American reaction to the holocaust - Movie Review Example

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In his speech, Baron Lawrence details the way German Jewry faced economic, political, and social subjugation after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. America’s quota system, under the traditional policy of open immigration, allowed only approximately twenty thousand…
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American Reaction to the Holocaust In his speech, Baron Lawrence details the way German Jewry faced economic, political, and social subjugation after Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933. America’s quota system, under the traditional policy of open immigration, allowed only approximately twenty thousand Germans to enter the country. Millions of Germans were in need of accommodation and refuge, but America only allowed the outlined number. The American president, Herbert Hoover, ordered inflexible enforcement of entry permit regulations after the stock market crash of 1929 (London Jewish Cultural Center 1). As a result, several Germans had nowhere to run to, and endured the systematic persecution that characterized the Holocaust.
America’s policy significantly reduced immigration into the country owing to the tough economic challenges the country faced at that time. Authorities continued to impose the restrictions after Franklin Roosevelt’s swearing in March 1933. The country genuinely lacked the required resources to accommodate more foreigners (Akbulut-Yuksel and Yuksel 3). Even so, most Americans did not hold Jews in good light and considered their presence in America as unfavorable. Sympathetic Americans and Jewish leaders imposed sanctions on German goods, with the assumption that economic pressure might compel Hitler to stop his anti-Semitic strategy (London Jewish Cultural Center 1). Following pressure the Roosevelt administration from influential American Jews concerning refugees, the government eased its stringent visa regulations.
American press and news media failed to give the Holocaust the attention and extensive coverage it deserved. Reports about the Holocaust were often in the middle pages of the dailies (London Jewish Cultural Center 1). Several Germans had invested and made fortunes from the United States stock market before the crash, and the two regions did not have good media relations. Everybody tried to get their money back, but there were not enough reserves. America needed money too, but Germany could not afford to pay them back their money. Journalists gave atrocity reports a wide berth, as they feared reproach from the government after an erroneous publication about Germany during the First World War. The Bermuda conference, and several other meetings America held with other countries were fruitless.
Germany was an influential military and economic power in Europe at the start of the nineteenth century (Nevick 35). Even so, warfare ruined the country’s economy and it restricted imports and exports. The 1929 Wall Street Crash led to a collapse of the American economy, and its economic repercussions reverberated all over Europe (London Jewish Cultural Center 1). Both America and Germany faced widespread unemployment and cruel poverty, although America had earlier revived Germany’s economy through loan grants (Beams 1). This may be the reason why state departments undermined the Treasury Department officials rescue efforts. However, after intervention of Henry Morgenthau, the Secretary of the Treasury, Roosevelt created the War Refugee Board to resolve problems affecting America’s rescue effort. The board made a remarkable effort as it rescued hundreds of thousands of Jews.
In conclusion, there was slow and delayed American response to the Holocaust. Economic factors served as a significant deterrent to the restrictions American authorities held. America faced tough economic times, especially after the stock market crash of 1929. There was simply not enough room to accommodate foreigners in America, considering that they also faced high unemployment rates and most of its citizens were jobless. This is despite the difficult conditions the Jews faced during the Holocaust (Kremer 1016). In the contemporary society, debate still rages on as to why America did not offer immediate response to the Holocaust.
Works Cited
Akbulut-Yuksel, Mevlude and Mutlu Yuksel. The Long-Term Direct and External Effects of
Jewish Expulsions in Nazi Germany. IZA DP No. 5850. Pg. 2-3. 2011.
Beams, Nick. Imperialism and the political economy of the Holocaust. World Socialist Website.
Available at
Kremer, Lillian. Holocaust Literature: Lerner to Zychlinsky, index. New York: Taylor &
Francis, 2003. Pg. 1016. Print.
London Jewish Cultural Center. The Holocaust Explained. 2011.
Available at
Novick, Peter. The Holocaust in American Life. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sep 20,
2000. Pg. 35-36. Print. Read More
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