Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

HOLOCAUST TEACHER RESOURCE CENTER
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No Way Out For Discussion

For Discusssion:

July / August 1938
32 NATIONS AT EVIAN CONFERENCE LIMIT OR REFUSE JEWISH IMMIGRATION
ALL JEWS MUST ADD “JEWISH” NAMES: ISRAEL FOR MEN, SARA FOR WOMEN

1. At the Evian Conference in July 1938, representatives from 32 countries including the United States, discussed the plight of the German and Austrian Jews. Few were willing to accept Jewish immigrants. America limited immigration and never reached its legal quota. What motivated countries to close their borders or restrict immigration? [Motivations included economics, antisemitism, isolationism and indifference.] What message did this give the Jews? the Nazis? [Jews realized they were unwanted and without support. They also began to realize the gravity of their situation. Nazis believed these closed-door policies affirmed their own policies.]

2. Discuss the dilemmas faced by Jews as they decided whether/when/ how to leave Germany.

3. Why did the Nazi Regime encourage emigration yet make it very difficult for many Jews to leave, even if they could find a country of refuge? [The Nazis wanted Jews to leave Germany but also wanted their money, property and businesses. These “legalized” processes took time and delayed emigration and subsequently immigration possibilities.]

4. What made the law which required Jews to add “Jewish” names to documents so demeaning? [It took away their personal identity and individuality.]