Why America Closed Its Doors to Anne Frank

by Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies,

A new chapter in the teenager’s tragic saga.

Anne Frank’s family tried to escape the Nazis by immigrating to America – but they were turned away.

This extraordinary new chapter in the teenager’s tragic saga emerges from seventy-eight newly-discovered documents from the correspondence of Anne’s father, Otto Frank. They detail his efforts, in 1941, to gain permission to bring his family to the United States.

The new correspondence presents an opportunity – and an obligation – to tell the rest of the story.

At the time of the correspondence, the Franks were living in exile in Holland, having fled their native Germany after Hitler’s rise to power. By 1939, with anti-Semitism spreading throughout Europe, the Franks began thinking about how to get to America. Otto had already lived in the US from 1909 to 1911, working as an intern at Macy’s Department Store, in New York City.

But by 1939, it was a different America. After World War I, in response to the public’s intense anti-foreigner sentiment, Congress had enacted restrictive immigration quotas. The quota system was structured to reduce “undesirable” immigrants, especially Italians and Jews. The original version of the immigration bill had been introduced in Congress with a report by the chief of the United States Consular Service, Wilbur Carr, characterizing Jewish immigrants as “filthy, un-American, and often dangerous in their habits… lacking any conception of patriotism or national spirit.” CONTINUE

February 22, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. Bill,
    While I totally agree with your dismay at the continued Jewish support for liberal Democrats who for the most part are anti-Israel, Henry Ford most certainly caused the death of Jews in the past, and in my opinion, his words still do now. For an amazing survival story, out-of-print but in libraries and a few used copies (worth the price) available, is “Coming Out of the Ice” an autobiography of a Jewish teen who went with his family to Russia to work in a Ford plant and was supposed to be able to return, but ended up being tortured by Stalin and stuck there for decades (maybe in the late ’70s he made it back–to Detroit!), Ford screwed him and many others. Ford’s “The International Jew” antisemitic classic is still posted on jihadist and white supremacist websites–see for ex, allaahuakbar.net, then click on “Jews” in the bottom right hand column. I also never will see a Mel Gibson movie.

  2. These are the same people who attacked Mitt Romney for speaking at the Henry Ford Museum, even though Ford’s foray into anti-Semitism (for which he later apologized) did not actually kill any Jews the way FDR’s policies did.

    Once again, Bill, an apologist for right wing anti-Semites.

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