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The rescue of European Jewry was not a priority of U. While this was a strategic decision on the part of the Allies, it was affected by the anti-Semitism, isolationism, and xenophobia that characterized the United States’ refugee policy of the 1930s and 1940s. Each passenger carried a valid visa for temporary entry into Cuba.
READ: What Americans Had to Say About Jewish War Refugees The U. State Department, led by Secretary of State Cordell Hull, made it difficult for refugees to obtain entry visas. As the boat approached Havana, the Cuban government declared the visas invalid and refused entry to the passengers.
Despite reports of the worsening situation in Europe vis-à-vis the Jews, the Congressional National Origins Act, which in 1929 set an annual quota of 150,000 immigrants, was neither amended nor overturned. Robert Wagner introduced legislation in the United States Congress in 1939 proposing to admit a total of 20,000 Jewish children over a two-year period. Louis illustrates the unfortunate consequences of U. Subsequent negotiations with the Cuban government to permit the landing ended in failure. Glazer is a graduate student in the Department of Comparative History at Brandeis University.
The legislation was amended in committee to admit the 20,000 children only if the number of Jewish refugees admitted under the regular quota was reduced by 20,000. Similar attempts to seek entry to the United States also failed. She is writing a dissertation about the activities of a German-Italian insurance organization during World War II.
The bill died in the House after the sponsor withdrew his support in frustration. After waiting 12 days in the port of Havana and then off the Miami coast, the boat was forced to return to Europe. In the last 20 years, Auschwitz, the most infamous of the death camps operating during World War II, has become a symbol of the Holocaust.