Emigration to North "America" - activities of the
Joint in North "America"]
[Figures of German Jewish
immigration to the "USA"]
The other main center of immigration for Europe's Jewish
refugees was, of course, the North American continent
itself. Much has been written to show how restrictive
United States practices were, and how occasional attempts
by groups and individuals to break through the wall of
hostility were foiled by the great latitude that was given
to local consuls in their application of visa-granting
procedures, and by the support these consuls were given in
their restrictive attitudes by State Department officials.
(End note 73:
-- Morse, op. cit. [While Six Million Died; New York
-- Henry L. Feingold: Politics of Rescue; New Brunswick,
-- David S. Wyman: Paper Walls; Amherst, Mass., 1968)
The actual statistics of immigration from Germany to the
United States in the 1930s certainly bear witness to these
strictures, at least as far as the first years of Nazi
rule in Germany are concerned.
The total up to 1938, according to this source, was 63,485
persons from Germany (including Austria, after March
1938). If 85 % of these immigrants were Jews, then the
Jewish immigration from Germany would have been about 54,000
quota for Germany was 26,000 (together with the quote for
Austria it came (p.168)
Immigration from Germany to the United States
|No. of immigrants
|(End note 74: See Germany-AFSC file)
to 27,370); it is therefore clear that up to 1936, U.S.
immigration practices even under the existing quota
arrangements were very restrictive.
1936-1939 - reasons Palestine restrictions and Austria
But this is no longer quite so clear after 1936. The quota
was utilized in 1936 to the extent of 40 %, rising to 63 %
in 1937 and to 71 % in slightly over half of fiscal
1938/9. The quota itself was very small, and the fact that
even that was not fully utilized is a grim reflection of
American practices. The increase in immigration into the
United States came just as the British were restricting
entrance to Palestine, and by the end of 1938, 38 % of the
Jews emigrating from Germany had come to the United
[JDC supports the Jewish
refugees - and avoids publicity]
JDC's attitude toward Jewish immigration into the United
States was ambivalent. The main desire of the organization
was to avoid publicity about the numbers of Jews entering
the country, for fear of an outcry from the many
restrictionist elements in and out of Congress. JDC
allocated money to groups and organizations engaged in
absorbing these immigrants in the United States, but
efforts were made to avoid publicity. These expenditures
came to $ 237,180 in 1936 and climbed to $ 342,000 and $
500,313 in the two succeeding years.
(End note 75: R13, 1936 draft report, and ibid.
[Germany-AFSC file], 1937 and 1938 reports)
the great advantage in bringing so many refugees to
countries outside of Europe was that for the majority,
their wanderings were thereby ended. Overseas settlement
meant final absorption within a reasonable period of time.
By contrast, refugees in European countries could not
expect to remain there indefinitely. Most of (p.169)
them had to plan another move, and their stay in Europe
was fraught with economic difficulties and endless
[Canada is not mentioned].