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How the Evian conference allowed hitler to massacre the jews - Research Paper Example

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The Evian Conference. Date The Evian Conference. In March 1938, the Anschluss, or the German occupation of Austria, marked the acceleration of Nazi annexation of territory. As Hitler unleashed an increasing campaign of terror against the Jews in Germany, the 185,000 of Austria stood in fear of similar persecution…
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How the Evian conference allowed hitler to massacre the jews
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Download file to see previous pages The urgency of the refugee problem was graphically portrayed in the case of four hundred refugees from Austria who drifted for several weeks on a barge in the Danube: “Although they were within sight of three frontiers, they could go back neither to the country from which they were driven out nor land at any foreign port. (They were) people without a country, human flotsam adrift on an international stream.”1It was evident that an unprecedented, immense humanitarian crisis faced the world. U.S. President F.D. Roosevelt called for an international conference to address the plight of refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The resulting Intergovernmental Conference on Political Refugees was held in Evian-les-Bains in Southern France, opening on July 6, 1938. The Evian Conference’s preliminaries, the refusal of the participating nations to ease visa restrictions and the results are proof of the multi-national anti-Semitism which provided Hitler with complete impunity for a vision of a world free of the “Jewish Vermin.” The Conference’s preliminaries displayed the underlying anti-Semitism in world society. America suggested Switzerland as the venue but was turned down by the Swiss who feared German displeasure. The official participants of the Conference were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, United Kingdom, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Ireland, Honduras, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA, Uruguay and Venezuela. Poland and Romania attend unofficially, while South Africa was an observer.2 These nations agreed to participate only on the understanding that they would not be asked to increase their quota of refugees – they would only be called upon to offer solutions to the refugee problem. In the first instance, Great Britain and France collaborated to ensure that the mandate of the new body extended only to refugees from Germany and Austria, excluding any refugees from Rumania, Italy, Poland, Hungary and Spain.3 Again, at the very outset, Britain made it clear that any notion of large-scale settlement in Palestine would not be acceptable. This stand reflected the British policy of appeasement of the Arabs, in order to prevent uprisings against Jewish immigration. In fact, the British representative, Lord Winterton, deliberately avoided all references to Palestine in his opening address. Earlier, he had assured the British foreign office that “he and the British delegates would bear in mind the need to avoid provoking the Reich government.”4Australia held that Jews could not be culturally assimilated into their county and attended only to avoid international criticism. Canada attended the Conference with great reluctance, fearing being pressurized into admitting Jews. Canada’s anti-Semitic sentiment was amply demonstrated in the reply of a senior official to the question of how many Jews would be allowed into the country after WWII: “None would be too many.”5Switzerland sent its Police Chief, Dr. H. Rothmund, as its delegate, clearly conveying its intention of doing nothing for the Jews. In the words of a renowned journalist, “I doubt if much will be done.  The British, French and Americans seem too anxious not to do anything to offend Hitler.  It's an absurd situation.  They want to appease the man who was responsible for their problem.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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