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History Unfolded: Arizona Newspapers and the Holocaust

A collaborative project of ASU Library, Histo-News Club, Upward Bound, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to discover what Americans knew about the Holocaust as it was happening

History Unfolded Event: Child Refugee Bill Fails in Senate (1939)


This US Holocaust Memorial Museum event researches the Wagner-Rogers bill which was conceived to allow 20,000 Jewish children fleeing Nazi persecution to come to America without waiting for a long visa system to apply. After the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, anti-Jewish movements began to sweep through the Reich, creating a flood of refugees. FDR combined the German and Austrian quotas and admitted the full amount of visas; however, this was far too little for the amount of Jews forced out of their homes and persecuted. Hundreds of thousands pushed for US visas, children among them. Senator Robert Wagner of New York and Representative Edith Rogers of Massachusetts created the Child Refugee Bill to permit the entry of 20,000 Jewish children aged 14 and under to come to the US without adding to the existing quota system; however, anti-immigration congressional powers instead twisted the bill to reduce the amount of immigrants coming in, and make the children count against the quota, completely destroying the bills impact. The bill died in Senate debates after Senator Wagner withdrew his support for the new form of bill.

When to look:

February 9-16, 1939: News articles about the Wagner-Rogers bill’s introduction in Congress.

June 30 - July 6, 1939: News articles about the Wagner-Rogers Bill stalling in the Senate Immigration Committee.

February - July 1939: News articles, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons about the Wagner-Rogers bill.

Recommended keywords: Wagner-Rogers, refugee, quota, immigration, German, Germany, Jews, Jewish, Senate, Robert Wagner, Edith Rogers, alien, children

Palabra clave recomendado: Wagner-Rogers, refugiado, cupo, inmigración, alemán, Alemania,     judío, senado, Robert Wagner, Edith Rogers, extranjero, niños

History Unfolded Event: President Establishes War Refugee Board (1944)

This US Holocaust Memorial Museum event focuses on the establishment of the War Refugee Board by FDR. The War Refugee Board was created by US Treasury Department lawyers, such as John Pehle, Ansel Luxford, and Josiah DuBois Jr., who were frustrated by the department’s stalling and inaction toward sending funding to assist war-striken persecuted Jews in Nazi-controlled territories. Following pressure from Congress such as the Rescue Resolution which challenged Roosevelt to save Jews experiencing Nazi persecution in Europe, the president created the War Refugee Board (WRB). Led by John Pehle as its first director, the WRB was instrumental in saving tens of thousands of Jews fleeing the aftermath of the Holocaust. The board established safe havens, evacuated at-risk persons in war zones, and delivered relief supplies to concentration camps.

When to look: 

January 22-29, 1944: News articles about the establishment of the War Refugee Board.

January 22, 1944 - May 1944: Editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons reacting to the creation of the War Refugee Board and its activities.

Recommended keywords: War Refugee Board, refugees, Morgenthau, Pehle, Executive Order 9417, rescue, Roosevelt, Treasury, Jews, Nazi

Palabra clave recomendado: War Refugee Board, refugiados, Morgenthau, Pehle, orden ejecutiva 9417, rescatar, Roosevelt, Hacienda, judío, nazi

History Unfolded Event: FDR Authorizes Incarceration of Japanese Americans (1942)

This USHMM Event researches the events following the order to incarcerate Japanese Americans in internment camps. Following the events at Pearl Harbor, pressure from West Coast lobbyist groups called on Congress and the President for Americans of Japanese descent to be removed from the West Coast, based on the idea that they were a national security threat. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans living in the US. Americans of Japanese ancestry were forcibly removed from their homes and communities and placed into “relocation centers”, which were isolated, fenced, guarded camps. Two such internment camps were in Arizona: one at Poston, and one in Gila River.  


When to look: 


February 19 - 26, 1942: News articles about President Roosevelt issuing Executive Order 9066.


February 20, 1942 - May 1942: News, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons reacting to Executive Order 9066 and the proposed evacuation and incarceration of Japanese Americans.


December 1941 - February 1942: Editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons arguing for or against evacuation and incarceration of Japanese Americans.


August 7, 1942 - September 1942: News, editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, and cartoons regarding the forced evacuation and incarceration of  Japanese Americans.

Recommended keywords:  Executive Order 9066, Japanese, Jap, alien, Roosevelt, military zone, West coast, General John DeWitt, evacuation, relocation, relocation center, relocation camp, detention, internment

Palabra clave recomendado: orden ejecutiva 9066, japonés, jap, extranjero, Roosevelt, zona     militar, costa oeste, General John DeWitt, evacuación, mudanza, centro de mudanza, campo de mudanza, detención, internamiento, confinamiento

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