To the editor:
This is the 81st anniversary of the Evian-les-Bains, France, conference conducted July 6 to 15, 1938 to discuss the plight of the Jews in Nazi Germany, and develop and implement a plan to rescue them. President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated the conference of 32 countries and 24 relief agencies.
Adolph Hitler said he would agree to allow the Jews to leave Germany and emigrate to the 32 countries represented at the conference.
Unfortunately 31 countries refused to take in any of the Jewish refugees. Only the Dominican Republic agreed to allow in some Jews.
All kinds of excuses were stated. Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King said, “We must … seek to keep this part of the continent free from unrest and from too great an intermixture of foreign strains of blood.”
The British, who controlled Palestine, refused to allow the Jews to emigrate because of the ongoing conflict between Arabs and Jews.
The French said they could not help.
The U.S. State Department, who had at least one Jew-hater in a prominent position, blocked entry to the U.S.
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama said they wanted no traders or intellectuals.
Argentina said it had enough immigrants from Europe.
Australia said it had no racial problems and did not want to create any.
After the conference, a number of countries relented and allowed relatively small numbers of Jews to enter their countries, including the U.S., from 1938 to 1940, 120,000; Britain, 100,000; Australia, 15,000; and the Dominican Republic, 800.
From 1940 to 1945 approximately 6 million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany.
Based on all of the persecution, discrimination, and violence against Jews through millennia, including the events stated in this letter, it was obviously essential to establish Israel as a homeland for Jews.
This occurred in 1948.