examining the actions of Congress between 1936 and 1941. By looking at congressional documents from both public and private hearings, it is possible to see that that legislators knew about the events happening in Europe and had opportunities to intervene on behalf of persecuted Jews, yet did not take any action. Despite the feasibility of Jewish rescue and resettlement efforts, Congress opposed, and eventually defeated, every proposal. The bills failed largely because of the opposition of a powerful group of politicians who feared the effect that Jewish refugees would have on the nation, and, more importantly, its immigration policy.



Congress, Refugees, Jewish, Holocaust, World War II, Restrictionist, Immigration