Institutional Scholarship

Experimenting with Rescue: Understanding the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Approach to the Jewish Refugee Crisis from 1938 to 1940

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dc.contributor.advisor Gernstein, Linda
dc.contributor.advisor Kitroeff, Alex
dc.contributor.author Medina Del Toro, Victor
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-01T13:42:31Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-01T13:42:31Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/19392
dc.description.abstract Efforts to solve the Jewish refugee crisis created by the expansion of the Nazi empire have largely been examined with the hindsight that those efforts failed to rescue the millions of Jews who perished during the Holocaust. Historical literature has focused on explaining why governments and organizations did not do more—especially those of the United States. These social and political narratives, however, have largely ignored the considerations that govern the relocation of millions of people. Beginning with the premise that resettlement is inherently complicated, this investigation seeks to highlight the understanding of and approach to solving the refugee crisis by those directly facilitating rescue. Given that the burden of humanitarian efforts in the early 19th century fell on nongovernmental organizations, the approach taken by Jewish organizations has been underexamined. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s predominance among other Jewish organizations makes them ideal for exploring the considerations behind rescue efforts. Analyzing their approach to solving the refugee crisis reveals how the avenues of rescue chosen to rescue Jews changed as the situation progressed. Exploring the experience of an organization directly engaged in resettlement illustrates both that efforts were conducted with highly nuanced understandings of the situation and that impediments to rescue were just as complex. The importance of understanding the multitude of limitations that existed is that refugee resettlement was not simply a matter of will, but a matter of means. With limited avenues for rescue available to the JDC, even their best efforts could not solve the refugee crisis.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
dc.title Experimenting with Rescue: Understanding the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s Approach to the Jewish Refugee Crisis from 1938 to 1940
dc.type Thesis en
dc.rights.access Open Access


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