Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 137

THE HOLOCAUST AND ITS

CONTEXTS
Series Editors: Claus-Christian Szejnmann
and Ben Barkow

THE EVIAN
CONFERENCE
OF 1938 AND
THE JEWISH
REFUGEE CRISIS

Paul R. Bartrop
The Holocaust and its Contexts

Series Editors
Claus-Christian W. Szejnmann
Loughborough University
Loughborough, UK

Ben Barkow
The Wiener Library
London, UK
More than sixty years on, the Holocaust remains a subject of intense
debate with ever-widening ramifications. This series aims to demonstrate
the continuing relevance of the Holocaust and related issues in con-
temporary society, politics and culture; studying the Holocaust and its
history broadens our understanding not only of the events themselves
but also of their present-day significance. The series acknowledges and
responds to the continuing gaps in our knowledge about the events that
constituted the Holocaust, the various forms in which the Holocaust has
been remembered, interpreted and discussed, and the increasing impor-
tance of the Holocaust today to many individuals and communities.

More information about this series at


http://www.springer.com/series/14433
Paul R. Bartrop

The Evian Conference


of 1938 and the
Jewish Refugee Crisis
Paul R. Bartrop
Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, FL
USA

The Holocaust and its Contexts


ISBN 978-3-319-65045-6 ISBN 978-3-319-65046-3  (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3

Library of Congress Control Number: 2017949217

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018


This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the
Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights
of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction
on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and
retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology
now known or hereafter developed.
The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this
publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are
exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use.
The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and
information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication.
Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, express or implied,
with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have
been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published
maps and institutional affiliations.

Cover illustration: © Bitboxx.com

Printed on acid-free paper

This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by Springer Nature


The registered company is Springer International Publishing AG
The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland
To
The memory of all those for whom the Evian Conference represented
a lost opportunity
Preface

The Evian Conference, which took place in France between July 6 and
July 15, 1938 met at the invitation of United States President Franklin
Delano Roosevelt with the intention of discussing, in depth, the nature
of the immigration policies of the invited nations, and, in accordance
with those, what the options were for accepting refugees from Nazi
Germany. Those attending were there to consider what steps could be
taken to facilitate refugee migration … but no country was expected
in any way to depart from its existing immigration regulations. Much
would indeed be discussed, but when the meeting’s final recommenda-
tions were made no definite action on behalf of the refugees was pro-
posed—only that the deliberations should continue and a subsequent
meeting should take place in London.
This is a story about a joint global effort which had as its major objec-
tive the quest to do nothing. The conference, it will be argued, was
successful in achieving what it set out to achieve, namely, to enable an
exchange of information among the states attending. Nothing more.
Contrary to what has become post-Holocaust popular wisdom, the del-
egates did not meet for the purpose of opening doors for refugee Jews,
or forcing certain countries to ease their restrictions, or saving Jews from
the Holocaust. In 1938 there was as yet no Holocaust from which Jews
needed saving.
There was, however, a refugee crisis, and as a consequence the vari-
ous nations of the world were confronted with a situation that has many
parallels to our own time. Should an open-door policy be permitted

vii
viii  Preface

for anyone claiming refugee status? Should quotas be imposed, and, if


so, how are the decisions to be made regarding numbers and eligibil-
ity? Should refugees be permitted entry on a short-term, long-term, or
permanent basis? Should refugees be allowed in regardless of the prevail-
ing economic situation? Should refugees of a different religious or eth-
nic background to the majority population be given the opportunity to
arrive? If so, should they be allowed to stay, thereby potentially trans-
forming the existing social fabric? The issues in 1938 (as today) were
many, and the need to deal with them, urgent.
Thirty-two nations attended the Evian Conference; others sent
observers, while a large number of private organizations with an interest
in the refugee crisis showed up in the hope of putting their case and per-
suading the delegates to open their respective countries’ doors.
This book describes why the conference was called, who the main
actors were, and what the various delegations had to say about the ref-
ugee emergency and how their country would address it. It does not
delve into the motives behind the stances adopted by those attend-
ing; the internal political dynamics involved in each country’s position
were often way too complex for elaboration here. The literature is thus
patchy; in some cases, highly detailed studies have been written attempt-
ing to explain the policies of certain countries; for others, very little has
appeared in sufficient measure to give us an insight into priorities or
options.
Moreover, this short study has avoided the temptation of reporting on
the wide variety of responses to the conference, preferring to outline the
meeting itself. The large press gallery reported in depth on the delegates’
statements, and in many countries official reports were made public. A
scholarly treatment of responses to Evian would, of necessity, produce a
much longer volume than the current study; it is to be hoped that oth-
ers, building on the foundation laid here, will begin the process of exam-
ining these responses.
When we analyse the addresses made by the delegates it becomes
apparent that often they did not arrive with prepared instructions from
their governments. All too frequently, it seemed, their statements were
extemporized, as they acted safe in the knowledge that they were inter-
preting faithfully their governments’ views. As a result, we are looking
here at a gathering of representatives who were, in essence, projecting a
comprehensive global perspective of official reactions to the refugee crisis
caused by Nazi Germany. It is not a pretty picture.
Preface   ix

In preparing this work, I have been fortunate over many years to be


able to utilize a variety of archival collections. One of the joys of doc-
umentary research is that one often finds documents emanating from
sources other than those of the government or agency where one is
undertaking the research, or of finding replies to correspondence that
might be missing from another archive on the other side of the world.
I would thus like to place on record my gratitude to the reference staff
of the following institutions that have assisted me as I undertook much
of the research leading to this short volume: in the United Kingdom,
the Wiener Library, London; the People’s History Museum Archive
and Study Centre, Manchester; the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Archives, London; and The National Archives, Kew; in Australia, the
National Archives of Australia, Canberra; in Canada, the Library and
Archives of Canada, Ottawa.
The reference librarian responsible for holdings in History at Florida
Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Rachel Tait-Ripperdan, has pro-
vided extensive assistance throughout the project, as have my Chair in
the Department of Social Science, Nicola Foote, and the Dean of the
College of Arts and Sciences, Robert Gregerson. Within my Department
I have received the unwavering support of our Executive Secretary,
Carey Fells. While also looking after the interests of nearly thirty other
faculty members, she has always taken care of the many appeals I make
on her time, and but for her assistance I frequently would have been lost.
Special mention should also be made of the help provided by the
Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS) at FGCU, in particu-
lar through the backing provided by the ever-smiling Associate Vice-
President for Research and Graduate Studies, T.C. Yih.
My assistant at FGCU for the academic year 2016–2017, Taylor Neff,
worked her way diligently through a myriad of tasks, for all of which
I am indeed grateful. One of these involved toiling for hours through
the microfilmed collection entitled Holocaust Refugees and the FDR
White House, reproduced from the Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt in
the custody of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, National Archives and
Records Administration, Bethesda, Maryland. This excellent collection,
which appeared in 2006, was coordinated by Robert E. Lester, and is
accompanied by a guide prepared by James Shields. The guide, and the
collection, is indispensable when researching the Roosevelt administra-
tion and its responses to refugees during the Nazi period.
x  Preface

My dear friend and colleague at Stockton University in New Jersey,


Michael Dickerman, read every word of the text; his insights, as in the
past, have been perceptive and have enhanced the project overall. In
addition, I am extremely grateful to my friend and mentor Michael
Cohen, for reminding me of the vicissitudes of the English language.
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the ongoing support given
by my editors at Palgrave, Emily Russell and Carmel Kennedy, who
worked hard in innumerable ways to ensure that this short volume met
the standards of what is a very fine publishing house.
Finally, but by no means least, are my thanks to Eve, my best friend,
wife, and muse. She, too, worked hard in a number of ways, both schol-
arly and non-scholarly, to ensure that this work would reach the light
of day.
Omissions and shortcomings, of course, are my own. As stated earlier,
it is my earnest hope that this book will be viewed as a stimulus for fur-
ther examination of the Evian Conference, and that other researchers will
develop new projects that build on the start that has been provided here.

Fort Myers, USA Paul R. Bartrop


Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 Roosevelt Calls the Meeting 11

3 Initial Responses to the Invitation 21

4 The Big Three: Taylor, Berenger, Winterton 33

5 Introductory Statements 43

6 The Delegates Speak 55

7 The Sub-Committees 81

8 Evian: The Dénouement 95

Appendices
107

Bibliography
117

Index 123

xi
CHAPTER 1

Introduction

The urgent issues of war and peace relegated the question of refugees to the bottom
of the international agenda. Yet something had to be done.
Sir Richard Evans (Richard J. Evans, The Third Reich in History and Memory,
London: Little, Brown, 2015, pp. 257–258)

Abstract  The Introduction outlines the reasons behind the need to call


a conference on refugees during 1938, locating it within the context of
German Jewish history up to the start of the Nazi period. It also gives a
brief overview of the agencies established by the League of Nations prior
to the ascent to office of the Nazis in Germany, showing why it was that
these bodies were considered by the United States government to be
inadequate in meeting the challenge imposed by the new refugee crisis
following 1933. The chapter also introduces the argument that govern-
ments around the world were forced to develop refugee policies in the
1930s without the benefit of knowing about the Holocaust that was to
come—and that as a result the historical record thus far has been blink-
ered in its appreciation of the refugee crisis.

Keywords  Anschluss · Refugees · Germany · Jewish

© The Author(s) 2018 1


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_1
2  P.R. BARTROP

In 1938 a joke was doing the rounds throughout Jewish communities


in Germany and Austria. It went something like this: A Jew goes into a
travel agency hoping to buy a ticket that would enable him to leave the
Third Reich. The agent asks him where he would like to go:

“Switzerland?”
“No, they’re restricting Jewish entry there.”
“Brazil?”
“No, likewise.”
“How about the United States?”
“Sorry, quotas.”
“New Zealand, then?”
“No spaces available.”

Exasperated after having gone through more than a dozen possi-


bilities, the clerk reaches behind his desk and brings out a globe of the
world. “Choose,” he invites his customer. After a moment of contempla-
tion, the Jewish man asks: “Do you have anything else?”
The international scene was anything but welcoming for the Jews of
Nazi Germany as 1938 progressed, and after the union (Anschluss) of
Austria with Germany in March of that year immigration regulations,
already tight in most countries, became even more constricted. Two
years earlier, the President of the World Zionist Organization, Dr. Chaim
Weizmann, testified before the Peel Commission established by the
British government for the purpose of exploring options for the Palestine
Mandate. On November 25, 1936, Weizmann declared that the Jews
of Europe faced a situation in which “the world is divided into places
where they cannot live and places where they cannot enter.”1 After the
Anschluss, that situation was exacerbated significantly.
Up to this time, Jews in Nazi Germany had been reluctant to leave
what, for the previous century and a half, they had considered to be their
legitimate homeland.2 Frequently raised in discussions of whether or
not to stay was the sacrifice made by German Jews on behalf of Imperial
Germany during the First World War, when almost 100,000 Jews wore
the Kaiser’s uniform and 12,000 were killed in combat.3 Despite the
threat posed by the Nazis, most Jews after 1933 preferred to remain in
Germany. When Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933, Germany’s
Jewish population numbered around 525,000 (with 160,000 in Berlin
alone); by 1939 just under 300,000 had left, meaning that nearly half
1 INTRODUCTION  3

the Jewish community still remained in in the country on the eve of the
Second World War. As John V.H. Dippel, who has made a major study of
the subject, has asked: “Why did they stay?” Attempting an answer, his
conclusion is multifaceted: for “many thousands of German Jews”

the bond to Germany was too complex, too emotionally and psychologi-
cally compelling, to be neatly rent asunder. It was, in fact, a relationship
akin to an abusive marriage. When the Jews were first attacked, their reac-
tion was to deny the accusations of infidelity, profess continuing love and
devotion, and endure in silence, with stoic forbearance. Verbal threats and
even outbursts of violence, they believed, were momentary excesses that,
in a more sober mood, would pass. They were not part of Germany’s true
nature; they could not annul a centuries-old affection. Rumors of worse
treatment to come were dismissed as panic-inspired exaggerations from
faint hearts, none of which would come to pass.4

Arguing that “perhaps no other Jewish community in Europe was


so decentralized and diffuse in its views and allegiance” than that in
Germany, Dippel continues that “the interesting fact remains that … the
message conveyed during the first Nazi years was essentially the same:
Except for the young and the rootless, emigration was not the answer;
for better or worse, their destiny still lay in Germany, where the Jews had
lived and endured for centuries.”5
These are important points when juxtaposed alongside the additional
fact that countries outside Nazi Germany after 1933 did not want to
accept Jews as immigrants. When considered globally there are perhaps
four possible reasons for this—and these, whether individually or in com-
bination, presented few options for German Jews as life under the Nazis
reduced their hopes of remaining in Germany.
In the first place, many countries carried a number of prejudices
toward foreigners that had been formed according to racial or eth-
nic criteria in earlier times. Second, the world in the 1930s was stag-
gering through a period of economic depression, occasioning mass
unemployment and a succession of financial crises. Opposition to all
migration, from both organized labor and the middle class, was com-
mon: the former on the ground that newly arrived migrants would work
for reduced pay that lowered industrial standards; the latter from a fear
that “migrants take jobs” and that wherever employment possibilities did
exist local workers would be crowded out.
4  P.R. BARTROP

Interwoven with these fears was the third theme running through
immigrant (read refugee) rejection: a measure of xenophobia and intoler-
ance of aliens, whereby recent arrivals would be those most likely to bear
the brunt of local animosities and prejudices—the more so if they were
visibly different or spoke a foreign language. All too frequently, foreign
arrivals were viewed as objects of suspicion, and the fears which usually
emerge from such a perception were often quick to surface.
Finally, the question of antisemitism must be examined. Since the
vast majority of refugees from Nazi Germany were Jews—indeed, many
countries such as Australia simply equated the two terms—the question
is not one that can be considered lightly. Certainly, the history of refugee
reception cannot be separated from the history of antisemitism, and in
some countries it formed the primary motivation underscoring policies
of refugee rejection. Scholarly literature relating to worldwide antisem-
itism during the interwar years is vast and covers a wide range of vari-
ables, but it is important to point out that it was only one of a number of
factors counting towards the rejection of refugee Jews from Germany in
the 1930s.6
To appreciate the motives determining how policy makers framed
their various approaches to the refugee issue, it is also important to iden-
tify the nature and impact of a number of key relationships holding sway
over their thinking: between public opinion and governments; between
immigration authorities and other government agencies; between min-
isters and bureaucrats; between these same bureaucrats and the gen-
eral public; between local Jewish communities and governments; and
between each individual state and Nazi Germany. Many questions need
to be asked: What were these relationships? How extensive were they,
and how far did they influence policy formation or execution? To what
extent can it be said that these relationships acted to the detriment or
benefit of the refugees? These questions were far from easy to answer in
the 1930s, but they all played a role, at one time or another, in deter-
mining the policy perspectives of every country that addressed the refu-
gee issue—whether forced to do so by circumstances, or voluntarily, due
to domestic initiatives.
A further introductory question needs to be tackled: When discus-
sions took place regarding refugees from Germany and Austria, who,
indeed, was to be considered in this category? In March 1938 a memo
circulating in the British Foreign Office dealt with the question by rec-
ognizing that up to this point the term “refugee” was applied “only to
1 INTRODUCTION  5

persons who have already left their country of origin and have taken ref-
uge in some foreign country.” The memo noted that within the context
of Nazi Germany the term referred to “persons who have not already left
Austria or Germany but who desire to emigrate by reason of the treat-
ment to which they are subjected on account of their political opinions
or religious beliefs.”7
This attitude was later reinforced by a leading bureaucrat in the
British Treasury, Edward Playfair, who, in a handwritten note dating
from June 1938, commented that the forthcoming conference on refu-
gees at Evian “must restrict its activities to people still in the Reich8;”
that is, those who did not formally come under the existing classifica-
tions defining refugees. The conference terms of reference, when they
were established, would incorporate this into the definition of who could
be classed as a refugee. At the same time, unavoidably, the definition also
embraced those who had, in fact, already left Germany.
Earlier, in October 1933, the League of Nations had created a new
office, the High Commissioner for Refugees (Jewish and Other) from
Germany. This supplemented, but did not replicate, the existing Nansen
International Office for Refugees, established by the League in 1930.
The League already had a long history of taking care of refugees, start-
ing with its High Commission for Refugees under the direction of the
Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen as early as 1921. The Nansen Office did a
great deal of work on behalf of Russian and Armenian refugees through-
out the 1920s, and by the time Adolf Hitler came to power at the end of
January 1933 it was obvious to many that this was the organization that
would assist those forced out by the Nazis. As historian Greg Burgess has
outlined, however, there were several structural problems to be found
in aligning Nansen with the refugees from Germany, foremost among
which was the fact that most of them remained German citizens carrying
German passports—and were thus not in need of the kind of help the
Nansen Office, which for the most part assisted stateless refugees, pro-
vided.9 As Burgess writes:

The German refugee “problem” was in fact a consequence of the strict


conditions of eligibility for an entry visa, the temporary residence expected
of the refugees fleeing Germany, and the prohibitions on their employ-
ment. Some may have fled without documents to prove their identities,
but as far as their countries of asylum were concerned, the diplomatic
6  P.R. BARTROP

services of German consulates were available for them to obtain a new


passport or other necessary documents.10

The altogether different circumstances, therefore, coupled with the


essential raison d’être of the Nansen Office—and the likelihood that Nazi
antisemitic measures would intensify—saw a need to create an entirely
new organization, under League auspices, that could meet the changed
situation. It was within this context that the League established the High
Commissioner for Refugees from Germany (Jewish and Other) Coming
from Germany, with an American diplomat, James G. McDonald, as
High Commissioner.11 The mandate of the High Commission was
broadened in 1938 to include Austria and the Sudetenland.
By the time of the Anschluss, therefore, there were two League bodies
dealing with refugees, one of them focusing specifically on refugees from
Nazi Germany. The High Commissioner’s role, however, was often com-
promised by a general lack of interest from the major power-broker s at
the League. Try as he might, McDonald became increasingly frustrated
by the lack of support—practical, moral, and financial—and in expressing
his futility he resigned his post on December 27, 1935. He would return
to refugee work in 1938 when he was appointed as a special adviser to
Myron Taylor, the United States delegate to the Evian Conference.
McDonald was replaced as High Commissioner in February 1936
by a former British general, Sir Neill Malcolm, who, though an effec-
tive administrator, faced the same difficulties as McDonald in trying to
achieve more on behalf of the German Jews. The climate of crisis was
opportune, therefore, for yet another organization or initiative that
could exert pressure on the nations of the world to provide effective
action. The result, in March 1938, would see the United States take a
lead by issuing an invitation to a number of countries to meet in order to
exchange ideas and information, with a view to ascertaining what might
be done. Before the year was out, the Evian Conference had met; a new
Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees had convened in London;
the League of Nations High Commission on Refugees Coming from
Germany and the Nansen Office had been dissolved; and a new, broad-
based, High Commission for Refugees had been created.
Within what therefore appeared to be a general confusion in the field
of refugee-relief activities lay a further problem. Although many spoke
of a “refugee crisis,” as it surely was, all the nations of the world formed
their policies in accordance with their existing priorities and interests.
1 INTRODUCTION  7

No-one could foresee the Holocaust that was to come, and thus the
sense of humanitarian urgency was less pressing than it would become in
later years. And herein lay a major element embedded within any assess-
ment of the refugee problem in Europe prior to the outbreak of war in
September 1939: every country in the world was formulating and admin-
istering an immigration or refugee policy—not a rescue-from-the-Holocaust
policy. No-one holding senior office during the 1930s, in any major state
(including Nazi Germany), envisaged the Holocaust that would emerge
within eighteen months of the outbreak of war.12 Historians cannot see
around corners, and no truer claim can be made than that our long dis-
tant past was, once upon a time, someone else’s far distant future. As the
chapters that follow will show, no country addressing the Jewish refugee
issue between March and July 1938 was prepared to view the problem
in any terms other than its own, prompted by the various fears and con-
cerns mentioned earlier. Thus, when it came to addressing the situation
in an international gathering convened to discuss what to do next, the
only concrete proposal was to keep talking while at the same time not
compromising the existing direction in which governments had already
been heading.
Astonishingly, until now there have been no studies that have exam-
ined the Evian Conference in detail. The most thorough investiga-
tion has probably been a lengthy article from 1968 by Israeli historian
Salomon Adler-Rudel,13 and while a number of shorter pieces have
appeared from time to time, nothing is as detailed.14 The year 2015
saw the publication in France of La Conférence de la Honte, Évian, juil-
let 1938: une incroyable page d’histoire enfin révélée, by Raphaël Delpard.
Despite its subtitle (“an incredible page of history finally revealed”),
only three chapters (and an appendix) in a 22-chapter book deal directly
with the conference; the rest of the work is background, lead-up, and
aftermath.15
References to the conference appear in a vast number of other studies,
however, relating to the refugee crisis, or the Holocaust, or studies of the
immigration policies of various countries. Many of these works appear
in the endnotes in this volume; often they give only a glimpse into the
Evian Conference, but sometimes they are quite detailed and, thankfully,
extend for many pages.
It is remarkable that it has taken until now for a monograph-length
study of the Evian Conference to appear. The obvious question—
why?—could be answered if we look at the most frequent conclusion
8  P.R. BARTROP

people draw when considering Evian; namely, that it was a “failed” con-
ference, unsuccessful in its aim of rescuing the Jews of Germany from the
Holocaust. If the conference was unsuccessful, it can therefore be dis-
missed; if it “failed,” it is a great pity, of course, but in the long term this
was of little consequence.
As this book will show, however, the conference was inordinately suc-
cessful in meeting its core objectives. Further, the participants need to be
understood within the context of their time, not through the lens of the
Holocaust-to-come. On this understanding, it will be seen that an exam-
ination of Evian offers an extremely rich and insightful glimpse into a
collective international mindset during a specific period of emergency in
world history; a time after which all previous certainties would be altered
forever.

Notes
1. Barnet Litvinoff (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, Series
B, Papers, vol. II, December 1931–April 1952, New Brunswick (NJ):
Transaction, 1984, p. 102.
2. In an already large scholarly literature, see the following: H.I. Bach, The
German Jew: A Synthesis of Judaism and Western Civilization, 1730–1930,
Oxford: Oxford University Press/Littman Library, 1984; Deborah
Hertz, How Jews became Germans: The History of Conversion and
Assimilation in Berlin, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007; Peter
Pulzer, Jews and the German State: The Political History of a Minority,
1848–1933, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003; and Uriel Tal,
Christians and Jews in Germany: Religion, Politics, and Ideology in the
Second Reich, 1870–1914, Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 1975.
For an introduction to the question of antisemitism in Germany prior
to the ascent of Nazism, see Paul Massing, Rehearsal for Destruction: A
Study of Political Anti-Semitism in Imperial Germany, New York: Harper,
1949; Peter Pulzer, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany
and Austria, Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 1988; and
Shulamit Volkov, Germans, Jews, and Antisemites: Trials in Emancipation,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. A useful introduction to
the pre-Nazi period in Austria can be found in William O. McCagg Jr.,
A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670–1918, Bloomington: Indiana University
Press, 1989.
3. See Tim Grady, The German-Jewish Soldiers of the First World War in
History and Memory, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011.
1 INTRODUCTION  9

4. John V.H. Dippel, Bound Upon a Wheel of Fire: Why So Many German
Jews Made the Tragic Decision to Remain in Nazi Germany, New York:
Basic Books, 1996, p. xix.
5. Ibid., p. xx.
6. Rather than recite a long list of studies on the history of antisemitism, it
is more appropriate here to mention just a few introductory works that
begin to approach what is, in reality, a massive topic. See especially John
Weiss, The Politics of Hate: Anti-Semitism, History, and the Holocaust in
Modern Europe, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2003; George Mosse, Toward the
Final Solution: A History of European Racism, New York: Howard Fertig,
1978; and William I. Brustein, Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe
before the Holocaust, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. For
an introduction to the theoretical and conceptual dimensions of modern
antisemitism, see Helen Fein (ed.), The Persisting Question: Sociological
Perspectives and Social Contexts of Modern Antisemitism, Berlin: Walter de
Gruyter, 1987. A number of excellent essays considering the background
to anti-foreigner rejection of refugees can be found in Frank Caestecker
and Bob Moore (ed.), Refugees from Nazi Germany and the Liberal
European States, New York: Berghahn, 2010.
7. The National Archives, Kew (hereafter TNA), DO 35, file 716/M576/1,
draft memorandum (unsigned) from Foreign Office circulated to
Dominions Office, March 1938.
8. TNA, T 160/842, handwritten note on file from E.W. Playfair
(Treasury), June 7, 1938 (emphasis in text).
9. Greg Burgess, The League of Nations and the Refugees from Nazi
Germany: James G. McDonald and Hitler’s Victims, London:
Bloomsbury, 2016, p. 49.
10. Ibid.
11. The definitive account of McDonald’s tenure as High Commissioner
is to be found in his edited papers for the relevant period. See Richard
Breitman, Barbara McDonald Stewart, and Severin Hochberg (ed.),
Advocate for the Doomed: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald,
1932–1935, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.
12. The question of “who knew what and when” has generated controversy
for decades, and debates still surface. See, for example, the arguments
in Martin Gilbert, Auschwitz and the Allies, London: Michael Joseph/
Rainbird, 1981; Walter Laqueur, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the
Truth about Hitler’s “Final Solution,” London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
1980; Theodore S. Hamerow, Why We Watched: Europe, America, and the
Holocaust, New York: Norton, 2008; and Monty Noam Penkower, The
Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and the Holocaust, Urbana:
University of Illinois Press, 1983. For a revisionist argument contending
10  P.R. BARTROP

that nothing more could have been achieved than was already being done
during the war, see William D. Rubinstein, The Myth of Rescue: Why the
Democracies could not have Saved more Jews from the Nazis, London:
Routledge, 1997.
13. S. Adler-Rudel, “The Evian Conference on the Refugee Question,” Leo
Baeck Institute Year Book, vol. XIII (1968), pp. 235–273.
14. See, for example, the near-contemporaneous article by Eric Estorick,
“The Evian Conference and the Intergovernmental Committee,” Annals
of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 203, no. 1
(May 1939), pp. 136–141. For its time, this was an excellent short
account contained much good primary material.
15. Raphaël Delpard, La Conférence de la Honte, Évian, juillet 1938: une
incroyable page d’histoire enfin révélée, Paris: Michalon, 2015.
CHAPTER 2

Roosevelt Calls the Meeting

No country would be expected or asked to receive a greater number of emigrants


than is permitted by its existing legislation.
United States State Department invitation (The National Archives, Kew
(hereafter TNA), DO 35, file 716/M576/1, memorandum to His Majesty’s
Government in the United Kingdom from the Embassy of the United States,
London, March 24, 1938.).

Abstract  This chapter examines the origins of the Evian Conference of


July 1938. Showing that it was the initiative of United States President
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the chapter examines the domestic political
stimulus behind his calling of the meeting in the immediate aftermath
of the German invasion of Austria in March 1938. The chapter analyses
the wording of the invitation to selected nations of the world to attend
the projected conference to discuss the Jewish refugee problem, and
what this wording signified. The chapter places the idea of the confer-
ence within the context of its time, showing that it was not intended to
open up immigration for refugees but, rather, to discuss the policies of
the various countries that would be attending the meeting once it was
convened.

Keywords  Roosevelt · Invitation · Refugees · Conference

© The Author(s) 2018 11


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_2
12  P.R. BARTROP

On March 12, 1938, Hitler’s Eighth Army marched into Austria with-
out resistance, taking over Austria in what was called the Anschluss (lit-
erally, “connection,” though more frequently referred to as “union”).
Although this had been expressly prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles
in 1919, Hitler’s expansion into his homeland drew no intervention
from the Western powers. Images from this time show Austrians greeting
German soldiers enthusiastically, treating the invaders as liberators and
excited by the prospect of joining in Germany’s economic recovery. For
most Austrians the Anschluss was very much hoped for; for others, how-
ever, it was a forced annexation—in short, an occupation.
Austria had been a place where antisemitism had thrived for a long
time. According to Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, it was in Vienna that he
first identified Jews as “others;” after the Anschluss anti-Jewish measures
would be introduced in Austria on an unimagined scale. Within weeks
the new Nazi regime imposed harsh laws intended to introduce and
entrench the legal separation of Jews from all aspects of Austrian society.
Measures were instituted designed to encourage mass emigration; these
included arrests and beatings, together with public humiliation—for
example, through forcing Jewish men and women to clean streets using a
toothbrush while being subjected to venomous taunts by onlookers. The
first six weeks of Nazi rule saw an institutionalized antisemitism that had
been developing in Germany over the previous five years now introduced
throughout Austria, with shock leading thousands of Austrian Jews to
commit suicide.1
International responses to the Anschluss were immediate, though inef-
fectual. French political life at the time, for instance, was in turmoil; the
Radical Socialist Party government of Camille Chautemps had resigned
on March 13, paving the way for a return of Léon Blum and the final
death throes of the Popular Front. Not only was France therefore in no
position to oppose the invasion; the administration, with other concerns
domestically, made no official comment.2 The Vatican supported an
independent Catholic Austria and denounced the Anschluss. In Britain,
a policy of appeasing the dictators had already led to the resignation in
February 1938 of the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, paving the way
for an unopposed Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to consent to
what, in his view, were Adolf Hitler’s legitimate demands.3
American responses were conditioned by a long-standing policy
preference of isolation from European affairs that dated from the First
World War. As such, all United States positions regarding Germany (and
2  ROOSEVELT CALLS THE MEETING  13

Europe generally) were marked by pronounced hesitancy, informed by


American cultural biases, internal political developments, media cover-
age, and, in the case of the Jews, an unhealthy antisemitism.
After the First World War, many Americans believed that turning
inward and staying out of world affairs would insulate their nation from
conflict and war. This isolationism was reinforced by the advent of the
Great Depression, and further buttressed by a profound sense of xeno-
phobia, the intense dislike and distrust of anyone or anything deemed
“foreign.”
It was no surprise, then, that the United States Congress began enact-
ing legislation as early as 1921, as a direct response to America’s involve-
ment in the First World War, curtailing immigration. The Immigration
Act of 1924 further limited arrivals, and, because of the way the Act
was structured, it severely restricted the acceptance of applications from
southern and Eastern Europe—the very region where millions of Jews
resided.
From a political standpoint, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
stood little to gain but much to lose if he moved too hastily on the issue
of immigration and Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, and it is in this
context that consideration must be given as to why it was that in March
1938 he sent out an invitation to a large group of selected countries to
attend a conference that would determine the disposition of tens (if not
hundreds) of thousands of German and Austrian Jews seeking to flee
Nazi persecution.
Roosevelt’s motives in calling such a conference appear to have ema-
nated from his desire to deflect some sectors of American public opin-
ion which were beginning to lean towards a liberalization of immigration
regulations. By taking the initiative globally, he could show that the
United States was playing a leading role in trying to find a holistic solu-
tion to the refugee issue, and that the problem was not to be deposited
onto any specific countries. This deflection would take the form of a
new organization that would discuss the best ways to manage refugee
resettlement.
United States policy had hitherto already been under considerable
strain just dealing with refugees from Germany,4 but now, with an addi-
tional 181,882 Austrian Jews (167,249 of whom resided in Vienna) to
take into account, the potential for a humanitarian disaster loomed large.
The Anschluss thus forced Roosevelt’s hand, aggravating an issue that
was already growing out of hand.
14  P.R. BARTROP

American scholar David Wyman, in an important study from 1968,


concludes that Roosevelt was motivated by concerns other than sympa-
thy when calling the conference.5 As he shows, Time magazine, assess-
ing Roosevelt’s initiative in calling a conference on refugees, concluded
that this was an expression of U.S. disapproval of the way in which Nazi
Germany was treating its Jews.6 Perhaps this was true; certainly, it pre-
sented an opportunity to offer some measure of condemnation without
saying so explicitly. On the other hand, there was little doubt, either at
home or abroad, that the international refugee question could not be
solved other than through the United States taking the lead. Existing
international bodies were unable to deal with the situation, and no
other country had the capacity (or, presumably, the will) to take charge
unilaterally.7
Moreover, strong evidence exists to the effect that the initiative did
not actually originate with Roosevelt, but with the State Department—
in particular, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Under Secretary Sumner
Welles, and Assistant Secretary George S. Messersmith. As Wyman
shows, it was far preferable for the United States to be proactive in the
matter—in the words of Cordell Hull, “to get out in front and attempt
to guide” the direction in which discussions would lead—than in being
forced into a situation that could be to America’s detriment.8 Hull
was quite explicit: in his words, it would forestall “attempts to have
[America’s] immigration laws liberalized.”9
The New York Times, for its part, was of the view that the sugges-
tion originated with Roosevelt himself, and the President did little to
disabuse readers of this view. On April 4, 1938, as shown by Richard
Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, “FDR claimed personal ownership” of
the proposal, informing Arthur Sweetser (an American member of the
permanent Secretariat of the League of Nations and an ardent peace
campaigner during the interwar years) that the idea was “my proposal,”
which he developed personally. Roosevelt told Sweetser that “it struck
me: why not get all the democracies to share the burden.”10
The wording of the invitation was crucial if Roosevelt was to please
everyone. Under America’s 1924 Immigration Act, quotas for Austria
and Germany had been separate, and he had already permitted a merger
of quota numbers for the two countries in light of the Anschluss. While
providing greater options for Austrian Jews than beforehand, though,
without any real change taking place on the ground, this had the poten-
tial of making it appear to American anti-immigration campaigners that
2  ROOSEVELT CALLS THE MEETING  15

he was increasing the quota overall. To intercept such charges, the word-
ing of the invitation made it clear that the initiative would not coerce
any state when it came to easing immigration restrictions. The directive
sent from the State Department to the United States Ambassador in the
United Kingdom, Joseph P. Kennedy, was explicit: would the govern-
ments being invited

be willing to cooperate with the Government of the United States in set-


ting up a special committee composed of representatives of a number of
governments for the purpose of facilitating the emigration from Austria,
and presumably from Germany, of political refugees. Our idea is that
whereas such representatives would be designated by the governments
concerned, any financing of the emergency emigration referred to would
be undertaken by private organizations with the respective countries.
Furthermore, it should be understood that no country would be expected
or asked to receive a greater number of immigrants than is permitted by its
existing legislation.11

No country would be expected … these were the key words. They would
return to haunt the conference and set it on a course which, for many,
was redolent of infamy in the years to come.
The statement concluded with the following explanation to the
American people of why it had been considered necessary to become
involved in this ostensibly European situation in the first place:

[The government] has been prompted to make the present proposal


because of the urgency of the problem with which the world is faced and
the necessity of speedy cooperative effort, under governmental supervision,
if widespread human suffering is to be averted.12

In an acute dissection of the invitation, Saul S. Friedman has summarized


its essence by noting that the wording established “hard principles” from
which it would prove difficult for anyone to stray. Noteworthy among
them were the following:

(1) That no particular ethnic, political, or religious group should be iden-


tified with the refugee problem or the calling of the conference; (2) that
nothing should be done to interfere with the operations of existing relief
organizations, no matter how ineffectual those organizations might be; (3)
that all assistance for refugee work should be drawn from purely voluntary
16  P.R. BARTROP

sources; and (4) that no nation should be required to amend its current
immigration laws to accommodate the refugees.13

On one other issue the wording of the invitation was notable; it did not
mention Jews at all, but, rather, “political refugees.” This was of pro-
found significance, and has been largely overlooked in discussions of the
Evian Conference. While everyone assumed the conference was about
Jews, the language from the start betrayed a key misreading of the situ-
ation. The Nazis were forcing Jews out of Germany and Austria accord-
ing to a racial category, not a political one. Referring to the refugees
as political provided Roosevelt and his advisers with a loophole they
could exploit as developments unfolded, but, as it turned out, no-one
was fooled. “Political refugees” effectively became a shorthand term for
“German and Austrian Jews” from the outset.
In one sense, this was beneficial for Roosevelt, for an open ticket on
“political refugees,” if pursued, would potentially have swelled num-
bers to completely unacceptable levels. The qualifier given in the invita-
tion, for “Austria, and presumably Germany,” limited the geographical
range from which refugees (political or racial) could come; otherwise the
intended committee would have been swamped with issues relating to
Jews from Poland, Romania, and Hungary, as well as Armenians from
the Near East and refugees from the Spanish Civil War. Limiting the dis-
cussion to Germany and Austria, and without explicitly referring to Jews,
was a master stroke perhaps unappreciated at the time.
Roosevelt’s invitation was sent to the selected countries in late March
1938. The British Foreign Office was informed that the committee to
be established once the meeting had taken place would be discussing an
issue that was of worldwide relevance. With this in mind, the invitation
to London asked whether

the British Government (on its own behalf or on behalf of the self-governing
Dominions) [would] be willing to cooperate with the Government of the
United States in setting up a Special Committee composed of representatives
of a number of Governments.14

In addition to Britain, therefore, the invitation to attend was extended


to the British Dominions—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and
South Africa—all of which at that time had only limited foreign repre-
sentation. Should they agree to attend, it would add substantially to the
2  ROOSEVELT CALLS THE MEETING  17

options for refugee resettlement, as all (save Ireland) were recognized as


immigrant-receiving countries with untapped potential for population
growth.
Overall, what did the United States invitation signify? Diplomats and
political leaders throughout the world, it could be believed, were now
breathing sighs of relief. If the United States was simultaneously lead-
ing the pack on the refugee question and at the same time saying no
change in policy was envisaged, then no-one else would—or should—be
expected to change theirs. The expectations embedded in the invitation
were therefore relatively slight. Roosevelt’s avowed justification (the alle-
viation of refugee distress) bore little resemblance to his underlying rea-
soning (to intercept any pressure that might be brought to bear against
the United States from home or overseas).
It might therefore be said that the meeting, once called, generated
hopes in some circles that did not align with the reality motivating it.
How other states might view the initiative would remain to be seen;
within the United States, however, a feeling of being let off the hook
prevailed. In a memorandum from George Messersmith to Secretary of
State Hull on March 31, 1938, the view was expressed that a number
of immigration-related bills currently under consideration in Congress
should be shelved until after Roosevelt’s intergovernmental committee
had met.15 In other words, nothing by way of a commitment should be
forthcoming, in line with the text of the invitation. If the invited coun-
tries were not expected to commit to doing anything definite beyond
their existing policies, that would most certainly also apply to the United
States.

Notes
1. For just a few insights into the Anschluss period see Dietrich Wagner
and Gerhard Tomkowitz, Anschluss: The Week Hitler Seized Vienna,
New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1971; and Evan Burr Bukey, Hitler’s
Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938–1945, Durham (NC):
University of North Carolina Press, 2000. With specific regard to the
Jews of Vienna, see especially Ilana Offenberger, The Jews of Nazi Vienna,
1938–1945: Rescue and Destruction, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave
Macmillan, 2017.
2. See Mary Antonia Wathen, The Policy of England and France towards the
“Anschluss” of 1938, Washington, DC: Catholic University of America
18  P.R. BARTROP

Press, 1954; and Martin Thomas, Britain, France and Appeasement:


Anglo-French Relations in the Popular Front Era, London: Bloomsbury,
1997.
3. The literature on Britain’s appeasement policy vis-à-vis Germany is
vast; much of it incorporates studies regarding the British response
to the Anschluss. Of many possibilities, see especially R.A.C. Parker,
Chamberlain and Appeasement: British Policy and the Coming of the
Second World War, New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1993;
and R.J.Q. Adams, British Politics and Foreign Policy in the Age of
Appeasement, 1935–1939, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993.
4. See in particular the arguments put forth in the following: Henry L.
Feingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the
Holocaust, 1938–1945, New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University Press,
1970; Saul S. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy
toward Jewish Refugees, 1938–1945, Detroit: Wayne State University
Press, 1973; David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee
Crisis, 1938–1941, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1968;
Richard Breitman and Alan M. Kraut, American Refugee Policy and
European Jewry, 1933–1945, Bloomington: Indiana University Press,
1988; and Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, FDR and the
Jews, Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 2013. For the later
period, see also Arthur D. Morse, While Six Million Died: A Chronicle
of American Apathy, New York: Hart, 1967; and David S. Wyman, The
Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941–1945, New
York: Pantheon, 1984.
5. Wyman, Paper Walls, p. 44.
6. Ibid.
7. On Britain, see A.J. Sherman, Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from
the Third Reich, 1933–1939, Berkeley: University of California Press,
1973; Louise London, Whitehall and the Jews: British Immigration Policy,
Jewish Refugees, and the Holocaust, Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2000; and (particularly for the later period) Bernard Wasserstein,
Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939–1945, Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1979. For France, the best and most comprehensive study in
English is Vicki Caron, Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee
Crisis, 1933–1942, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.
8. Wyman, Paper Walls, p. 44.
9. Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None is too Many: Canada and the Jews
of Europe, 1933–1948, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012, p. 16.
10. Breitman and Lichtman, FDR and the Jews, pp. 103–104 (emphasis in
text).
2  ROOSEVELT CALLS THE MEETING  19

11. Cordell Hull (Secretary of State) to United States Ambassador to the


United Kingdom (Joseph P. Kennedy), March 23, 1938, in United
States of America, Department of State. Foreign Relations of the United
States: Diplomatic Papers, 1938. General, vol. 1, Washington, DC, U.S.
Government Printing Office, 1938, pp. 740–741. Located at http://dig-
ital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/FRUS1938v01 (accessed June 30, 2017).
12. Ibid.
13. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed, p. 53.
14. 
TNA, DO 35, file 716/M576/1, memorandum to His Majesty’s
Government in the United Kingdom, from the Embassy of the United
States, London, March 24, 1938.
15. 
State CDF 840.48 Refugees/84/1/2, report by Undersecretary
Messersmith to Secretary Hull, March 31, 1938. In John Mendelsohn
(ed.), The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes, vol. 5:
Jewish Emigration from 1933 to the Evian Conference of 1938, Clark (NJ):
The Lawbook Exchange Co., 2010, p. 173.
CHAPTER 3

Initial Responses to the Invitation

I assume that it is on general grounds desirable to encourage and support any


United States proposal involving American interest in European affairs and
any inclination to co-operate with foreign governments, however ‘half-baked’ a
particular proposal may in its inception appear.
Roger Makins, British Foreign Office (The National Archives, Kew
(hereafter TNA), FO 371, file 22321, minute on cover of file by Roger Makins
(Foreign Office), March 25, 1938)

Abstract  This chapter is an examination of how the invitation to


attend an international conference on refugees was received by the vari-
ous nations of the world approached by the United States government.
It will be shown that there was both equivocation and suspicion by
many countries, though a near-universal acceptance in spite of the con-
cerns expressed. In particular, the British government and the British
Dominions were ambivalent; the former on account of an ongoing con-
cern that the Palestine Mandate would not be compromised, the lat-
ter because they did not want to be forced into taking large numbers
of Jewish refugees. The chapter shows that there was a range of inter-
est shown globally, but that in all cases it was agreed that the meeting
should go ahead provided it would not force them into acting prema-
turely or against their interests.

© The Author(s) 2018 21


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_3
22  P.R. BARTROP

Keywords  British · Palestine mandate · Immigration · Refugees

There is no doubt that American hopes for a successful conference rested


on the participation of Britain more than any of the European or Latin
American countries. Britain was still a predominant world power, a vic-
tor from the First World War which, unlike France, had not been bled
white, and it still commanded the sea lanes by which a refugee outflow
from Germany would proceed. Moreover, London was the metropolis
commanding the largest empire the world had ever seen, occupying one-
quarter of the globe’s surface—much of it perceived to be vast, unoc-
cupied territory (notwithstanding the fact that large parts of the Empire
were actually uninhabitable).1 Britain held the key as to whether or not
the gathering would stand or fall.
The immediate attitude of the British Foreign Office was expressed by
a senior official, Roger Makins, on March 25, 1938. His major concern
about the proposed conference was that it could encourage the German
government to intensify its persecution of the Jews if it was shown that
the countries of the world were prepared to open their doors to refugees.
And not only the German government: “Other European countries with
surplus populations, and particularly Poland and Roumania, may well
intensify the persecution of Jews and others whom they do not want in the
hope of getting rid of them.”2 Makins concluded that “Unless great cau-
tion is exercised, the constitution of the committee may … make the refu-
gee problem even worse than it is at present.”3 Despite this, the British
Empire “should as far as possible present a united front,” and for this rea-
son “we ought to urge the Dominions to do all they can to bring this
about.”4
Later the same day the first attempt at achieving such cooperation
was made when the Foreign Office suggested to the Treasury and the
Home, Colonial, and Dominions Offices that an interdepartmental
meeting take place to discuss the questions raised by the American pro-
posal.5 This meeting took place a few days later, Makins representing
the Foreign Office and W.J. Garnett, a specialist on migration matters,
representing the Dominions Office. The result was a lengthy memoran-
dum which, with a few amendments, was transmitted to the American
government on March 30. The gist was relatively simple; the U.S. initia-
tive was welcomed, but it should not detract from the work of existing
3  INITIAL RESPONSES TO THE INVITATION  23

refugee agencies such as the League of Nations High Commission for


Refugees Coming from Germany. Makins’s concerns about appeas-
ing Germany over refugee migration were shared by others present at
the meeting, with general agreement reached regarding the likelihood
of increased antisemitism from other countries. Doubt as to the suc-
cess of Roosevelt’s initiative was strong, though the meeting concluded
that the British government should “gladly accept the proposals in the
United States memorandum.”6 Despite this, there was “little prospect of
the Dom[inion]s or Col[onie]s being able to help materially in finding
homes for the refugees,” the Foreign Office anticipating that this would
be “the general reaction of all nations participating.”7
Several of the countries that had not been invited were, indeed, over-
looked on account of their record regarding Jews, or for reasons that
spoke poorly of their credentials as good global citizens. Among these
were Poland, Hungary, and Romania (all countries with large Jewish
populations and recent records of anti-Jewish harassment), as well as
Greece and Turkey (both still suffering from the residual effects of try-
ing to absorb hundreds of thousands of their compatriots forcibly trans-
ferred after the First World War). Spain, then in the midst of a bloody
civil war that had generated a huge refugee crisis of its own, was also not
invited. Portugal, under the fascist government of António Salazar, did
not receive an invitation to attend,8 nor did Ireland.9
The Soviet Union did not see any need to attend the conference, sus-
pecting an ambush from the United States that might put pressure on
Moscow to take back large numbers of White Russian émigrés from the
time of the Russian Revolution.10 Further, as shown by Peter Hayes,
the Soviet Union throughout the 1930s took in next to no Jewish refu-
gees, other than “a handful of ranking Jewish communists.” Jews from
Germany were deemed to be “unsuited to life in an unfamiliar social-
ist society and, in any case, not the USSR’s responsibility, since their
persecution was a product of capitalist quarreling.” And then, from
September 1935 onwards, any Jews who did apply the enter the Soviet
Union “had to satisfy several discouraging and, at least in part, mutu-
ally contradictory preconditions: proletarian ancestry, possession of sub-
stantial amounts of money, and willingness to become Soviet citizens and
perform manual labor on construction sites in northern or eastern parts
of the USSR.”11 The Soviet Union, in short, would never be a peacetime
haven for Jews seeking refuge from Nazism, and was to play no part in
proceedings before the outbreak of war in 1939.
24  P.R. BARTROP

The role of Italy was going to be important, given that it was a


fascist power allied to Nazi Germany. If negotiations went well, it might
be able to bring some influence to bear on Hitler to tone down his anti-
semitic excesses. As early as March 25, however, the British Ambassador
in Rome, Lord Perth, cabled the Foreign Office that he had spoken to
the Italian Foreign Minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, about the American
proposal for a conference on refugees. Ciano informed him that “the
United States should not expect a favourable reply” from Italy, and that
Lord Perth should realize that because “political refugees from Austria
would be likely to be opposed to [the] Italian fascist regime,” they were
undesirable.12 No mention was made of Jews.
Britain’s willingness to attend the conference was at first condi-
tioned by how the Foreign Office assessed world opinion. An interde-
partmental meeting that took place on March 30 resulted in a minute
from W.J. Garnett of the Dominions Office that Britain would “express
sympathy with the idea underlying the purpose & a willingness to be
represented on the proposed Cttee,” but noted that the Foreign Office
suspected that the United States, “having floated the idea and taken
credit for it,” would “leave the task” of assisting refugees “to someone
else.”13 Echoing the misgivings of other states, it was also noted with
concern that the establishment of the proposed committee “might
encourage anti-Semitic states to intensify their efforts to rid themselves
of their Jewish populations at the expense of other countries.”14 In this
sense, Roger Makins had already noted that the United States had not
extended its invitation to Poland and Romania; the U.S. had “even
excluded Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, which border upon Austria.”15
On April 1 the British government informed the Dominion coun-
tries—Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland—that
an official communique of acceptance and cooperation was about to
be issued,16 and this was duly communicated to the United States the
same day. Within a week Sir Ronald Lindsay, the British Ambassador
in Washington, was able to report to London that “the Governments
of the following countries have replied favourably to the United States
Government’s proposals: Belgium, France, Sweden, Brazil, Colombia,
the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Hayti [sic], Mexico, Nicaragua,
Paraguay, Peru, Salvador, and Uruguay.”17
The French government was among the first to embrace Roosevelt’s
invitation. Although the American President had hoped his conference
would be held in Switzerland, the Swiss had a number of reasons for
3  INITIAL RESPONSES TO THE INVITATION  25

declining—not the least of which was that hosting an international gath-


ering on refugees would undermine the work of the League of Nations
High Commission, based in Geneva.18 The Swiss government also, it
has been observed, “feared drawing attention to their own increasingly
restrictive refugee policies.”19
For Roosevelt, France would be the next best option, and the French
agreed immediately. This, in the words of historian Vicky Caron, was
“almost certainly because [Léon] Blum was still premier and because his
foreign minister, Joseph Paul-Boncour, had always been sympathetic to
the refugees.”20 With equal speed, the French chose the spa town clos-
est to the Swiss border in the French Alps, Évian-les-Bains, as the loca-
tion for the meeting. From the start, however, the French knew where
to draw the line: the Foreign Ministry proclaimed there was no possibil-
ity of France “admitting an important contingent of immigrants into the
metropolitan territory in a permanent capacity,”21 though some refugees
might be settled in French overseas colonies.
The Latin American countries more or less fell in lock step behind the
United States. Brazil, which preferred to deal with the Jewish refugee
issue quietly and away from the glare of any publicity that could force a
liberalization of policy, found itself dragged along with the other Latin
American states in the wake of Roosevelt’s invitation. As Jeffrey Lesser,
who has made an important study of the Brazilian response to the refu-
gee crisis, has written: “Brazil found that it could no longer resolve the
Jewish Question behind closed doors,” and would now “be forced to
make public statements and deal with the consequences.”22 At Evian,
Lesser writes, this would lead ultimately to Brazil, “more than any other
nation,” targeted “as the prime area for refugee resettlement.”23
The other great Latin American land with settlement prospects,
Argentina, agreed at first in principle to attend the conference, but was
concerned to ensure that it would not be strong-armed into allowing the
entry of refugees pell-mell: it hoped that the committee “would devote
itself especially to arranging for political refugees to fulfil the necessary
legal requirements of each of the countries in which they may wish to
establish themselves.”24 Under such circumstances, the government of
Argentina agreed to attend only on the ground that all legal conditions
for immigration would be respected and that each case would be assessed
on its merits.
In Britain, too, there were certain conditions that had to be met
before the government would give its wholehearted commitment.
26  P.R. BARTROP

The most important of these related to the position of Britain’s Palestine


Mandate. Indeed, the British government had misgivings throughout
March and April about the whole conference, preferring to utilize the
already existing League of Nations High Commission when dealing with
refugee issues. Further, the prospect of representatives from the private
organizations at Evian making disquieting noises about Palestine as a
Jewish haven caused consternation; issues involving Palestine generally
were problematical enough, without the added complication of Britain
being forced into unwanted obligations from the conference. Concern
was so great, in fact, that it led to an insistence from the British delega-
tion that the President of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Dr. Chaim
Weizmann, not be permitted to address the delegates, even privately.25
British attendance might well even have been contingent upon Palestine
not being raised at all in any official capacity.
The British colonial empire would also be out of bounds as a topic for
discussion, and was quite deliberately barely raised. Instructions to the
British delegation, once it was established, were quite explicit, as summa-
rized by historian A.J. Sherman:

any possibility of Jewish immigration into the colonies in the West Indies,
British Honduras or British Guiana should be kept out of the discussions;
prior consideration for settlement in these territories had to be given to
excess populations in several West Indian islands. With the exception of
Palestine, there were no general restrictions on the entry of Europeans
to colonial territories, but intending immigrants would have to demon-
strate definite prospects of employment, or other means of subsistence;
there would in any case be few openings in the colonies for town dwellers
engaged in commerce and industry—the category to which most German
and Austrian refugees belonged.26

Where agricultural settlement in the colonies was considered, the


British delegation was advised to tread warily; only Kenya and Northern
Rhodesia seemed in any way viable, and even then only for a very limited
number of refugees. The delegates were instructed not to give undue
publicity to these territories as possibilities for agricultural settlement so
as to avoid embarrassment to the Colonial Office or the governments of
Kenya and Northern Rhodesia.27
And what of the self-governing Dominions? Despite the immediate
interest coming from many other countries, the Dominions were initially
3  INITIAL RESPONSES TO THE INVITATION  27

reluctant until they learned first what Britain’s response would be. The
Canadians were never more than lukewarm; the Australians responded
cautiously, though aware of the meeting’s importance. New Zealand said
it would send a representative (though with reservations), but South
Africa, while sending an observer in order to remain in touch with inter-
national developments, refused to attend.
Australia first heard officially about the American proposal when R.A.
Wiseman of the Dominions Office sent a letter to the Australian High
Commissioner in London, S.M. Bruce, on April 1, 1938.28 Wiseman
wrote that the British government was favorably disposed to the idea of
a gathering on German refugees, which helped the Australian govern-
ment make its decision—as also was the understanding that any financing
of emergency migration would be undertaken by private organizations
and that (as stated above) “no country would be expected to receive a
greater number of immigrants than is permitted by its existing legisla-
tion.” By April 8 the Australian position was set: a cable sent from Prime
Minister J.A. Lyons to Bruce revealed that Australia was prepared to
attend, but only on the understanding that Britain was also represented.
Moreover, Lyons declared that the Australian representative would
be instructed to declare that “no special facilities can be granted for
the admission of groups of Jewish migrants whether from Germany or
Austria, … [and] each case will be considered on its merits on application
in the usual form being submitted to the Department of the Interior.”
Further, “there will in all cases be customary safeguards that admission
will not be detrimental to Australian workers.”29
One scholar has stated accurately that Australia attended the confer-
ence reluctantly30; there is every suggestion that the government, given
the chance, would have preferred to avoid the whole issue if that were
possible. But realizing that it had to attend, the Australian government
opted to do so clinging to Britain’s coat-tails, in keeping its existing
external affairs practice.
The Canadian government at no time showed even the qualified inter-
est of the Australians. As early as March 28 Frederick Charles Blair, the
Director of the Immigration Branch located in the Department of Mines
and Resources, had written that the first important matter to be decided
was “whether Canada can afford to open the doors to more Jewish peo-
ple than we are now receiving.”31 In his opinion, little would be resolved
by a meeting of the type suggested in Roosevelt’s invitation:
28  P.R. BARTROP

If, for example, our Government decides to admit 500 of these refugees
– it should be limited to Germany and Austria and to refugees – all that
is necessary to do is to put the wheels in motion and admit them. What is
done in the United States or the British Isles is not very important to us
unless as a matter of example.32

A few weeks later Blair noted that the refugee issue should not even
be seen as a problem for Canada. “No real problem exists,” he wrote,
“except for Jewish people.”33
It was not until April 26 that the government of W.L. Mackenzie
King announced that Canada would attend. The premier historians of
Canadian Jewish refugee policy, Irving Abella and Harold Troper, have
concluded that “Canada probably had no choice” but to do so,34 though
there was little doubt that Canada’s initial responses to Roosevelt’s invi-
tation were of a cautious and even suspicious nature. There was concern
that the United States would embarrass Canada into taking a specific
number of refugees, or that a gesture from the U.S. might force the
Canadians to do likewise in the face of world condemnation if they did
not. As Abella and Troper have suggested, “the Canadians felt Roosevelt
was baiting a trap.”35 The reticence of the Canadian government was
poorly hidden; Britain and the other Dominions were well aware of the
Canadian position from the start, and confused as to how committed the
Canadians were to the ideal of Imperial solidarity. From his perspective,
Mackenzie King preferred Canada to be represented at the conference in
order to be apprised of the situation and be seen to be interested, while
at the same time taking no concrete steps in favor of the refugees.
In the long run, the Dominions played a part that suited the British
government.36 South Africa did not attend, but Australia, Canada, New
Zealand, and Ireland did—a significant improvement on just Australia
and perhaps Canada (though the Foreign Office was concerned that “the
Canadian attitude at all events is unlikely to be helpful”37).
On May 26 the United States Embassy in London notified the British
government for the first time that the date of July 6 had been decided
upon for the meeting to commence, and that the Royal Hotel at Evian
had been selected as its location. From this point on the meeting was
henceforth to be referred to as an “Inter-Governmental Committee”
rather than a conference.38 To all intents and purposes, it seemed, the
President’s initiative had become (or was, at least, fast becoming) a
reality.
3  INITIAL RESPONSES TO THE INVITATION  29

There was a range of interest shown globally; some countries


embraced the idea of a meeting eagerly, while others were much more
circumspect. Britain agreed to attend as a matter of good form, but
would have preferred that it not go ahead. The Latin American coun-
tries, realizing that their interests lay in supporting the United States,
agreed to attend without hesitation, while the British Dominions were
more equivocal in their acceptance. All states, however, recognized that
the refugee issue would impact them in one way or another, and thus
understood the reason for the meeting—provided it would not force
them into acting prematurely or against their interests.

Notes
1. See Anthony Clayton, The British Empire as a Superpower, 1919–1939,
London: Macmillan, 1986.
2. TNA, FO 371, file 22321, minute on cover of file by Roger Makins (Foreign
Office), March 25, 1938. There is a certain irony in this. Makins thought
that if a conference was successful in forcing open the doors of refuge, Hitler
would be encouraged to intensify his persecution of the Jews. For decades
after the conference, the popular wisdom has been that by not opening the
doors, the nations at Evian gave Hitler the same level of encouragement.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. TNA, DO 35, file 716/M576/1, Foreign Office to B. Cockram Esq.
(Dominions Office), March 25, 1938.
6. Ibid., draft memorandum, undated, unsigned.
7. Ibid., minute on file by W.J. Garnett, March 30, 1938.
8. On Portugal, see Avraham Milgram, Portugal, Salazar, and the Jews,
Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2012.
9. The lack of a formal invitation to attend did not stop the Irish from doing
so, however; the government of Taoiseach Éamon de Valera sent Frank
T. Cremins, the Irish envoy at Geneva, in any case. See Dermot Keogh,
Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism, and the
Holocaust, Cork: Cork University Press, 1998, pp. 119–120; and Dermot
Keogh, “The Irish Free State and the Refugee Crisis, 1933–1945,” in
Paul R. Bartrop (ed.), False Havens: The British Empire and the Holocaust.
Lanham (MD): University Press of America, 1995, pp. 211–237.
10. See Saul S. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy
toward Jewish Refugees, 1938–1945, Detroit: Wayne State University
Press, 1973, p. 55; and Henry L. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue: The
Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust, 1938–1945, New Brunswick
(NJ): Rutgers University Press, 1970, p. 27.
30  P.R. BARTROP

11. Peter Hayes, Why? Explaining the Holocaust, New York: Norton, 2017,
p. 263.
12. TNA, T160/832, Lord Perth (Rome) to Foreign Office, March 25, 1938
(received 9:30 am, March 26, 1938).
13. TNA, DO 35, file 716/M576/1, covering minute for file by
W.J. Garnett, March 30, 1938.
14. Ibid.
15. TNA, FO 371, file 22321, minute on cover of file by Roger Makins (Foreign
Office), March 25, 1938.
16. TNA, DO 35, file 716/M576/1, R.A. Wiseman to the governments of
Australia and New Zealand, April 1, 1938.
17. TNA, FO 371, file 21748, Dominions Office memorandum to Foreign
Office, April 8, 1938.
18. See Georg Kreis, “Swiss Refugee Policy, 1933–1945,” in Georg Kreis
(ed.), Switzerland and the Second World War, London: Routledge, 2014,
pp. 103–131; and the earlier, definitive study by Alfred A. Häsler, The
Lifeboat is Full: Switzerland and the Refugees, 1933–1945, New York:
Funk and Wagnalls, 1969. In a memorandum to the Foreign Office
on April 8, the British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Ronald Lindsay,
wrote that “Switzerland has shown reluctance to seek [involvement in
the] conference and probably some French town would be chosen.” It
was good information, with Lindsay communicating his understanding of
what the Americans had already been discussing. See TNA, T160/842,
Sir Ronald Lindsay to Foreign Office, April 8, 1938 (received at 9:30 am,
April 9, 1938).
19. Vicki Caron, Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933–
1942, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999, p. 182.
20. Ibid., pp. 182–183.
21. Ibid., p. 183.
22. Jeffrey Lesser, Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish Question,
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995, p. 111.
23. Ibid., p. 112.
24. TNA, FO 371, 21748, C.R. Price (Dominions Office) to the Official
Secretary, Australian High Commission, London, April 8, 1938.
25. Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return: The Emergence of Jewish Statehood,
London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p. 202.
26. A.J. Sherman, Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from the Third Reich,
1933–1939, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973, p. 109.
27. Ibid., pp. 109–110. For a discussion of the colonial empire’s response
during the 1930s, see also Paul R. Bartrop, “The British Colonial Empire
and Jewish Refugees during the Holocaust Period: An Overview,” in
Bartrop, False Havens, pp. 1–19.
3  INITIAL RESPONSES TO THE INVITATION  31

28. TNA, DO 35, file 716/M576/1, R.A. Wiseman (Dominions Office) to


the High Commissioner for Australia,London, April 1, 1938.
29. NAA A461, file M349/3/5 Part 1, “Jews—Policy Part 1,” cablegram
from J.A. Lyons to S.M. Bruce, April 8, 1938.
30. Andrew Markus, “Jewish Migration to Australia 1938–1949,” Journal of
Australian Studies, no. 13 (November 1983), p. 21.
31. LAC, RG 76, vol. 432, 644452, pt. 1, memorandum from F.C. Blair to
Thomas Crerar, March 28, 1938.
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid., memorandum for file written by F.C. Blair, April 19, 1938.
34. Irving Abellaand Harold Troper, “`The line must be drawn somewhere:’
Canada and Jewish Refugees, 1933–1939,” Canadian Historical Review,
vol. 60, no. 2 (June 1979), p. 188.
35. Ibid.
36. Very little work of a comparative nature has been done on the refugee
policies of the British Dominions at the time of the Evian Conference.
A beginning can be found in Paul R. Bartrop, “The Dominions and the
Evian Conference, 1938: A Lost Chance or a Golden Opportunity?” in
Paul R. Bartrop (ed.), False Havens: The British Empire and the Holocaust,
Lanham (MD): University Press of America, 1995, pp. 53–78; and
Paul R. Bartrop, “Indifference of the Heart: Canada, Australia and the
Evian Conference of 1938,” Australian–Canadian Studies, vol. 6, no 2
(1989), pp. 57–74. The attitudes and policies of the other Dominions
can be found only in specialist works focusing on the individual coun-
tries. See, for example, the following: Irving Abella and Harold Troper,
None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933 to 1948, New
York: Random House, 1982; Ann Beaglehole, A Small Price to Pay:
Refugees from Hitler in New Zealand, 1936–1946, Wellington: Allen
and Unwin, 1988; Keogh, Jews in Twentieth-Century Ireland; Dermot
Keogh, Ireland and Europe, 1919–1948, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan,
1988; Frieda Sichel, From Refugee to Citizen: A Sociological Study of the
Immigrants from Hitler-Europe who Settled in Southern Africa, Cape
Town: A.A. Balkema, 1966; Gideon Shimoni, Jews and Zionism: The
South African Experience (1910–1967), Cape Town: Oxford University
Press, 1980; Gerhard P. Bassler, Sanctuary Denied: Refugees from the
Third Reich and Newfoundland Immigration Policy 1906–1949, St.
John’s: Institute of Social and Economic Research, 1992; and Paul R.
Bartrop, Australia and the Holocaust, 1933–1945, Melbourne: Australian
Scholarly Publishing, 1994.
32  P.R. BARTROP

37. TNA, DO 35, file 705/M529/20, Foreign Office minute by Roger


Makins, June 13, 1938.
38. TNA, FO 371, file 21748, Herschel V. Johnson (Counsellor, Embassy of the
United States of America, London) to Viscount Halifax (Foreign Secretary,
His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom), May 26, 1938.
CHAPTER 4

The Big Three: Taylor, Berenger, Winterton

Official diplomacy must carry on in the world as it is, and not in the world as it
should be.
Daniele Varè (Daniele Varè, The Handbook of the Perfect Diplomat, cited in James
O. Mays, “Extracts from The Handbook of the Perfect Diplomat,” Foreign Service
Journal, vol. 50, no. 1 (January 1973), pp. 4–6)

Abstract  This chapter profiles the three men who would dominate the
forthcoming meeting at Evian: Myron C. Taylor of the United States,
Henry Bérenger of France, and Lord Winterton of the United Kingdom.
It will be shown that the three leaders each possessed individual back-
grounds and life experiences, but that each, in their own way, were suited
to represent their country’s interest at the conference. Further, the chap-
ter examines why their respective governments could rely on them to
convey an appropriate tone in acting for the interests of their countries.
Finally, the chapter makes clear that the three leaders were never going
to be able to provide a solution to the refugee problem in view of the
fact that this was not within their brief.

Keywords  Myron C. Taylor · Henry Bérenger · Lord Winterton

© The Author(s) 2018 33


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_4
34  P.R. BARTROP

Although the conference at Evian attracted delegates from dozens of


countries and scores of private organizations, it was dominated by three
men—the representatives of the United States, France, and Britain.
Myron Taylor, from the United States, represented the state that issued
the invitation; Henry Bérenger, from France, acted as host; and Edward
Turnour, the 6th Earl Winterton, spoke for Britain. On these men the
conference would succeed or fail; on the strength of their performance it
would either be effective in meeting Roosevelt’s aims, or crash and burn.
The conference would, to a large extent, see these men—none of
whom had experience in refugee or immigration matters, and two of
whom (Taylor and Winterton) were not event professional diplomats—
preside over an initiative that considered an idealistic vision rather than
one cognisant of how the real world operated. They brought with them
varied life experiences, and their suitability to act at a gathering such as
Evian would be tested. And while representing their governments, it
could be said that they compromised their responsibilities with regard to
the refugees they were ostensibly seeking to assist.

Myron Taylor
Myron Charles Taylor was born to a Quaker family on January 18, 1874,
in Lyons, New York. Studying law at Cornell Law School, he graduated
in 1894 and was admitted to the New York Bar the following year. He
ran for the New York State Assembly as a Democrat on two occasions,
but was defeated at each attempt. In 1900 he moved to New York City
and began a legal practice on Wall Street, specializing in corporate law.
After some success as an attorney he entered the world of tex-
tile manufacturing. He started by securing struggling cotton mills in
Massachusetts, modernized their plant and equipment, and reorganized
the routine of those working there. Over time his methods led to him
becoming a millionaire manufacturer, and in 1912 he amalgamated a
number of his factory holdings into a larger conglomerate, International
Cotton Mills, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
The First World War saw a further boost to Taylor’s fortunes, as his
factories won a number of lucrative U.S. government contracts supplying
the American military. Then, with the end of the war and anticipating a
downturn in the economy, he offloaded most of his factory interests and
moved into banking and railroads.
4  THE BIG THREE: TAYLOR, BERENGER, WINTERTON  35

In 1925 Taylor was persuaded by J. Pierpont Morgan, Jr. and George


F. Baker, two leading Wall Street bankers, to help them turn around
the finances of the U.S. Steel Corporation. Morgan’s father, J. Pierpont
Morgan, Sr., had been one of the founders of the company back in 1901,
when it was established through the combination of Andrew Carnegie’s
Carnegie Steel Company with Elbert H. Gary’s Federal Steel Company
and William Henry “Judge” Moore’s National Steel Company. It
became the world’s first billion-dollar corporation, largest steel producer,
and largest corporation overall.
In order to maintain its position in the uncertain climate of the early
1920s, Morgan agreed to become chairman of U.S. Steel’s board on
the proviso that Taylor was brought on as a director and member of its
powerful finance committee. This took place on September 15, 1925,
and within two years Taylor was the committee chairman. He reduced
company debt from $400 million to $60 million within three years, and
stabilized the corporation sufficiently to enable it to survive the Great
Depression.
In 1932 Morgan stepped aside, and between March 29, 1932 and
April 5, 1938 Taylor served as U.S. Steel’s chairman and chief executive
officer. In 1930 he instituted a program of sharing work so that every
employee kept a job even if only for two or three days a week. During
the course of 1932, the worst year of the Depression, Taylor spent over
$16 million in direct relief to employees as partial compensation for
their reduced work time and wages. His far-sightedness during this dif-
ficult time saw a positive relationship develop between management
and the unions. In 1937 he recognized the Steel Workers’ Organizing
Committee and permitted a form of collective bargaining. He was not
personally a supporter of unions, but with a slow recovery in the steel
industry emerging he saw a need to negotiate a future that would enable
all sides to weather the economic storm.1 While gains for the unionists
were limited, the steel workers nonetheless did manage to achieve some
slight improvement in wages and working conditions. This provoked
opposition from other industry heads, who felt Taylor and U.S. Steel
had sold out; the upshot, however, saw the survival of the company and
continued work for its employees. U.S. Steel, the first major industrial
company in America to unionize, prospered, and Taylor became noticed
beyond the boardroom and the stock market.
In early 1938, tired from long years administering the world’s larg-
est corporation, Taylor retired from U.S. Steel. Almost immediately
36  P.R. BARTROP

President Roosevelt, with whom Taylor had had many dealings, turned
to him to be America’s representative at the forthcoming international
conference on refugees to be held in Europe. Roosevelt saw in him a
competent administrator who could serve his purposes by standing out-
side the traditional State Department establishment, and who could
therefore act independently—and, it was hoped, in accordance with
Roosevelt’s preferences. His experience in intergovernmental and immi-
gration issues was negligible, but he understood well the skills of nego-
tiation and possessed a keen intellect and generosity of spirit. Perhaps,
thought Roosevelt, Taylor’s Quaker background could also be brought
into play at some point. His performance at the conference would be
crucial in helping Roosevelt achieve his aims; to assist him, the President
gave him the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary, and
provided him with two advisers on technical matters, Robert Pell, of the
State Department’s Division of European Affairs, and George Brandt,
formerly head of the State Department’s Visa Division.2
After the conference, Taylor remained among Roosevelt’s favorites
and confidantes. On December 22, 1939, the President asked him to
serve as his personal envoy to Pope Pius XII and the Vatican, a role he
would play until his retirement in 1950.
By nature, Myron Taylor was known to be somewhat reserved, with a
caution that many took for aloofness. He never sought public accolades
for the work in which he engaged, preferring to put honor before hon-
ors. He might even have been taken for an introvert who forced himself
to confront the many daily situations in which he found himself. It took
him until after his 32nd birthday before he married; when he did, it was
to Anabel Stuart Mack, the daughter of a shipping magnate, on February
21, 1906. The marriage would be childless, but devoted; it was said that
when she died in 1958, he followed soon after (on May 5, 1959), of a
broken heart.

Henry Bérenger
Henry (sometimes spelled Henri) Bérenger was a French writer and pol-
itician. He was born on April 22, 1867 in Rugles, a commune in the
Eure department in Haute-Normandie in northern France. Educated at
the Sorbonne, while obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree he was elected
president of the student association and won a competition in philoso-
phy. As a young scholar he undertook a number of writing projects,
4  THE BIG THREE: TAYLOR, BERENGER, WINTERTON  37

including a key study of the French historian Ernest Lavisse, along with
a number of poems that were published in prestigious journals. He pro-
duced several books during the last decade of the nineteenth century,
among them L’ame moderne (The Modern Soul, 1892), L’effort (Effort,
1892), L’aristocratie intellectuelle (The Intellectual Aristocracy, 1895), La
Conscience nationale (The National Conscience, 1898), and a novel, La
Proie (The Prey, 1897). Many others would follow in succeeding decades.
Ever the litterateur, in 1903 he founded a newspaper, L’Action, in
which he included a page dealing with French colonial matters. After
this he moved onto other ventures, becoming the editor of Le Siècle (The
Century) in 1908, and Paris-Midi (Paris-Midday) in 1911.
Given his known interest in, and sympathy for, colonial matters, that
same year he was approached by the electors of the Caribbean island
of Guadeloupe with a request that he be the island’s representative in
the French Senate. He won the seat on January 7, 1912, and held it for
the next three decades. When the First World War began in July 1914
he threw his weight behind the war effort. He became a member of a
commission dealing with economic mobilization, and in 1917 presented
a bill relating to civil mobilization and the organization of labor. On
August 21, 1918 he was appointed as High Commissioner for Fuels in
the government of Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, leading to him
writing a new book, The Politics of Oil, in 1919. His ideas on how best
to organize an uninterrupted supply of petroleum, once adopted, would
eventually provide France with 22.5% of the oil coming from Mosul,
and led to the birth of a French refining industry. Re-elected in 1921, in
1924 he was appointed to the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he built
a reputation on the question of post-war reparations.
In August 1925 he was sent to Washington, D.C. as a parliamentary
delegate in a mission led by former Prime Minister Joseph Caillaux to
renegotiate the terms of inter-Allied debts arising from the First World
War. The following year Prime Minister Aristide Briand nominated
Bérenger to be France’s next ambassador to the United States. While in
this role he negotiated an agreement that greatly reduced the amount
and rate of repayment of France’s war debt, with the Mellon–Bérenger
Agreement (so named for Bérenger and the United States Treasury
Secretary, Andrew W. Mellon) signed on April 20, 1926. Ratification by
the French parliament, however, was delayed until July 1929; many peo-
ple were dissatisfied with the agreement, preferring that all debt should
38  P.R. BARTROP

be put aside owing to the sacrifices France had already made during the
war.
Bérenger returned to France in 1928. As Vice-President of the
Committee on Foreign Affairs he now took a much more important role
in the management of foreign policy administration, dealing with ques-
tions relating to France’s relationship with the Soviet Union, and in
November 1931 he became President of the Foreign Affairs Committee,
a position he would hold until 1939. In September 1932 he was
appointed the country’s ambassador to the League of Nations in Geneva.
In September 1933 Germany’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph
Goebbels, addressed the League of Nations on the status of Jews in the
Third Reich. Bérenger, it has been reported, “was among many who
remained cold to Nazi arguments.”3 When Bérenger asked Goebbels
what he had against the Jews, the Nazi leader replied that “they are not
Aryans.” Upon reflection later, Bérenger stated that Goebbels did not
possess any objections of substance “that would justify in the smallest way
the persecution of the Jews.”4 On October 3, 1933 the German permanent
representative at the League, Friedrich von Keller, put forth a defini-
tion of what constituted a minority group, drafted so as to exclude Jews.
Bérenger took the opportunity to discuss the questions it raised about
the laws of the Reich, and then introduced a draft resolution of his own.
The first paragraph reaffirmed that states not bound by the minorities
treaty must nevertheless observe in their treatment of their own minori-
ties “as least as high a standard of justice and toleration as is required
by any of the treaties and by the regular action of the Council.” This
was followed by a declaration that the League Assembly “consider that
there is no justification for any interpretation of the Minorities Treaties
[to] exclude certain categories of citizens from the benefit of the provi-
sions which, in those treaties, refer to all nationals ‘without distinction of
race, language or religion’.” The resolution failed, due to one dissenter:
Friedrich von Keller, representing Nazi Germany.5 Within a month,
Germany had left the League.
By now it was apparent that Bérenger was an opponent of the fascist
states, and it was through his writing that he was able to express his true
feelings. Here, he showed himself to be increasingly unreceptive to the
regimes of Hitler and Mussolini. In one of his articles, he even called for
an armed coalition of peaceful nations to oppose the dictators.6
Under these circumstances it came as little surprise that Bérenger was
appointed to represent France as the principal delegate of the host nation
4  THE BIG THREE: TAYLOR, BERENGER, WINTERTON  39

once the conference at Evian was announced. He had already been


appointed by Prime Minister Édouard Daladier as the country’s spokes-
man on refugee matters at the League,7 and had his government’s con-
fidence that no inconvenient commitments would be made by France at
the conference.
Henry Bérenger was a consummate politician for whom public ser-
vice was paramount. So far as can be ascertained, it can be concluded
that he became more and more devoted to his work after his wife,
Genevieve Delzant Bérenger, died on April 17, 1933. As it was with
Myron and Anabel Taylor, the marriage did not produce any children.
While Bérenger would live on into the years of France’s capitulation and
occupation in 1940, he took no further role after 1939, retiring to Saint-
Raphaël, in the department of Var, southern France. Before doing so,
however, he made one more gesture to demonstrate his disapproval of
the state of affairs when, in June 1940, he abstained from voting over
the delegation of powers to Marshal Philippe Pétain that destroyed the
Third Republic. Henry Bérenger died on May 18, 1952.

Edward Turnour, Lord Winterton


Edward Turnour, the 6th Earl Winterton, was the son of the 5th Earl
(also named Edward Turnour), and Lady Georgiana Susan Hamilton.
Born on April 4, 1883, he attended Eton College and New College,
Oxford, where he read law. While still a student he was elected as the
Conservative Member for Horsham in a by-election in 1904, becom-
ing the youngest Member of Parliament in the House of Commons;
he thereafter remained an MP for a total of 47 years. Upon his election
he was appointed as parliamentary private secretary to E.G. Pretyman,
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty, and gained a rep-
utation as a fiery debater.
In 1907 he succeeded his father as the 6th Earl Winterton, but as this
was an Irish peerage he was able to remain a member of the House of
Commons.
As with many young men of his social standing and age, Winterton
served in the First World War as an officer, fighting with the Sussex
Yeomanry at Gallipoli, with the Imperial Camel Corps in Egypt, and
alongside of T.E. Lawrence in the Hedjaz operations that culminated in
the fall of Damascus. He was twice mentioned in dispatches and received
other military honors for his service during the war.
40  P.R. BARTROP

Winterton’s political career, though steady, was unspectacular. In


1922 he was appointed Under-Secretary of State for India, a post he
held until the Conservatives lost office to Labour in January 1924. That
same year he was appointed to the Privy Council; upon the resump-
tion of Conservative rule under Stanley Baldwin in November 1924,
Winterton recommenced his position as Under-Secretary of State for
India, where he remained until 1929. When the National Government
was created under Ramsay MacDonald in 1931 a place could not be
found for Winterton, though as a former Under-Secretary of State for
India he was appointed as a delegate to the Burma round-table confer-
ence of that year; in 1932 he reprised this role at the third India round-
table conference. Then, with the rise of the dictators in Europe and the
risk they posed to the peace of Europe, Winterton started advocating for
a stronger defence policy to meet what he considered to be a growing
menace.
In 1935 he was offered a United Kingdom peerage by Prime Minister
Baldwin, who regretted the fact that a place could not be found for
Winterton in his Cabinet. While bringing Winterton more closely into
the Conservative inner circle, this would also have reduced his options
for a Cabinet position should one ever come up, and he declined the
offer.
In 1937, however, Baldwin retired, and Neville Chamberlain became
Prime Minister. Winterton was appointed to the Cabinet as Chancellor
of the Duchy of Lancaster. In March 1938 he was further promoted
when named Deputy Secretary of State for Air. In this role he was depu-
tized to speak in the House of Commons on behalf of the Air Secretary,
Viscount Swinton, but this was to be as high as Winterton would rise in
government. While retaining his position as Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster until 1939, he did not receive any further positions (though he
retained his seat in parliament until 1951).
There was, however, one last shining moment: his appointment,
through connections in the Home Office, to head the British delega-
tion to the conference on refugees to be held at Evian. This was not
without consternation on the part of some British Jews, for whom
Winterton was not recognized as a friend; as explained by historian
A.J. Sherman, “Winterton had helped to form a pro-Arab group in
the House of Commons several years previously, and had made in the
course of a Palestine loan debate what had been construed as anti-
Semitic remarks.”8 Further, he was not known to be conversant with any
4  THE BIG THREE: TAYLOR, BERENGER, WINTERTON  41

of the major issues relating to immigration or refugees, with his own


official advisor, Roger Makins, describing him as “obtuse.”9 Along with
Makins, Winterton was advised by Victor Cazalet, a fellow Conservative
parliamentarian who supported General Francisco Franco during the
­
Spanish Civil War but opposed Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s
appeasement policy.
While Makins saw Winterton as “obtuse,” elsewhere he was consid-
ered to be cautious, bordering on weak. He could be quick-tempered
and at times intolerant, while at the same time, as a child of his class, he
knew how to behave when surrounded by his social equals.
He was, moreover, something of a snob, as shown in his books of rec-
ollections (there were three) that came closest to addressing his life in
public service. Orders of the Day (1953) made a few mentions of his role
at Evian, but large sections of it, together with Fifty Tumultuous Years
(1955), dealt with life at Eton College, fox hunting, and social gather-
ings. While these references do not help the historian looking for insight
into Winterton’s attendance at Evian, they do give an insight into the
man himself and the priorities he placed on day-to-day considerations
and the importance he gave to their memory. Possibly because of these
priorities, however, he was well suited for his role at Evian, where he was
constantly mingling with diplomats, politicians, and government repre-
sentatives of high standing.
Edward Turnour, the 6th Earl Winterton, was married on
February 28, 1924 to another member of the nobility, Cecilia Monica
Wilson, daughter of Charles Henry Wellesley Wilson, 2nd Baron
Nunburnholme. With this he maintained the aristocratic heritage he had
inherited, and, although the marriage was childless (something he shared
with Myron Taylor and Henry Bérenger), upon his death on August 26,
1962 his title passed to a relative, Ronald Chard Turnour, as the 7th Earl
Winterton.10
Of the three key men representing their countries’ interests at Evian,
each could be relied upon to stand for the political interests of the gov-
ernment that appointed them. Myron Taylor was a very bright and
successful giant of industry; Henry Bérenger was a highly cultured intel-
lectual, politically astute, and competent as a diplomat and senator; Lord
Winterton was politically conservative, educated at Eton College and
Oxford, but personally not creative or adventurous in his thinking.
It was in acting for the interests of their countries that these men
duly assumed their various roles, which did not permit them to provide
42  P.R. BARTROP

a solution to the problem of where the Jewish refugees coming from


Germany and Austria were to be settled. Like the representatives of other
states, their focus would be to demonstrate why their country could
not help the refugees beyond what they were already doing, rather than
offering to expand numbers or the means whereby assistance could be
provided.

Notes
1. For an overview of U.S. Steel at this time, see Kenneth Warren, Big Steel:
The First Century of the United States Steel Corporation, 1901–2001,
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001.
2. Henry L. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration
and the Holocaust, 1938–1945, New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University
Press, 1970, p. 28.
3. Debórah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, Flight from the Reich: Refugee
Jews, 1933–1946, New York: Norton, 2009, pp. 80–81.
4. Ibid., p. 81 (emphasis in text).
5. Ibid., pp. 81–82.
6. Jean Jolly, “Bérenger, Henry,” in Dictionnaire des Parliamentaires fran-
çais, at www.senat.fr/senateur-3eme-republique/berenger_henry0845r3.
html, accessed April 9, 2017.
7. Vicki Caron, Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
1933–1942, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999, p. 184.
8. A.J. Sherman, Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from the Third Reich,
1933–1939, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973, p. 107.
9. Louise London, Whitehall and the Jews, 1933–1948: British Immigration
Policy, Jewish Refugees and the Holocaust, Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 2000, p. 90.
10. Winterton’s three works counting as memoir literature were: Pre-War,
London: Macmillan, 1932; Orders of the Day, London: Cassell, 1953;
and Fifty Tumultuous Years, London: Hutchinson, 1955. A biography
appeared three years after his death; see Alan Houghton Brodrick, Near
to Greatness: A Life of Earl Winterton, London: Hutchinson, 1965.
CHAPTER 5

Introductory Statements

Since, though for different reasons, Britain, France and the United States were the
countries most interested in and likely to be able to help the refugees, it was necessary
for Senator Beranger [sic], Mr. Myron Taylor and me to work together in the closest
conformity, and we did.
Lord Winterton (Earl Winterton, Orders of the Day, London:
Cassell, 1953, p. 237)

Abstract  This chapter provides a detailed examination of the opening


session of the Evian Conference, focusing on the official statements pre-
sented by the Big Three—Myron C. Taylor of the United States, Lord
Winterton of the United Kingdom, and Henry Bérenger of France.
When they made their various presentations, it will be shown, a lead was
given to the large number of delegates that would follow, as each stated
essentially that they were far from prepared to do anything to expand
Jewish refugee immigration to their respective countries. The leader-
ship shown by the Big Three was to guide the statements of the of other
states, as they realized that no demands would be made of them beyond
the wording in the original invitation of March 1938.

Keywords  Refugees · Quotas · Jews · Conference

© The Author(s) 2018 43


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_5
44  P.R. BARTROP

Before the Conference


The Royal Hotel in the French resort town of Evian-les-Bains, situated
on Lake Geneva, was to be the location of the “Inter-Governmental
Committee on Refugees from Germany (including Austria),” to give
it its formal name. Nestling in the foothills of the French Alps in the
department of Haute-Savoie, across from Lausanne in Switzerland, even
today the hotel offers breath-taking views of Lake Geneva. It opened
in 1909 and received its name in honor of its first guest, Britain’s King
Edward VII, and became one of the premier hotels of Europe. Members
of local and overseas royalty, the high aristocracy, and leaders of industry
and the arts all stayed there during its heyday. It was here, in this resort
for the privileged class, that Evian would receive its greatest publicity as
the eyes of the world looked to it in July 1938.
A number of agenda items for the conference had already been
established by the United States before the first day. In summary form,
these were: (1) to consider what steps could be taken to facilitate the
settlement “of political refugees from Germany (including Austria);”
(2) to consider what steps could be taken to assist the most urgent cases
“within the existing immigration laws and regulations of the receiving
countries;” (3) to consider “a system of documentation, acceptable to
the participating States, for those refugees who are unable to obtain req-
uisite documents from other sources;” (4) to consider the establishment
of a more permanent body that would continue the work begun at this
meeting; and (5) to prepare a resolution that would make recommenda-
tions with regard to the other agenda items.1
In a classic case of words having meanings, the agenda had been care-
fully drafted. Perhaps the most important of these words were to be
found embedded within item 1, where the term “political refugees” was
defined as: “persons who desire to leave Germany as well as those who
have already done so.” This was a departure from the usually-accepted
definition of the term refugee, which always implied those who were
outside of their country of origin and were actually seeking refuge. (The
German term is even more explicit: a Flüchtling is one who is literally
fleeing, or in flight.) Thus, the scope of the conference would be broader
than might otherwise have been expected in normal times; but the very
fact of the meeting being called in the first place was a clear statement
that times were anything but normal.
5  INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS  45

Immediately prior to the start of the conference, two informal pre-


liminary meetings took place involving the principals. On July 5 Myron
Taylor met with Lord Winterton and his deputy, Sir Michael Palairet.
Winterton made clear Britain’s preference that the conference should in
no way reduce the efforts of the League of Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees.2 When Taylor extended the discussion and raised the ques-
tion of Palestine—which the British had already declared off-limits—
Palairet reaffirmed the British position and announced that, in reality, his
government “would naturally prefer that this meeting should not take
place” at all.3 He did not say that it was precisely because of the prospect
of Palestine being raised; he did not have to. As Lord Winterton was to
find out later, there was a strong push from Jewish groups for Britain to
address Palestine during the sessions, and the fact that he did not do so
saw a backlash that eventually forced him, on the last day, to say some-
thing. The issue of Palestine to one side, the connection made at this
time between Winterton and Taylor became a healthy one, Winterton
writing later that as a result of the conference the two became “very
great friends.”4
A second preliminary meeting was held the following day between
Taylor, Winterton, and Henry Bérenger. It involved, the record stated,
“a prolonged discussion” over who should chair the conference when
it opened later that afternoon. Taylor said that his instructions were to
propose Bérenger; the Frenchman, in turn, “made a strong case” that
it should be the American in view of the fact that the United States was
the inviting government.5 They both shadow boxed, trying to see the
possible advantages and pitfalls of each other’s arguments. Taylor, it
seemed, did not want the chair; he preferred that the United States have
maximum flexibility during sessions, which could not happen if he was
presiding. Bérenger did not wish to assume the chair, deferring instead
to Roosevelt’s initiative in calling the conference—of which France was
merely the host. (At all events, Taylor did become the chair, receiving
authority from Washington to assume the role the following day.6)
A further item for discussion at this meeting pertained to the many
private refugee organizations that had gathered for the conference. The
Big Three decided that a committee should be established to hear them,
“but that they should not be given an official position in the conference
nor should any record or notes be taken of the meeting with them.”7
Bérenger then raised an ominous point: he had received information that
a number of German Jews had been sent from Berlin “at the instigation
46  P.R. BARTROP

of the German government to make trouble.”8 This could have dire con-
sequences: if the conference were to be hijacked by a Nazi agenda, even
if conveyed by Jews being held to ransom, it would get nowhere. As a
result, Bérenger stated, the meeting would have to be “a Committee of
ears only,” with no-one from outside permitted to speak.9 Taylor and
Winterton agreed.
The format of the conference was thus established by this informal
group of three, in a private meeting, before the gathering opened that
afternoon. Winterton was later to write that it was they who created
the plans by which the Intergovernmental Committee would operate,10
though it is apparent there was also substantial input from the advisers
accompanying them.

The Opening Session


The first session opened at 4.00 pm on July 6, 1938. Henry Bérenger
took the chair, welcoming delegates to a France which was, he said, “a
country of refuge and free discussion.” He declared that he was “con-
vinced that this Committee will produce something new and practi-
cal to add to the brilliant and eloquent achievements of the League of
Nations and the High Commissioner for Refugees from Germany.” He
welcomed the press and the independent international organizations,
reminding the latter that they were to observe but not to speak: “This is
not a parliament of the kind that meets at the end of the lake, nor is it a
platform for declarations;” rather, it was to be simply “a body which the
President of the United States desired to create between America and the
other continents.” Before handing the session over to Myron Taylor, he
concluded by expressing the hope that “from this practical and effective
collaboration with the United States will emerge something of value to
the refugees all over the world who are to-day the Stateless victims of
national revolutions in the various countries.”11

Myron C. Taylor as United States Delegate


Myron Taylor then addressed the conference in his official capacity as
U.S. representative. He noted that while the meeting was at that time
in the very process of convening, “millions of people … are, actually
or potentially, without a country”—and that the number, sadly, was
“increasing daily.” With an eye to the world economic crisis, he added
5  INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS  47

that this increase was taking place “at a time when there is serious unem-
ployment in many countries, when there is a shrinkage of subsistence
bases and when the population of the world is at a peak.” Given that,
the circumstances were immediately awkward, because, despite the dif-
ficulties, “governments must act promptly and effectively in a long range
program of comprehensive scale.”12
The present migration problem—a forced and artificial migration, he
asserted a number of times—was being stimulated by governmental prac-
tices “in some countries” that were dumping “great bodies of reluctant
migrants” onto the world. Such people “must be absorbed in abnor-
mal circumstances with a disregard of economic conditions at a time of
stress.”
Taylor’s lengthy address covered a number of points regarding the
urgency of the situation and the sincerity of the United States in alleviat-
ing it. Without mentioning Jews specifically, he identified those coming
under the scope of the conference as being one of two types: (a) those
who have not already left Germany and Austria but who “desire to emi-
grate by reason of the treatment to which they are subjected on account
of their political opinions, religious beliefs or racial origin;” and (b) such
persons who have already left Germany “and are in the process of
migration.”13
He also drew attention to the need for an exchange of information as
to how many refugees, and of what type, each government was prepared
to receive under its existing laws and practices. This idea would evolve
into one of the two sub-committees that would sit and report back while
the conference was taking place.
The statement that the whole world had been awaiting was next, as
Taylor reached the core of his address:

The American Government prides itself upon the liberality of its existing
laws and practices, both as regards the number of immigrants whom the
United States receives each year for assimilation with its population and
the treatment of those people when they have arrived. I might point out
that the American Government has taken steps to consolidate both the
German and the former Austrian quota, so that now a total of 27, 370
immigrants may enter the United States on the German quota in one
year.14
48  P.R. BARTROP

Was that it? All this did was to reflect the changed political reality that
had arisen as a result of the Anschluss, nothing more. Although the for-
mer Austrian quota was not lost altogether, Taylor’s statement did
not expand the number of openings, nor, as noted by historian Saul S.
Friedman, “Not once in his address did Taylor … use the word ‘Jew’.”15
Did combining the German–Austrian quota make any real difference?
In the words of Henry L. Feingold, “such sleight-of-hand deceived no-
one.”16 Later, back in Washington, DC, George Warren, Myron Taylor’s
assistant, observed that President Roosevelt was “terribly embarrassed”
by this development; “having called the conference, he couldn’t do any-
thing about taking refugees into the United States himself. All he could
do was exhaust the quotas, which he did.”17 And even then, as it turned
out, he did not. The year 1938, taken overall, saw the United States
accept only 17,868 refugees, and the quota was never to be filled in any
single year across the duration of what remained of the Third Reich.
Delegates from the private refugee organizations were bitterly dis-
appointed, their expectations that the United States would take the
opportunity to make some grand gesture now completely dashed.
The governments attending, on the other hand, were delighted. If the
United States government was going to retreat behind a policy of doing
nothing new, it certainly took the pressure off them to do so. The meet-
ing at Evian was now obviously going to be a talk-fest and little else.
Taylor’s hopes were that it would serve primarily to initiate discussion
regarding possible inter-governmental collaboration, such work “to be
carried forward subsequently” at a later meeting where things could take
on “a more permanent form.”18 This aligned directly with item 4 of the
conference agenda. Taylor considered that it was the only way to ensure
that a humanitarian problem involving “catastrophic human suffering”
could be avoided. Such a problem, if left unattended, would not be con-
ducive “to the permanent appeasement to which all peoples earnestly
aspire.” Under the circumstances, it was an interesting use of the word
“appeasement.”

Lord Winterton as British Delegate


Upon Taylor resuming his seat, Lord Winterton rose to speak for
Britain. As shown previously, Winterton was already known to be pro-
Arab and poorly disposed towards Jews: indeed, the former head of
the Jewish Agency for Palestine, Arthur Ruppin, described him as
5  INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS  49

“a notorious opponent of Zionism and a friend of the Arabs,”19 and


Winterton, zealously following the British government’s preference, had
gone out of his way to emphasize to Taylor and Bérenger that Palestine
must not be mentioned at the conference. It thus came as little surprise
that in his address Winterton excluded all reference to Palestine, pre-
ferring instead to speak in generalities about “the unfortunate people
who wish to emigrate,” and Britain’s desire to “co-operate to the fullest
extent possible with the United States and the other Governments rep-
resented at this meeting” in order to find “a practical means of relieving
the difficulties which confront” them.20
He pointed out that the United Kingdom was not a country of immi-
gration, was highly industrialized and fully populated, and facing con-
tinued unemployment problems. Therefore, as he saw it, Britain’s
“traditional policy of granting asylum” could now only be offered
“within narrow limits.” Noting that “in a highly industrial and thickly
populated country like the United Kingdom, there were certain difficul-
ties in absorbing foreigners within the present economic framework,”
he emphasized that in a large number of cases younger refugees “would
eventually have to proceed to a country of final settlement overseas.” To
help facilitate this, those who had already made it into Britain were being
provided with training and education schemes in order to equip them
for further emigration, while in certain instances arrangements had been
made for some to stay longer “until arrangements for their emigration to
another country” were made.21 That said, the British government would
continue its previous practice of trying to accelerate the process of refu-
gee assimilation among those “who can usefully be fitted into the social
and economic life of the country.”
Changing direction, he then stated that the British government was
looking at the possible ways in which refugees could be admitted into
the lands of the colonial empire, while recognizing that the question was
“not a simple one” owing to considerations of climate, race, and political
development.22 In particular, he said, the government was examining the
possibilities to be found in East Africa, notwithstanding the fact that this
would only be limited in scope.23
Two additional matters were of concern. The first related to Germany
itself, and the need to bring the country responsible for the persecution
into the equation. Recognizing that the meeting at Evian was going
to apply itself to finding an “orderly solution” to the refugee problem,
Winterton stressed that the meeting’s tasks would be “immeasurably
50  P.R. BARTROP

complicated and even rendered insoluble” unless Germany was prepared


to make a contribution and allow the refugees to have some means of
self-support. This was also a direct nod in the direction of Romania and
Poland, each of which had observers at the meeting. The “country of
origin” could not expect that receiving states accept anyone “deprived of
their means of subsistence” before being accepted. At the same time, the
resources of private organizations could not be expected to carry the full
burden of the refugees’ losses. If countries of origin wanted to get rid of
the refugees, they would have to do their share to help bring about their
own desired outcome.
Finally, hearkening back to the established British position concern-
ing the pre-eminence of the League of Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, Winterton said that it was “very important to avoid duplica-
tion of effort and multiplication of international organizations.” This was
a classic restatement of a British preference that had already caused ruc-
tions between Winterton and Taylor. (In fact the night after the open-
ing speeches they and their advisers had dinner together. Winterton
again tried to sell Taylor the British idea of making the intergovern-
mental committee an advisory body of the League Commission, but the
American would have none of it.24)
In closing, he expressed the hope that it would be possible “to find
means of avoiding duplication,” an indication he did not really appreciate
that the conference was something quite discrete.
For the Jewish organizations at Evian, Winterton’s address was as
good as useless so far as making any worthwhile contribution to the
alleviation of Jewish refugee distress was concerned. His words were
predictable in that they did not make any new assurances; indeed, no
commitment of any sort was made at all. Winterton’s address recited
rather than reaffirmed; expressed hopes rather than suggested processes;
and pronounced rather than proposed. His was an ideal follow-on from
that of Taylor, in that it confirmed what the standard would be for the
rest of the delegates: no-one need do anything, and the conference
would be a success.

Henry Bérenger as French Delegate


Stepping aside as interim chair, Henry Bérenger then took his place to
speak in his capacity as delegate for the host nation, France. His address
was shorter than those preceding him, but what he said carried greater
5  INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS  51

energy. He saw himself as more suited to speak on refugee matters than


either of the other two delegates; in the words of historian Timothy
P. Maga, as a skilled diplomat Bérenger “resented dealing with amateurs,
such as America’s chief delegate … Myron Taylor.”25 This is perhaps a
little harsh on Taylor; he had indeed been a highly successful negotiator
in other fields, and knew intimately how to broker extremely complex
parleys to successful outcomes. He was, however, unfamiliar with state-
craft and issues relating to immigration and cross-border exchanges, so
perhaps Bérenger’s point could be taken.
Coming quickly to the heart of the French position, he noted that the
French government fully approved of the United States initiative in call-
ing the meeting, and understood the views of President Roosevelt and
the State Department regarding the refugee problem and the proposed
solutions the U.S. was offering. He then made fast to show that since
the First World War France had received, sheltered, and allowed to settle
“an enormous number of exiles and refugees from all quarters.” Quoting
the figure of 200,000 refugees received to date, he noted that the coun-
try was already accommodating three million aliens from all sources, and
that, as a result, “the extreme point of saturation” had passed. It was, he
claimed, the highest figure, in relative terms, of any country dealing with
the refugee issue.26
France would, he affirmed, continue to remain true to “the long-
standing tradition of universal hospitality which has characterized her
throughout all her history,” and would “maintain this tradition so far as
the limits laid down by her geographical position, her population and her
resources permit.” This was not, however, a problem to be thrust onto
France or any other single nation. It was a global problem which could
only be solved by the collective action of all the world’s governments.
Why was the meeting being held, therefore? In Bérenger’s view, this was
not “an international conference;” rather, “we are an Intergovernmental
Committee.” The difference was an important one, in that “We are not
a forum for eloquent speeches,” but a nucleus from which “the co-ordi-
nated work of practical experts” could proceed.
France, Bérenger said, “is prepared to discuss how [the refugees’]
emigration can best be controlled and their settlement effected” in view
of the fact that “the real object” of the meeting should be to ascertain
and study the “various territorial, shipping, financial, monetary and social
measures” before any commitments were made. Once that had been
done, the committee could start to look at the prospect of achieving
52  P.R. BARTROP

practical results, which must be sought not only through the countries
present at Evian, but also (in a pointed reference to Germany) with those
that are “no longer members of the League of Nations.” Finishing, he
then expressed gratitude to President Roosevelt for his generosity in call-
ing the meeting, in the hope that “this generosity will regenerate still
more effectively the civilization of the centuries still to come.”27

The Introductory Statements: Assessment


Although Bérenger’s was not the end of speeches on this opening day,
the addresses given by the three principals provided an unequivocal lead
for the delegates following. Taylor said the United States sympathized
with the refugees, but offered no more than a reinforcement of existing
U.S. policy; Winterton said that Britain sympathized with the refugees,
but offered no more than predictable platitudes; and Bérenger said that
France sympathized with the refugees, but declared the country “satu-
rated” and unable to take in any more “aliens.” The statements, while
intended to sound lofty, were in reality a corroboration of what had been
embedded in Roosevelt’s original invitation of March 25, 1938, namely,
that “no country would be expected or asked to receive a greater num-
ber of immigrants than is permitted by its existing legislation.”
On this first day of the conference, others beyond the delegates were
watching to see which way the wind would blow. In Berlin, the British
Ambassador, Sir Nevile Henderson, asked Germany’s Foreign Minister,
Joachim von Ribbentrop, whether Germany would be prepared to coop-
erate with the governments represented at Evian in finding a solution
to the refugee issue. Somewhat predictably, Ribbentrop rejected the
very idea, claiming that what happened to the Jews of Germany was “an
internal problem that was not subject to discussion.” Of greater interest,
perhaps, was what Henderson told Ribbentrop in light of the conference
just starting. Even before the delegates had spoken, he concluded, “No
country was prepared to receive the emigrating German Jews.”28 There
is no evidence that Lord Winterton had made contact with Henderson
in order to convey this image—an image, it must be said, for which there
were as yet no expressions made at Evian—so from where this negative
idea emerged is a mystery. It is no mystery, however, that this exempli-
fied the British attitude overall. Any notions that the countries attending
the conference would open their doors wider were dispelled by a prevail-
ing attitude prior to the speeches even starting. All that happened once
5  INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS  53

the conference commenced was to be a reinforcement of what others


clearly had been thinking all along.
The leadership shown by the United States, Britain, and France on the
first day of sessions this gave direction to the other states present that no
demands would be made of them beyond the wording in the invitation.
As they then lined up to take their turn to speak, the sense of relief must
have been palpable for all attending. Starting immediately after Bérenger
and lasting through the days that followed, delegate after delegate would
rise—and say, effectively, nothing.

Notes
1. Proceedings of the Intergovernmental Committee, Evian, July 6th to
15th, 1938: Verbatim Record of the Plenary Meetings of the Committee,
Resolutions, and Reports (hereafter, Proceedings), p. 8.
2. State CDF 84048 Refugees/585, “Report by Myron Taylor on a Meeting
of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees at Evian,” July 20,
1938. In John Mendelsohn (ed.), The Holocaust: Selected Documents
in Eighteen Volumes, vol. 5: Jewish Emigration from 1933 to the Evian
Conference of 1938, Clark (NJ): The Lawbook Exchange Co., 2010,
p. 250.
3. Ronald Sanders, Shores of Refuge: A Hundred Years of Jewish Emigration.
New York: Henry Holt, 1988, p. 439.
4. Winterton, Orders of the Day, p. 237.
5.  The National Archives (hereafter TNA), CO 323/1605/4, Roger
Makins, “Record of Conversation between Mr. Taylor, Lord Winterton
and M. Bérenger, Evian,” July 6, 1938.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid.
10. Winterton, Orders of the Day, p. 237.
11. Proceedings, p. 11.
12. Ibid., p. 12.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid., p. 13.
15. Saul S. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy toward Jewish
Refugees, 1938–1945, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1973, p. 59.
16. Henry L. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration
and the Holocaust, 1938–1945, New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University
Press, 1970, p. 31.
54  P.R. BARTROP

17.  Robert L. Beir with Brian Josepher, Roosevelt and the Holocaust:
A Rooseveltian Examines the Policies and Remembers the Times, Fort Lee
(NJ): Barricade Books, 2006, p. 116 (emphasis added).
18. Proceedings, p. 13.
19.  Alex Bein (ed.), Arthur Ruppin: Memoirs, Diaries, Letters, London:
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971, p. 293.
20.  Proceedings, p. 14.
21. Ibid.
22. As a starting point regarding the British colonial empire, see Paul R.
Bartrop, “The British Colonial Empire and Jewish Refugees during the
Holocaust: An Overview,” in Paul R. Bartrop (ed.), False Havens: The
British Empire and the Holocaust, Lanham (MD): University Press of
America, 1995, pp. 1–19.
23. Proceedings, p. 15.
24. State CDF 84048 Refugees/585, “Report by Myron Taylor on a Meeting
of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees at Evian,” July 20,
1938. In John Mendelsohn (ed.), The Holocaust: Selected Documents
in Eighteen Volumes, vol. 5: Jewish Emigration from 1933 to the Evian
Conference of 1938, Clark (NJ): The Lawbook Exchange Co., 2010,
p. 253.
25. Timothy P. Maga, “Closing the Door: The French Government and
Refugee Policy, 1933–1939,” French Historical Studies, vol. 12, no. 3
(Spring 1982), p. 437.
26. Proceedings, p. 15.
27. Ibid. In her analysis of French refugee policy Vicki Caron does not deal in
any depth with Bérenger or the Evian Conference, but she does place his
address into a valuable context through her account of internal depart-
mental discussions prior to July 6. See Vicki Caron, Uneasy Asylum:
France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933–1942, Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1999, pp. 183–185.
28. German State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker, Berlin, July 8, 1938, in
Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, Series D (1937–1945),
vol. V: Poland; The Balkans; Latin America; the Smaller Powers, June
1937–March 1939, London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1953,
pp. 894–895.
CHAPTER 6

The Delegates Speak

All the States attending are full of sympathy for the victims of persecution none of
them is able or willing to open its doors to a flood of refugees. Delegate after delegate
explained his difficulties and made his excuses.
New Statesman (London) (New Statesman (London), quoted in NAA, A981,
Alfred Stirling (London) to W.R. Hodgson (Australian Department of External
Affairs, Canberra), July 17, 1938.)

Abstract  While the Evian Conference was dominated by the Big Three, it


was always intended that it would be a meeting in which the widest range
of views would be canvassed. This chapter examines the statements of
the remaining delegates making presentations. It divides them into three
groups; the Europeans, the Latin Americans, and the British Dominions,
showing that a remarkable conformity ran through all the presentations.
While the statements for the most part projected a tolerant and welcom-
ing attitude when and if it suited their countries’ interests, when it came
to actually demonstrating how far their commitment would extend they
all found reasons not to proceed with any firm proposals for opening their
doors to refugees. The chapter thus also exposes a number of myths that
have since come to characterize popular understandings of the conference.

Keywords  Refugees · Policy · High commission · Agricultural


Foreigners

© The Author(s) 2018 55


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_6
56  P.R. BARTROP

While the conference was dominated by the Big Three, it was always
intended that it would be a meeting in which the widest range of views
would be canvassed. As a consequence, of the 32 nations attending all
save two (Cuba and Guatemala) made presentations (or, as they were
termed, “General Statements”). One group, representing four Central
American states (Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Panama), made
a joint declaration; the delegates from all the others spoke individually.
Some important countries did not go to Evian, however. Although
invited, fascist Italy declined on the ground that “political reasons”
prohibited any involvement.1 In all likelihood, this was to mollify
Mussolini’s concerns not to alienate his ally Adolf Hitler. A number of
European states were not invited, including Poland, Hungary, Romania,
Greece, Yugoslavia, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Finland, and
Czechoslovakia. Nor was the Soviet Union, and at no time did the Stalin
regime evince any interest in the Jewish refugee issue throughout the
1930s.
From the British Empire, the Union of South Africa, which certainly
could have been an interested party, decided not to attend given that its
Aliens Act of 1937 had already effectively closed down Jewish immigra-
tion for the foreseeable future. South Africa did, however, send an offi-
cial observer.2
Among several of the countries not attending were those with the
largest Jewish populations in Europe. Collectively, Poland, Hungary,
Romania, and the Soviet Union contained a huge proportion of the
world’s Jews, and the first three were known for the antisemitism perme-
ating large areas of government and society. Indeed, fears were expressed
before the conference that they might seek to have its terms broad-
ened beyond Germany and Austria as a way to decrease their respective
Jewish populations.3 The official reason given for these countries being
overlooked was that they were not, as Henry L. Feingold has written,
“potential receiving nations,”4 but this was really only a blind; ignoring
them was, in all probability, a way of neutralizing them, for if they had
been at Evian there was every likelihood that they would have lobbied
for an extension of the conference’s terms of reference.5 In all events,
Poland and Romania sent observers, who watched developments but had
no official standing.
Germany, too, did not receive an invitation to attend. The reason-
ing was expressed by U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who argued
that in view of the crisis it would have been more effective “to make a
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  57

unified proposal for a solution of the refugee problem rather than nego-
tiate with the felon about his misdeeds.”6 Thus, the Nazi regime did not
attend in any official capacity. After the conference, however, a report
was produced by an unnamed officer of the SS intelligence agency, the
Sicherheitsdienst (SD), addressed to its head, Reinhard Heydrich. This
showed that there was, indeed, a Nazi presence at the conference—albeit
one taking notes for home consumption back in Germany.7 The Nazi
regime also permitted officials from the organized German Jewish com-
munity to attend, perhaps in the hope that their presence might arouse
sufficient sympathy from those present that instant action would follow.
This was not to happen; in reality, no Jewish organization or repre-
sentatives were to have any official standing at the conference. This
was to be an inter-governmental meeting only. The delegates from the
United States, Britain, and France had paved the way when outlining the
positions of their governments at the first session; where would the con-
ference go from there? Rather than consider their statements seriatim, a
useful approach is to group them according to specific blocs; in this way
a clearer picture can be drawn regarding common themes and regional
or other preferences, while taking into account individual differences
where they appeared.

The Europeans: in the Front Line


Six European countries besides Britain and France addressed the confer-
ence. The statements began straight after Henry Bérenger resumed his
seat late on the afternoon of the conference’s first day, July 6. Michael
Hansson, President of the Nansen International Office for Refugees, rose
to speak on behalf of Norway.
He began by reminding delegates that his office gave him authority to
speak as an expert on the refugee issue, expressing “a certain hesitation”
about the prospect of a new refugee organization “that might dimin-
ish the importance of existing organizations” or of any unified League
body that might be set up in the future. He was concerned to mark his
ground for the Nansen Office, while at the same time welcoming the
United States initiative—and suggesting that, following the very liberal
policy of France “which might well be imitated by all other countries,”
the United States itself might do more by way of taking in the refugees
or helping them to settle in other countries.8 Clearly, on the strength of
such a statement, the conference was not going to be all smooth sailing
58  P.R. BARTROP

for the Americans if they thought they would be able to employ it as a


way of deflecting the refugee issue onto others.
This was reaffirmed by the speaker for Belgium, Robert de Foy, Chief
of the Belgian State Security Service. Speaking on the second day, de
Foy was explicit: Belgium, “to her great regret,” had a “large number of
refugees already established on her territory,” and as a result was being
forced to reconsider the whole refugee issue “before she accepts fresh
international obligations.”9 Belgium considered it “a point of honor”
to avoid doing so, precisely because the consequences of any new initia-
tives could not be anticipated and might exceed the country’s “practical
­possibilities.” Put another way, Belgium did not want to be hemmed in
by some new and untried refugee organization that could foist additional
Jewish refugees in its direction, and would thus prefer to “await the ini-
tial results of the discussions of the present Conference.”
Belgium would, he said, continue to give generous consideration to
the difficult situation of refugees; but such consideration would have
to be dependent on (and in proportion to) what other states were also
doing. With this in mind, Belgium would be glad to give its approval
for the creation of a permanent committee to follow after Evian. All in
all, the Belgian response was one of wait-and-see; no commitment; and
a preference that other countries should also be prepared to share the
burden.10
The Netherlands was represented by W.C. Beucker-Andrae, Head of
the Legal Section of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For the most
part Dutch government policy aimed at minimizing the number of entry
visas granted to refugees, with priority given to those whose further emi-
gration looked likely.11 In his address on the third day of the conference,
Beucker-Andrae was keen to point out that the Netherlands was “pro-
foundly touched by the tragic aspect of the problem of Jewish emigra-
tion,” the general situation of those from Germany still wishing to leave,
and especially “the pitiful moral situation created for Jewish children.”
Noting that its geographical position had rendered the Netherlands “one
of the countries of first refuge ever since the beginning” of the Nazi
period, the Netherlands was “glad to collaborate in the task of assisting
Jewish refugees to fit themselves for a new existence.” The best way of
doing this was through the encouragement of training and agricultural
education schemes “so that they might in that way be prepared in due
course to emigrate to countries where they could finally settle.”12
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  59

Citing the population density of the country and its very serious
unemployment situation, Beucker-Andrae then declared that to his and
his government’s “great regret” the Netherlands could only admit ref-
ugees “in exceptional cases.” The government “welcomed with sympa-
thy the generous initiative taken by President Roosevelt, and was glad
that the U.S was going to “play its part in trying to find a solution,”
but he emphasized that the Netherlands must “always be … a coun-
try of temporary sojourn”—and only on the proviso that the refugees’
“final emigration” to other countries “is sufficiently guaranteed.”13 The
Netherlands thereby proclaimed it could not be of any tangible help,
even though it was happy to lend its support to the American initiative.
Later the same day a senior diplomat from the Danish Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Gustav Rasmussen, made an address on behalf of his
small country. Throughout the decade Denmark’s position regard-
ing Jewish refugees was similar to that of its neighbors, and over time
it became increasingly difficult for refugees to obtain entry.14 Those
who did manage to make it were not accorded refugee status, nor were
they permitted the opportunity to work. Sir Patrick Ramsay, the British
Minister in Copenhagen, had already noted the difficulties presented by
Denmark in a memorandum to the Foreign Office dated June 20, 1938,
in which he wrote that the Danish government was embarrassed by
applications from German Jews seeking to enter. To avoid this, “they are
being required to sign [a] statement that they may return to Germany,”
though there was “some doubt” as to “the value of such statements.”15
And even if they were able to remain in Denmark, they were forced
largely to rely on handouts from Jewish and social welfare organizations.
The Danish preference was that the country would serve as a transit loca-
tion only.
Rasmussen painted a different picture in his address, saying that
Denmark had “admitted a comparatively very large number of refu-
gees from Germany.”16 His major concern about the conference was
that “the question of refugees as a whole, including Jewish immigra-
tion from certain countries other than Germany, does not fall within
the purview of this Committee.”17 Those assembled at Evian were there
to consider “what facilities can be offered for the emigration of politi-
cal refugees” coming from Germany and Austria, and this could not be
solved through reference to the Europeans alone. Building on what pre-
vious European delegates had said, Rasmussen declared that the coun-
tries bordering on Germany “have to bear their heavy part of the burden
60  P.R. BARTROP

thrown on them by circumstances,” and that “Denmark’s position in this


respect does not greatly differ from them.”18 He concluded by hoping
that the conference would see to it that means could be found to align
its activities with the existing immigration machinery within the League
of Nations.
The Head of the Legal Department in the Swedish Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, Dr. Gösta Engzell, rose to speak at the meeting’s fourth
session on Monday July 11. The 1930s had seen around 3000 Jews
migrating to Sweden to escape Nazi persecution, but this was not a large
figure when compared to the overall Swedish population in 1938 of
nearly 6.3 million.19
Noting with satisfaction President Roosevelt’s invitation, he informed
the conference of Sweden’s long tradition of following “a most liberal
policy in regard to political refugees properly so called,” thereby making
the distinction between them and “other refugees”—to whom Sweden
“also follows a generous policy.” His country, however, was “not a coun-
try of immigration,” and at the time of the conference had not yet offi-
cially aligned itself with the agreements on refugees made through the
League of Nations. That to one side, Engzell was pleased to report that
Swedish laws relating to foreigners did not impose quotas; thus, a poten-
tially open-ended number could enter, taking into account the economic
conditions of the country as well as “the qualifications of each foreigner”
seeking to remain. In view of this, it was therefore not possible “to state
any definite number of immigrants that can be admitted to Sweden.”20
Finally, in what was becoming a definite pattern among the European
states, Engzell noted his government’s view that “if tangible and effec-
tive results are to be obtained” the countries outside of Europe should
be those in the forefront of refugee migration efforts. Also, given the
economic circumstances of the time, the governments of these states,
together with private refugee organizations, should combine to help
the work through making financial contributions to alleviate refugee
distress.21
The final European state to address the conference was Switzerland,
where Dr. Heinrich Rothmund, Head of the Police Division of the
Federal Department of Justice and Police (and a known antisemite),
spoke on the afternoon of July 11.
Arguably the European country with the longest tradition of admit-
ting persecuted refugees, Switzerland was relatively accepting of Jews
seeking to leave Nazi Germany throughout much of the 1930s. After
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  61

the Anschluss of March 1938, however, a period of reconsideration


began in respect of this welcoming attitude. Amid a great deal of internal
debate the country started to close its doors, such that by the start of the
Second World War it was practically impossible for Jews to enter as refu-
gees save in special circumstances.22 Heinrich Rothmund was the central
figure involved with Switzerland’s refugee policies during the interwar
(and later, wartime) period. Realizing in 1938 that Switzerland must
henceforth become a transit country only, Rothmund immediately iden-
tified the changed circumstances. He saw that the refugee crisis would
become much more intense, and European countries would be unwilling
to accept many more than they already had been to that point. Given
this, it was clear that Switzerland would have to control any new influx.
Rothmund held that immigrant Jews, even those from highly accultur-
ated German backgrounds, were basically unassimilable, and it was he
who later shepherded through the Swiss proposals for the “J” stamp to
be affixed to all German and Austrian passports belonging to Jews.
Stating in his address that the Swiss government accepted the invi-
tation to attend in a spirit of sympathy, he made two telling points:
first, that Switzerland “finds that it is essential to exercise very strin-
gent control over the admission of further foreigners;” and second,
that Switzerland “is a country of transit” that only provides “residence
permits valid for a certain length of time to enable them to make their
preparations for emigration to countries of final refuge.” These were
definitive and unmistakably negative statements, but Rothmund held
that the Swiss government treated the refugees “with the greatest con-
sideration”—to the extent that in providing these temporary residence
permits “we try to find a constructive solution” to assist the refugees
until they are able to move along.23
Taken collectively, the Europeans—despite their welcoming rhetoric—
offered the refugees nothing. There were a number of themes ranging
across the various presentations: hesitation about the possible creation of
this new and untried refugee organization that could supplant or rep-
licate the League High Commission; the preference that the United
States and other countries outside Europe step up and begin accepting
a greater share of the burden; and, perhaps most importantly, that the
states of Europe, which did not consider themselves to be immigrant-
receiving countries, would only accept refugees for temporary asylum in
a short-term transit capacity. Everyone, it seemed, sympathized with the
refugees, and no-one wished them harm; all hoped that things would
62  P.R. BARTROP

work out well for them, though none of the delegates considered that
their country could play an active role in facilitating Jewish resettlement.
It remained to be seen whether any of the other invited states would
be equally negative, and Roosevelt, back in Washington, must have won-
dered whether his original aim in calling the meeting might have back-
fired. Rather than taking the heat off the United States, the Europeans
were sending a strong message that they were not about to accept the
refugees as a matter of local concern when in fact they saw it as a global
problem. Within that framework, each country also put its own sense of
self-interest at the very top of its deliberations.

The Latin Americans: A Consistent Approach


The largest bloc of nations represented at Evian came from Latin
America. Most of these states had Jewish populations dating from the
1880s, organized in communities that were well established by the
1930s. Many thousands of refugees from Germany had migrated to the
various countries of Latin America prior to the Anschluss, and expecta-
tions were high among those backing Evian that these countries would
see a substantial contribution made to the alleviation of the crisis. Yet
even before the conference began, the responses of several coun-
tries “contained some expression of their reluctance to accept more
refugees.”24
The two largest countries, Brazil and Argentina, spoke on the sec-
ond day. This began with an address from Hélio Lobo, a member of
the Brazilian Academy of Letters and a senior diplomat in the Brazilian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Brazil, he said, had always adopted an open-
door immigration policy and freely encouraged labor growth “particu-
larly in agriculture.” Only since the onset of the Depression in 1930
had Brazil introduced measures to limit migration, though even then
exceptions had been made in certain cases.25 In 1934, however, Brazil
introduced an annual minimum quota of 2% of the total number of
immigrants of each nationality who had settled there in the last fifty
years. The problem, Lobo said, was that “the old sources of immigra-
tion failed to exhaust the quotas fixed for them, whereas in the case of
the new sources, the limits were almost always insufficient.” As a result,
immigration from Eastern Europe and Asia continued to increase, and
“the traditional racial background showed a certain tendency to change.”
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  63

Despite this, in words that must have been warming for the confer-
ence organizers, Brazil would be prepared “at this critical moment” to
“make her contribution towards a favorable solution of the problem
within the limits of her immigration policy and for the sake of the lofty
ideal which all of us here have in mind;” this would be undertaken in
response “to the noble appeal of the American Government.”26
Lobo was followed later in the afternoon by Dr. Tomás Le Breton,
the Argentinian Ambassador to France. Making the important qualify-
ing statement that “After the United States, the Argentine is the country
that has received the greatest number of Jewish immigrants”—and that
in relative terms his country had received “the greatest proportion”—
Le Breton said that Argentina “cordially welcomed” the United States
initiative. However, because Argentina was “above all, an agricultural
country,” and that immigration therefore had to be “directed towards
agricultural work and certain specialized forms of employment,” new
arrivals could not expect to maintain the lifestyle they had enjoyed in the
old country. If they were of the opinion that they could do this, they
“would do well to abandon their intention while there is time and refrain
from going” to Argentina.27 So far as the aims of the conference were
concerned, Le Breton said that his country was “fully determined to
co-operate within the limits of what is possible,” but just precisely what
that was would have to wait; the government of Argentina did not think
it would be possible “to determine in advance the extent of our future
effort in this matter.”28
On Saturday it was the turn to speak for Professor Jesús Maria
Yepes, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary for Colombia
and Legal Adviser to the Permanent Delegation to the League of
Nations. In a long address, he expressed his country’s keen sympathy
with Roosevelt’s “generous initiative,” noting “the humanitarian and
Christian feelings” that had prompted the call and wishing to align with
these on the basis of “human solidarity.” For the first time, however, a
speaker at Evian raised the question of the legality of the Nazis’ actions
in Germany, and what obligations the rest of the world had when it came
to taking care of the refugees:

Can a State, without upsetting the basis of our civilization, and, indeed
of all civilization, arbitrarily withdraw nationality from a whole class of its
citizens, thereby making them Stateless persons whom no country is com-
pelled to receive on its territory? Can a State, acting in this way, flood
64  P.R. BARTROP

other countries with the citizens of whom it wishes to get rid, and can it
thrust upon others the consequences of an evil internal policy? … It would
be useless for us to-day to find homes for the present political refugees
and to hear their complaints before this modern “Wailing Wall,” which
the Evian Conference has now become. … For as things are going on in
Europe, tomorrow we shall be dealing, not perhaps with Jewish refugees,
but with Catholic or Protestant refugees, Fascist or anti-Fascist refugees,
Liberals or Conservatives, Communists or anti-Communists, Republicans
or Nationalists from Spain, and who knows how many others.29

In view of what had gone before, this was a remarkable statement. Yepes
queried the whole basis upon which the conference was established—not
because it was unworthy, but, rather, because it was dealing only with a
symptom of the problem, not the problem as a whole. His statement,
quite simply, was without precedent.
Regarding his own country, Yepes stated that Colombia was not in a
position to encourage the migration of “intellectuals or traders, middle-
men of all kinds,” as “we are, above all, an agricultural country,” and did
not want to create foreign competition “for our own workmen.”30 He
then laid a challenge at the feet of the Europeans:

it is not enough to assert that France, the United Kingdom and the
Netherlands have, in their home territories, already reached saturation
point as regards political refugees and can no longer receive any more.
These three countries are also American countries, inasmuch as they pos-
sess rich colonies – the French West Indies, the British West Indies and
the Netherlands West Indies – in the New World. … Therefore, the appeal
which was addressed here to the American republics should be regarded
as applying also to those European nations who still possess colonial ter-
ritories in America. Indeed, paraphrasing the historic phrase well known
to us all, we might repeat here: “Messieurs les francais, Messieurs les anglais,
Messieurs les hollandaise, it is for you to act first; it is to you that this appeal
is addressed.”31

With this, he threw responsibility back onto the European colonial


­powers—a departure from expecting just the Americans to take on the
burden, and another unprecedented statement.
The statements from the other Latin American countries then fol-
lowed in quick succession. Immediately after Yepes came Fernando
García Oldini, the Chilean Minister in Switzerland and Envoy
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  65

Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the conference. Claiming


that Chile was prepared “to join in every noble effort made to alleviate
human distress,” he qualified this with the statement that this could take
place “only to the extent that such action is not likely to prejudice the
position to which our workers are entitled;” given that, it was “impossi-
ble at the present moment to say to what extent we will be able to inten-
sify our work in the sphere of immigration.”32
Oldini was followed by Alejandro Gastelù Concha, Secretary of the
Permanent Delegation of Ecuador to the League of Nations and Consul-
General in Geneva. He declared that his government was “keenly inter-
ested” in participating at the meeting, noting that Ecuador “has always
opened its doors to people who wished to make a new career for them-
selves there” and that migrant admission “has never been subject to
any restrictions of a racial character or any preference.” That said, as
“Ecuador is an essentially agricultural country” it was impractical to
admit “too great an influx of intellectual workers.” He did, however,
hold out hope for the success of the conference, affirming that Ecuador
“will always be prepared to assist so far as her possibilities and her legisla-
tion on immigration and the settlement of aliens permit.”33
Mexico was represented by Primo Villa Michel, Envoy Extraordinary
and Minister Plenipotentiary. Speaking after Gastelù, he referred to
Mexico’s revolution, then in the process of becoming institutionalized
through the Presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas. Mexico, he said, “has always
observed a tradition of hospitality and comprehension with regard to
political refugees,” and had offered asylum to those from outside seek-
ing a place of safety and an atmosphere in which they might enjoy free-
dom. The current situation, however, “is not that of an ordinary case
of asylum, nor is it a normal problem of migration” in view of the fact
that “we are faced by a new and eloquent demonstration of the interde-
pendence of peoples and nations” that has been “forced upon us.” As a
result, the nations of the world have been compelled to consult together
“with a view to alleviating sufferings which we have not inflicted but
which have world-wide effects in all spheres.” Mexico gave full support
to Roosevelt’s initiative, and hoped that “our effective collaboration will
make it possible to consider ways and means of conducting the migration
of refugees from Germany and Austria in an orderly manner.”34 Of inter-
est was that Villa Michel did not make any negative statements discour-
aging refugee migration or denying that it could happen—one of the few
at the conference not to do so.35
66  P.R. BARTROP

In what was becoming a Spanish-speaking procession, Dr. Alfredo


Carbonell Debali, representing Uruguay, was next. Welcoming and giv-
ing “the most sympathetic consideration” to President Roosevelt’s ini-
tiative in calling the meeting, he announced that immigration to his
country, regulated by law, saw to it that “no immigrant may have physi-
cal, mental or moral defects which might be prejudicial to society.” The
kind of immigrants Uruguay needed, moreover, were those who could
be “assimilated into the country’s farming and stock-breeding communi-
ties.” Such settlement had to take place through the migrants utilizing
their own resources, and those accepted had to have “a special acquaint-
ance with agriculture in all its forms.” Further, the Uruguayan prefer-
ence was that “immigration must be financed by private organizations in
their respective countries” and not be a burden on Uruguay itself. This
was hardly a welcoming attitude or a ringing endorsement.36
Nor, indeed, were the comments of Carlos Aristimuño Coll,
Venezuela’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to France.
Once more there was a statement of support for “the humanitarian
motives of President Roosevelt,” but at the same time Venezuela was
declared to be off-limits for any schemes of refugee migration: “there are
certain restrictions on the welcome which Venezuela can extend to polit-
ical refugees,” as the country’s capacity to absorb such people “is lim-
ited not only by legislative provisions, but also by the need for selecting
immigrants from agricultural laborers, in order to maintain the demo-
graphic equilibrium essential to racial diversity, and also on social security
grounds, which necessitate rigorously selective methods.”37
With proceedings broken for a brief moment owing to the state-
ment from Gustav Rasmussen of Denmark, the Latin American sequence
continued with a statement from Francisco García Calderón Rey, the
Peruvian Minister in France. As with the others, he offered Peru’s sup-
port and thanks for the American enterprise at Evian, and declared that
his government “is resolved to collaborate with the other Governments
here represented and to admit German refugees to the extent of its possi-
bilities and in so far as our immigration laws, which are certainly not very
strict, permit.” Peru, he said, “has already received German professors
and leading scientists who will promote our intellectual progress,” and
welcomed “Jewish influence” as being “of value to all nations.” Yes, Peru
would prefer to see agricultural laborers with some experience as colo-
nists, but also technical experts to help develop industry.
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  67

The country was enthusiastic to take in new arrivals, but regretfully


was obliged to “fix limits to its enthusiasm.” Restrictions would have
to be introduced where the settlement of a large number of lawyers or
doctors were concerned in order “to prevent the growth of an intel-
lectual proletariat.” An “unorganized influx would be dangerous,” but
“selected immigration on a moderate scale would be advantageous” and
was to be encouraged in order to aid in the formation of a middle class
and the creation of small landowners who “will furnish a firm basis for
democracy.”
Observing President Roosevelt’s position that America is the conti-
nent of peace, Calderón noted that in order to maintain this “we must
avoid creating minorities of different origins which would lead to future
conflicts.” What this translated to was the need to avoid “a too hasty
mingling of elements which would not adapt themselves to our traditions
and ambitions and which would endanger our stability.” Ideally, if Peru
could arrest the excessive growth of capital “and maintain the Spanish
nucleus which is the essential factor in our social growth and political
formation and which is Catholic and Latin,” only good things could fol-
low from the current situation; but great care would have to be taken.38
The one major exception to the more or less consistent doubt exhib-
ited by all the Latin American countries came from the delegate from
the Dominican Republic, Virgilio Trujillo Molina, brother of Dominican
dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo and Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary in France and Belgium. Molina’s words have since been
elevated among all those to come out of Evian, and along the way have
also probably been the most misrepresented.
Molina’s declaration was relatively straightforward. After describ-
ing the Dominican government’s record over the past few years in
“encouraging and promoting the development of agriculture,” he then
announced that the country had at its disposal “large areas of fertile,
well-irrigated land, excellent roads and a police force which preserves
absolute order and guarantees the peace of the country.” Given this,
the Department of Agriculture could provide land, seed, and technical
advice to arriving colonists, offering “specially advantageous conces-
sions to Austrian and German exiles” provided they were “agricultural-
ists with an unimpeachable record who satisfy the conditions laid down
by Dominican legislation on immigration.” Further, the government
“would also be prepared to grant special conditions to professional men
68  P.R. BARTROP

immigrating who, as recognized scientists, would be able through their


teaching to render valuable service to their Dominican colleagues.”39
Molina’s short address led almost immediately to a myth stemming
from a major misunderstanding on the part of many commentators, who
have read into the speech a declaration made on August 12, 1938—over
a month later—in which the same Molina communicated an offer of land
for the settlement of 100,000 refugees in the Dominican Republic.40
The two events were related, but distinct, and yet in the popular mind
they soon became merged. Thus, Saul S. Friedman, in No Haven for
the Oppressed (1973), wrote that on July 9, 1938 Molina “delighted the
weary delegates by announcing his government’s willingness to accept
100,000 refugees41;” William Rubinstein, in The Myth of Rescue (1997),
made a double error in writing that the Dominican Republic’s dicta-
tor, “Rafael Trujillo, offered at the Evian Conference of 1938 to admit
up to 100,000 German refugees42;” and Richard Breitman and Allan
J. Lichtman, in FDR and the Jews (2013), wrote that “The high point
of the conference was perhaps the offer by the representative of the
Dominican Republic to take in 100,000 refugees.”43 While these errors
are perhaps not egregious, they nonetheless point to a widely held view
regarding an offer that was not actually made at Evian.44
On the morning of Monday July 11 a joint statement was read out
on behalf of four Central American states: Nicaragua (Dr. Constantino
Herdocia), Costa Rica (Professor Luis Dobles Segreda), Honduras (Dr.
Mauricio Rosal), and Panama (Dr. Ernesto Hoffmann). The remaining
Central American republic, El Salvador, had been invited to attend the
conference and had originally accepted; it did not assign an official repre-
sentative, however, though an observer was sent.
The joint statement read as many of the others had: the countries
welcomed President Roosevelt’s initiative in calling the meeting, and
hoped some good would come from it; they agreed to the establish-
ment of a permanent committee “to watch over the interest of politi-
cal refugees irrespective of their nationality;” and this committee should
then be empowered to issue documents that would regularize the refu-
gees’ political situation. All four governments expressed the unanimous
desire “to find practical solutions” to help resolve “this difficult prob-
lem.”45 Having said this, they collectively declared that none of them
could fund refugee arrivals, nor that any persons “engaged in trade or
intellectual work can be accepted as immigrants by our countries, as their
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  69

occupations are already overcrowded” and “countries like our own are
saturated with foreign elements.”46
This just left Paraguay among the Spanish-speaking Latin American
countries to address the conference on the fourth day. Gustavo
A. Wiengreen, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in
Hungary, had been sent to Evian to speak on behalf of the Paraguayan
government. In light of all that had gone before, his words were some-
what predictable.
A very fertile Paraguay, much too thinly populated to make use of
all its advantages, “favors in every way the immigration of industrious
individuals, capable of developing her great natural wealth;” but expe-
rience had shown that “it is expedient—even essential—to insist on a
selection being made of immigrants who wish to settle in our territory.”
Existing Paraguayan law stipulated that such immigration “must be con-
fined to agriculturalists or certain classes of craftsmen connected with
agriculture,” and therefore only farming families could be admitted. If
that can be arranged, Wiengreen said, Paraguay would be “gratified” to
have made its contribution “to the noble and humanitarian work of this
Conference.”47
The final state from Latin America, though not Spanish- or
Portuguese-speaking, was the Francophone republic of Haiti. Although
poor, it nonetheless knew it had a stake in the conference, and sent Léon
R. Thébaud, Commercial Attaché in Paris and Minister Plenipotentiary,
to make a statement. Relating Haiti’s past record as a country that
had already welcomed “what I would describe as a very large num-
ber of immigrants in comparison with the population of the country,”
he announced that “the facilities which my Government will extend to
immigrants of the categories which the country wishes to admit will
be highly advantageous to them.”48 And what were those categories?
Without spelling out precisely who was acceptable, he said that “the
country’s economic structure” was “essentially agricultural.” People
could read between the lines: again, only farmers were preferred, in addi-
tion to which “Haiti must insist on the foreigners who ask for her hospi-
tality being of healthy stock, capable of being rapidly absorbed into the
community and possessing sufficient capital and resources to create per-
manent employment.”49 In short, Haiti would be happy to accept those
who were eligible according to Haiti’s own standards; anyone else was
not wanted.50
70  P.R. BARTROP

What general conclusions might be drawn about the countries of


Latin America? Without exception, they were keen to align with the
call from President Roosevelt to link arms in the effort to ease refugee
distress and find a way to accommodate them. The reasons behind this
unanimous showing of support varied from state to state, but all, clearly,
sought to demonstrate a spirit of cooperation and goodwill with their big
neighbor to the north.
After making their initial statements, however, all the delegates were
uniformly negative: the refugee crisis was a humanitarian disaster; refu-
gees would be admitted in accordance with the existing laws of the land;
only those engaged in farming would be admitted; no special finan-
cial arrangements would be made to assist refugee entry; and whatever
migration took place would have to proceed without any detriment to
local workers.
In one or two cases there were variations, such as the expectation that
the United States or the European nations should pick up the slack in
solving the refugee issue, or, in the case of Peru, that the Catholic and
Latin character of society not be compromised.
All these statements served to disadvantage Jews seeking to flee
Nazism. Urban-dwelling professionals and intellectuals were purposely
identified in many of the delegates’ statements. They did not men-
tion Jews; nor did they need to. Given the nature of the conference, all
knew exactly who was being excluded. Once more, as it was with the
Europeans, doors that were already closing on the refugees began to be
slammed shut, on this occasion with detailed explanations as to why.

The Dominions: Marching to Their Own Beat


Norman Bentwich was a British-born Professor of Law and a leading fig-
ure in the Council for German Jewry in London. He was also heavily
involved with the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and had been a former
Attorney General in the Palestine Mandate. As early as April 7, 1938
he commented to Roger Makins at the British Foreign Office that “as
regards the British Empire his main hopes were now centred on Australia
and New Zealand.” These hopes, perhaps, might be realized at the
forthcoming conference.51 Bentwich was later to recall that Australia had
become a “blessed word” to the victims of persecution in Europe,52 and
this image was reinforced time and time again by numerous other com-
mentators and public figures.
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  71

The large self-governing British Dominions, all of them (with the


exception of Ireland) immigrant-receiving countries, were seen by many
as ideal locations for easing the refugee crisis. While based on domes-
tic concerns, however, the policies framed by the Dominions had to be
located in a world context owing to their position as component parts
of Britain’s global empire; as a result, their response was influenced by
Britain—not at Britain’s behest, but more often than not because the
Dominions considered they should attach themselves to Britannia’s
apron-strings while navigating the uncharted waters of international
diplomacy.
Four of the Dominion countries attended the conference: Australia,
Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland. As mentioned previously, South
Africa declined to attend officially, but sent an observer. Newfoundland,
which had been a Dominion from 1907 until 1934, was no longer con-
stitutionally competent to be represented at international gatherings.
On the opening morning of the conference the Australian represent-
ative, Trade and Customs Minister Sir Thomas White, sought out the
representatives of the United Kingdom and the other Dominions and a
short consultation took place between them.53 It will never be entirely
clear what was discussed at this meeting, though it may be surmised that
a general exchange of information, rather than a deliberation over tac-
tics, took place. And a sharing of information was needed: It has been
recorded that “even when the Government representatives had already
gathered at Evian there was very little information forthcoming as to the
Agenda of the Conference and its specific aims.”54 Further, a measure
of uncertainty prevailed as to “whether the Conference would take in
not only the actual problem of German and Austrian refugees,” but also
the potential problem as it existed in Poland, Roumania, and Hungary
and also of course in such other countries as Spain.”55 There was clearly
a great deal of which the delegates had to become apprised before the
meeting actually got under way, and the Dominion representatives, pos-
sibly overawed by the Pandora’s Box before them, sought safety in num-
bers right from the outset.
Australia soon had the chance to make a statement, Sir Thomas
White speaking on the second day. The thrust of his speech was largely
the same as that of the other representatives. He drew attention to
the special position of the Dominions relative to the policy of Britain,
putting forth the view that they were “free partners in the British
Commonwealth and arbiters of their own economies and national
72  P.R. BARTROP

destinies.” He continued that “Australia has her own particular diffi-


culties,” and that, where migration played any part in easing those dif-
ficulties, only British settlers were preferred. Despite this, he said, the
government had, over recent years, given much consideration to “the
problem of foreign migration;” with this in mind, and recognizing
“the unhappy plight” of Jews in Germany and Austria, “they have been
included on a pro rata basis, which we venture to think is comparable
with that of any other country.”
Having established Australia’s legitimacy as a tolerant and welcoming
immigrant-receiving country, White then added:

Under the circumstances, Australia cannot do more, for it will be appre-


ciated that in a young country man power from the source from which
most of its citizens have come is preferred, while undue privileges cannot
be given to one particular class of non-British subject without injustice
to others. It will no doubt be appreciated also that, as we have no real
racial problems, we are not desirous of importing one by encouraging any
scheme of large-scale foreign migration.56

The speech continued for another few minutes, but it could easily have
stopped there. White had effectively declared Australia to be a coun-
try out of bounds for Jewish refugees. Not only did he not realize that
Jewish refugees were of an entirely different order than other “non-Brit-
ish subjects,” he also completely missed the point regarding their status
as persecuted people in need of sanctuary.
One of the myths coming from the Evian Conference is that while
White made his “no real racial problems” speech, he also announced a
liberalization of Australian refugee policy. The juxtaposition of the two
themes, while ludicrous, is also based on an entirely flawed reading of
history. On December 1, 1938, the Australian Minister for the Interior,
John McEwen, announced a new policy to admit 15,000 refugees (not
specifically Jewish) over the next three years. This policy had nothing to
do with Evian, but was, rather, a response to Germany’s Kristallnacht
pogrom of November 9–10 three weeks earlier. Because White spoke in
Parliament regarding the new policy, however, the impression was cre-
ated for many that it was somehow linked to Evian. Nothing, however,
could be further from the truth. At Evian, White went out of his way to
demonstrate that Australia was neither prepared to relax the immigration
machinery nor to accommodate the needs of the refugees. On December
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  73

1, 1938, the government announced enthusiastically that it was going to


make a significant contribution to easing the refugee problem.57
The linkage between the Evian Conference and the announcement on
December 1 remained, however, and over time the two became merged
in the public mind. A published government document from 1979
strengthened the fallacy with the following comment:

As a result of the Evian meeting, Australia agreed to accept, over a three-


year period, 15,000 Jewish refugees who had fled Germany, Austria and
Sudetenland as a result of Hitler’s anti-Semitic policies.58

The logic behind the statement that Australia did not want to “import”
a racial problem by allowing a Jewish refugee presence was evidence that
perhaps Australia already did have such a problem. Further, White hoped
that other delegates would realize that Australia was confining migration
principally “to those who will engage in trades and occupations in which
there is an opportunity for work without detriment to the employment
of our own people.”
His final words demonstrated the extent to which Australia’s partici-
pation in the efforts of the conference was prepared to go:

What the United Kingdom is doing, together with our own efforts and
those of others already related, will probably, we trust, encourage members
of this inter-governmental committee here assembled to formulate further
plans for cooperation towards the solution of a tragic world problem and
thus bring hope to many unhappy people.59

This overlooked the fact that Australia’s “efforts” were directed towards
keeping Jews out, rather than letting them in, and that no “further”
plans could be formulated by the committee, because no initial plans had
yet been devised.60
White was followed immediately by the Canadian delegate,
(Humphrey) Hume Wrong, Permanent Delegate to the League of
Nations. A career diplomat, Hume Wrong spoke for Canada immediately
after Australia’s White. He began with the following words:

I have not much to add to what has already been said, but I do not wish to
let this general discussion close without expressing the sympathy and con-
cern of the Canadian Government for the victims of change of regime and
74  P.R. BARTROP

of racial and class conflict. Appreciating the humane and generous motives
which led President Roosevelt to suggest the creation of this Committee,
my government has been glad to participate in its work in the hope that
the enquiry to be undertaken will bring some real measure of alleviation.61

The essence of the Canadian position came in the third paragraph of


Wrong’s seven-paragraph statement:

Canadian legislation does not permit the establishment of immigration


quotas. For the last eight years, immigration to Canada from the European
continent has been limited (except for certain classes of agriculturalists and
their near relatives of those already in Canada, exceptions which do not
include many political refugees) to persons who, in each case, by special
order are exempted from a general prohibition of entry. Unfortunately, the
continuance of serious unemployment and of economic uncertainty and
disturbance still limits severely Canadian power to absorb any considerable
number of immigrants.

Canada had certainly been hard-hit by the Depression, but, as in Australia


and almost every other attending country, the state of the economy was
employed by the Canadians as a convenient excuse for the exclusion of
refugee migrants who would have been unwanted in any case.62
Wrong had little to say beyond his main point concerning Canada’s
uncertain economic position. He reiterated, however, the reason for
Canada’s attendance at the conference:

The Canadian Government, while necessarily reserving fully the decision


as to future policy on the subject of immigration, is taking part in this
Committee with a view to the freest exchange of information on the pre-
sent situation and consideration of the problems which it involves.63

Henceforth, no-one could be in any doubt as to what Canada was pre-


pared to do. The Canadian government was happy to listen, to talk, and
to exchange information, provided these activities did not have as their
object a specific commitment that Canada would undertake to do any-
thing. This approach aligned directly with the terms of reference set out
in the conference agenda. Wrong was later to send a cable from Evian
back to his Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, to the effect
that there was “little chance that this meeting can reach any clear conclu-
sions,”64 and such news must have had a particularly pleasing tone to it
back in Ottawa.
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  75

On July 9, the third day of sessions, C. B. Burdekin, the representa-


tive of New Zealand from the High Commissioner’s Office in London,
gave a short address to the conference which followed predictable lines.
New Zealand, he said, desires “to express its sincere sympathy with those
unfortunate persons who, at the present time, are compelled to leave
their own countries and to seek new homes.” As a result, within “the
limits of its immigration laws,” New Zealand had already accepted some
refugees “and is prepared to consider individual applications” of others.
Importantly, though, “it would only be raising false hopes” to suggest
that New Zealand could accept many. Moreover, the number able to
be admitted “is, of course, largely governed by economic conditions.”
Nonetheless, the New Zealand government was “keenly interested”
in any steps decided on at the conference that involved facilitating the
migration of an increased number of refugees.65
The last Dominion to offer a position was Ireland, which had, in
1937, adopted a new constitution that to a large degree completed the
process of separation from the United Kingdom. In this, religious free-
dom for Jews was addressed explicitly, though this did not mean auto-
matically that Jewish refugees were going to be granted immediate or
easy access by simply applying to come in. Francis Thomas Cremins, the
Permanent Delegate for Ireland to the League of Nations, led the del-
egation. On July 11 he informed the conference that the economic situ-
ation had led to a situation in which large numbers of young Irish people
were being forced to emigrate; while such emigration “remains imposed
upon our national economy, it is obvious that we can make no real con-
tribution to the resettlement of refugees.”66
Where professionals were concerned—many of whom would be those
most likely to come from Germany and Austria—he stated that Ireland
was closed:

it will suffice to say that, in our medical schools, there qualify every year
more doctors than are required to care for the health of our people. And
similar conditions of over-crowding apply to the other professions. It is for
these various reasons that we are not in a position to contribute in any
appreciable degree to the solution of this urgent problem, and we are nat-
urally anxious not to promise more than we could hope to perform.

The only alternative solution, he posited, “is the opening-up of


new or under-developed territory,” of which Ireland had none. In a
76  P.R. BARTROP

gesture of goodwill, he then concluded by saying that owing to the situ-


ation the Irish government was reluctant to urge “the taking by other
Governments of measures in which they themselves could not partici-
pate.”67 The words were nice, but in reality they masked a deeper mean-
ing: Ireland was shutting the door completely on all refugees.68
Taken as a group, the British Dominions at Evian shared one thing
in common; their sense of being able to take charge of their own affairs,
in which they essentially informed the delegates that they had neither an
interest in—nor a serious desire to help the resolution of—the refugee
problem. Yet despite this, their records were about on par with the other
nations.
The three immigrant-receiving countries (Australia, Canada, and
New Zealand) were attractive locations for the victims of persecution.
Their entire histories since the start of European colonization had been
founded on immigration; they had political systems based on British
traditions of constitutional parliamentary democracy; and they were
believed to have an untainted freshness devoid of the prejudices of the
Old World. Ireland was also somewhat appealing in that it was viewed
as a “British” country, simultaneously part of the Empire and European.
Yet as things turned out, all four of the Dominions at the conference
showed that they would only adopt a tolerant and welcoming attitude
when and if it suited their interests, regardless of how extreme the needs
of those seeking entry might be.

Notes
1. On Italian refugee policy generally, a useful start in an already good-
sized literature can be found in: Michael A. Livingstone, The Fascists
and the Jews of Italy: Mussolini’s Race Laws, 1938–1943, New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2014; Meir Michaelis, Mussolini and
the Jews: German-Italian Relations and the Jewish Question in Italy,
1022–1945, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978; and Michele Sarfatti,
The Jews in Mussolini’s Italy: From Equality to Persecution, Madison (WI):
University of Wisconsin Press, 2006, pp. 95–137.
2. See Frieda Sichel, From Refugee to Citizen: A Sociological Study of the
Immigrants from Hitler-Europe who Settled in Southern Africa, Cape
Town: A.A. Balkema, 1966; and Gideon Shimoni, Jews and Zionism: The
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  77

South African Experience (1910–1967), Cape Town: Oxford University


Press, 1980. Perhaps the most comprehensive treatment of South Africa
relative to the Jews during this period is Milton Shain, A Perfect Storm:
Antisemitism in South Africa, 1930–1948, Cape Town: Jonathan Ball,
2015.
3. See Laurence Ress, The Holocaust: A New History, London: Penguin
Viking, 2017, pp. 132–133, for a brief discussion of the potential con-
cerns presented by the inclusion (or not) of these countries at Evian.
4. Henry L. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration
and the Holocaust, 1938–1945, New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University
Press, 1970, p. 26.
5. On Romania’s request see David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the
Refugee Crisis, 1938–1941, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press,
1968, p. 45.
6. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue, p. 27.
7. Yad Vashem (Jerusalem) Archives, 0.51/OSO/37 Berlin, July 29, 1938;
at www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/text/nazi-summary-evian-
conference, accessed May 5, 2017.
8. Proceedings of the Intergovernmental Committee, Evian, July 6th to
15th, 1938: Verbatim Record of the Plenary Meetings of the Committee,
Resolutions, and Reports (hereafter, Proceedings), pp. 16–17.
9. For a perspective on Belgian responses to the refugees before the war,
see the essays in Dan Michman (ed.), Belgium and the Holocaust: Jews,
Belgians, Germans, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1998.
10. Proceedings, p. 19.
11. See Bob Moore, Refugees from Nazi Germany in the Netherlands,
1933–1940, New York: Springer, 2012; also, the essays in Frank
Caestecker and Bob Moore (ed.), Refugees from Nazi Germany and the
Liberal European States, New York: Berghahn, 2010.
12. Proceedings, p. 22.
13. Ibid.
14. See Leni Yahil, The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy,
Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1969, pp. 13–26.
15. TNA, T160/842, Sir Patrick Ramsay (Copenhagen) to Foreign Office
(London), June 20, 1938.
16. Proceedings, p. 31.
17. Ibid., p. 30.
18. Ibid.
19. For a solid appreciation of Swedish policy towards Jews across the
period, see Steven Koblik, The Stones Cry Out: Sweden’s Response to the
Persecution of the Jews, 1933–1945, New York: Holocaust Library, 1988;
for the later period, see Paul A. Levine, From Indifference to Activism:
78  P.R. BARTROP

Swedish Diplomacy and the Holocaust, 1938–1944, Uppsala: Studia


Historica Uppsaliensia, 1998.
20. Proceedings, pp. 34–35.
21. Ibid., p. 35.
22. See the excellent (and often depressing) first-person accounts scattered
throughout what is still the best single study in English of Swiss refu-
gee policy during the Holocaust, Alfred A. Häsler, The Lifeboat is Full:
Switzerland and the Refugees, 1933–1945, New York: Funk and Wagnalls,
1969. For a short but comprehensive survey, see Georg Kreis, “Swiss
Refugee Policy, 1933–1945,” in Georg Kreis (ed.), Switzerland and the
Second World War, London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 103–131.
23. Proceedings, p. 37.
24. Feingold, The Politics of Rescue, p. 26.
25. Proceedings, p. 17.
26. Ibid., p. 18. For the definitive study in English of Brazil’s refugee pol-
icy, see Jeffrey Lesser, Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish
Question, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
27. Proceedings, p. 21.
28. Ibid., pp. 21–22. The history of Argentina’s refugee policy is related in
Haim Avni, Argentina and the Jews: A History of Jewish Immigration,
Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1991. A full treatment of the
1930s period, however, still awaits its historian for English-speaking readers.
29. Proceedings, pp. 25–26 (emphasis in text).
30. Ibid., p. 27.
31. Ibid.
32. Ibid., pp. 27–28. For an interesting discussion regarding some of the
currents at play in Chile regarding Jews during this period, see Sandra
McGee Deutsch, “Anti-Semitism and the Chilean Movimiento Nacional
Socialista, 1932–1941,” in David Sheinin and Lois Baer Barr (ed.), The
Jewish Diaspora in Latin America: New Studies on History and Literature,
New York: Garland, 1996, pp. 161–181.
33. Proceedings, p. 28.
34. Ibid., pp. 28–29.
35. For Mexico’s overall policy regarding the Jewish refugees across the Nazi
period, see Daniela Gleizer, Unwelcome Exiles: Mexico and the Jewish
Refugees from Nazism, 1933–1945, Leiden: Brill, 2014.
36. Proceedings, pp. 29–30.
37. Ibid., p. 30.
38. Ibid., pp. 31–32.
39. Ibid., p. 32.
6  THE DELEGATES SPEAK  79

40. Marion A. Kaplan, Dominion Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in


Sosúa, 1940–1945, New York: Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living
Memorial to the Holocaust, 2008, p. 16.
41. Saul S. Friedman, No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy toward
Jewish Refugees, 1938–1945, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1973,
p. 62.
42. William Rubinstein, The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies could not
have Saved More Jews from the Nazis, London: Routledge, 1997, p. 38.
43. Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, FDR and the Jews, Cambridge
(MA): Harvard University Press, 2013, p. 109.
44. The upshot saw the subsequent establishment of a Jewish refugee set-
tlement at Sosúa, in the province of Puerto Plata. Despite the offer of
100,000, fewer than 800 German and Austrian Jewish refugees managed
to arrive between 1940 and 1945. See Kaplan, Dominican Haven; and
Allen Wells, Tropical Zion: General Trujillo, FDR, and the Jews of Sosúa,
Durham (NC): Duke University Press, 2009.
45. Proceedings, p. 35.
46. Ibid., p. 36.
47. Ibid.
48. Ibid., p. 38.
49. Ibid.
50. One further Latin American country, Bolivia, also spoke at the confer-
ence, but its contribution was reserved for the Closing Session and not
included among the General Statements. The Bolivian statement will be
assessed later in this volume.
51. TNA, FO 37, file 21748, Foreign Office minute by Roger Makins, April
7, 1938.
52. Norman Bentwich, “The Evian Conference and After,” Fortnightly, vol.
144 (September 1938), p. 289.
53.  NAA, A434, file 50/3/41837, “Refugees from Austria: Special
Committee Proposed by U.S.A., Evian,” High Commissioner’s Office,
London, to Secretary, Department of External Affairs, Canberra, July 13,
1938.
54.  Board of Deputies of British Jews Archives, London, file E3/282/1,
“Inter-Governmental Conference on Refugees Held at Evian, July 6,
1938,” unsigned report.
55. Ibid.
56. Proceedings, pp. 19–20.
57. Paul R. Bartrop, Australia and the Holocaust, 1933–1945, Kew (Victoria):
Australian Scholarly Publishing, 1994, chap. 6.
80  P.R. BARTROP

58.  Australian Population and Immigration Council (APIC), Population


Report (prepared by the Committee on Refugee Issues of APIC),
Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1979.
59. Proceedings, p. 20.
60. Australia’s position regarding refugees from Nazi persecution has been
dealt with comprehensively in a number of studies. See, for example,
Bartrop, Australia and the Holocaust; Michael Blakeney, Australia and
the Jewish Refugees, 1933–1948, Sydney: Croom Helm Australia, 1985;
and Suzanne D. Rutland, Edge of the Diaspora: Two Centuries of Jewish
Settlement in Australia, Sydney: Collins Australia, 1988.
61. Proceedings, p. 20.
62. The most complete treatment of Canadian refugee immigration policy
during the period of the Third Reich is Irving Abella and Harold Troper,
None is too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933–1948, Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 2012. In what has since become an oth-
erwise large literature, see also the essays in L. Ruth Klein (ed.), Nazi
Germany, Canadian Responses: Confronting Antisemitism in the Shadow
of War, Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2012.
63.  Proceedings, p. 20.
64. LAC RG 76, vol. 432, file 644452, pt. 1, Hume Wrong to Prime Minister
Mackenzie King, July 9, 1938.
65.  Proceedings, p. 25. The best accounts of New Zealand’s refugee policy
as it developed can be found in Ann Beaglehole, A Small Price to Pay:
Refugees from Hitler in New Zealand, 1936–1946, Wellington: Allen
and Unwin, 1988; and Freya Klier, Promised New Zealand: Fleeing Nazi
Persecution, Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2009.
66.  Proceedings, p. 34.
67. Ibid.
68. The preeminent scholar dealing with the Jewish refugee issue and Ireland
is Dermot Keogh. See his Jews in Twentieth Century Ireland: Refugees,
Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Cork: Cork University Press, 1998; and
Ireland and Europe, 1919–1948, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1988.
CHAPTER 7

The Sub-Committees

[The] statements in public session … seemed to most observers unhelpful, repetitious,


and designed largely for domestic consumption. The actual work of the meeting was
referred to two sub-committees.
A.J. Sherman (A.J. Sherman, Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from the Third
Reich, 1933–1939, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973, p. 117)

Abstract  Two important sub-committees were established during the


Evian Conference, as this chapter outlines. The first was established
for the purpose of hearing out the representatives of the many refugee
organizations that had come to Evian to present their respective cases
to the delegates. The second was a technical sub-committee that would
gather information as to the number and type of immigrants each coun-
try was prepared to accept. This chapter outlines the ways in which the
two sub-committees functioned, including the representations made
by the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sir Neill
Malcolm, to the conference plenary. Finally, the chapter evaluates the
effectiveness of the two sub-committees, in which it was held by many
that the “real” work of the conference took place.

Keywords  Reception · Organizations · Quotas · Refugees

© The Author(s) 2018 81


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_7
82  P.R. BARTROP

On the afternoon of the second session, Thursday July 7, it was decided


to establish two sub-committees for the purpose of “furthering” the
conference’s work. The first was to be named the “Sub-committee for
the Reception of Organizations Concerned with the Relief of Political
Refugees coming from Germany (including Austria),” and would hear
“in an executive session a representative of each organization which is
registered with the Secretariat-General.”1 The sub-committee would
accommodate the numerous refugee organizations listed as being partici-
pants at the conference, but which could not take part in the general ses-
sions. According to the delegate from the Board of Deputies of British
Jews, these organizations “had of course not been invited and really
had no locus standi at the Conference, [but] nevertheless, their pres-
ence and interest were regarded as natural.”2 The sub-committee would
allow each organization to “present a memorandum of its views through
its representative, who may be permitted to speak for a limited time,”
after which a synopsis would be made of the memoranda received and a
report made to the conference.3
The sub-committee would be chaired by the delegate from Australia,
Sir Thomas White, and be comprised of representatives from Belgium,
the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Mexico, Peru, Cuba,
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.
The second sub-committee was designated the Technical Sub-
committee, its brief to “hear in confidence the statements of laws and
practices of the participating governments, statements of the number and
types of immigrants each is prepared to receive and consider the question
of documentation.”4 The importance of this sub-committee could not
be overstated. Each government would provide confidential information
as to the number and type of immigrants it was prepared to receive, and
consider the question of what documentation it would accept. This, it
will be recalled, was one of the problems relating to the Nansen Office
that underlay the whole status of refugee acceptance. After hearing from
the representatives, the sub-committee would also report back to the
conference.
Headed by Judge Michael Hansson of Norway, the Technical Sub-
committee was comprised of representatives from Brazil, Canada, Chile,
the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Haiti, the Netherlands,
and Switzerland.
7  THE SUB-COMMITTEES  83

The Non-Governmental Organizations


Norman Bentwich later recalled that there were more than a hundred
private refugee organizations present at Evian, a large majority of which
were Jewish or focused on Jewish interests. The emissaries of these
organizations had been sent to Evian, he stated, “to present their need
or their panaceas and, if that was denied them, to waylay the delegates.”5
As Myron Taylor had already invited those organizations that had previ-
ously presented memoranda “to amplify their views, if they so wished,”6
a number of them—thirty-nine, in all—stepped forward to take advan-
tage of the offer and put their case. The list of organizations, as recorded
in the Proceedings, was as follows:

International Christian Committee for Non-Aryans (London)


Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews (London)
Jewish Colonization Association (Paris)
German Jewish Aid Committee (London)
Society for the Protection of Science and Learning (London)
Comité d’aide et d’assistance aux victims de l’antisémitisme en
Allemagne (Brussels)
Comité d’assistance aux réfugiés (Paris)
Comite voor Bijzondere Joodsche Belangen (Amsterdam)
Centre Suisse pour l’aide aux réfugiés (Basle)
Comité central tchécoslovaque pour les réfugiés provenant d’Allemagne
(Prague)
Fédération international des émigrés d’Allemagne (Paris)
International Migration Service (Geneva)
International Student Service (Geneva)
Comité international pour le placement des intellectuels réfugiés
(Geneva)
The Joint Foreign Committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
and the Anglo-Jewish Association (London)
Agudas Isräel World Organization (London)
American Joint Distribution Committee (Paris)
Council for German Jewry (London)
Hicem (Association des Emigrés Hias Ica) (Paris)
Notgemeinschaft Deutscher Wissenschaftler im Ausland (London)
The Society of Friends (German Emergency Committee) (London)
84  P.R. BARTROP

Bureau international pour le respect de droit d’asile et l’aide aux réfugiés


politiques (Paris)
World Jewish Congress (Paris)
New Zionist Organization (London)
Emigration Advisory Committee (London)
Alliance israélite universelle (Paris)
Comité pour le développement de la grande colonisation juive (Zurich)
Internationale ouvriére et socialiste (Paris-Brussels)
Comités catholiques américaines, anglais, belge, français, néelandias et
Suisse pour l’aide aux émigrés
“Freeland” Association (London)
“Ort” (Paris)
Centre recherches de solutions au probléme juif (Paris)
League of Nations Union (London)
Jewish Agency for Palestine (London)
Comité pour la defense des droits des Israélites en Europe centrale et
orientale (Paris)
Union des Sociétés “Osé” (Paris)
Royal Institute of International Affairs (London)
Fédération des émigrés d’Autriche (Paris)
Société d’émigration et de colonisation juive “Emcol” (Paris)
Immediately after the conference, Norman Bentwich wrote that the
Jewish organizations “were fully, perhaps too fully, represented,”7 with
some sending more than one delegate. The result, he concluded, was
“a rather unfortunate competition to see delegations and Press corre-
spondents.” They ranged in size from large organizations to “a one-man
show,” but all “were active and pertinacious.”8 Prior to presenting their
cases to the sub-committee, Bentwich related,

It was realised by some that the multiplicity of approach to the Conference


would be harmful, and an attempt was made to obtain unity of all bod-
ies represented, Jewish, Non-Jewish, religious and political. There were 2
meetings of all the representatives. At the first some measure of agreement
was reached about communications to the Press. At the second, after great
difficulty, a Committee of 15 members was chosen to endeavour to collate
all the memoranda and to appoint a few speakers to lay the proposals in
their different aspects before the Committee of the Conference.9
7  THE SUB-COMMITTEES  85

Rather than hear a distilled memorandum, however, Australia’s Colonel


White, as sub-committee Chairman, announced that it would hear each
organization separately.10 The result was little short of chaotic, and a bit-
ter disappointment to the delegates.
It certainly did not help that the various Jewish organizations found
difficulty in reaching agreement over a common approach before the
conference had even begun. There was, as David S. Wyman has con-
cluded, “a tendency toward disunity” among the Jewish refugee bodies,
as a result of which they “could not unite on any set plans to submit to
the assembly.” The discord was to have dire consequences. Even before
meeting the sub-committee to put their cases, “prolonged disputes over
minor items … [taxed] the patience of governmental delegates.”11
Nonetheless, the hearing took place. The 23 representatives who spoke
before the sub-committee, as listed in the Proceedings, were: Professor
Norman Bentwich, Lord Marley, M. Edouard Oungre, Mrs. Ormerod,
the Rev. Father Odo, Mr. Walter Adams, Dr. M. Goldman, Dr. Arthur
Ruppin, Dr. Isaac Steinberg, M. Georg Bernhard, M. Raoul Evrard, Rabbi
Jonah Wise, Mr. Eppstein, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Brotman, M. Leo Lambert,
M. Gourevitch, M. Marcovici, M. Benjamin Akzin, Dr. Brutzkus,
Dr. Oskar Grun, M. Forcht, and Madame Irene Harand. (In addition,
the sub-committee heard Sir Neill Malcolm, the League of Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees. Malcolm also addressed the plenary meeting
of the conference; his comments will be discussed below.)
On the single afternoon of Friday July 8, the representatives of the
refugee organizations then received the opportunity to make their pres-
entations. Bentwich was given “a longer time than the others” to present
his deposition on behalf of the Council for German Jewry. As he noted,
“after my statement had been translated into French, no questions were
put,” and “the same procedure was adopted with the other speakers”—
though in some cases there was no accompanying translation.12
The sub-committee, with extreme haste, then heard the rest of the
depositions. The urgency accompanying the process was on White’s
insistence, given that he had decided each organization should be heard
separately.13 Given that time was limited, the deputations were pro-
cessed, in the words of White’s adviser Alfred Stirling, “with unprec-
edented dispatch.”14 The hearing was, according to a contemporary
witness, “a humiliating procedure.” The representatives of the organiza-
tions had to
86  P.R. BARTROP

queue up at the door of the meeting room to be called in, one after the
other, and to face the eleven members of the Sub-committee to whom
they were supposed to tell their tale within ten minutes at the most. There
were very distinguished public figures amongst the petitioners—scientists,
authors, politicians, etc—none of them accustomed to any kind of inter-
rogation procedure in front of a Committee, before which they felt rather
as though they were on trial, without time to forward their plea, as they
had soon to make room for the next invited spokesman. All left the room
disheartened and disillusioned.15

Bentwich later recalled that the process of hearing the organizations was
speeded up when the sub-committee began to grow weary: the period
of ten minutes was reduced to five.16 When the depositions were trans-
lated into French, if not first presented in that language, there was little
enough time for a deposition to be heard before it was time to make
way for the next organization. Bentwich recalled later that the audience
chamber was dubbed the “Modern Wailing Wall” by the delegates.17
If the fractious Jewish representatives caused the members of the sub-
committee to lose patience, no less were the representatives frustrated
and disheartened over the sub-committee’s lack of empathy. Both par-
ties, it seemed, were speaking a different conceptual language to each
other. As Adler-Rudel was later to write, “Nobody was prepared for it,
neither the members of the [sub] Committee, nor the representatives of
the various organisations.”18
Bentwich’s observations betrayed one further feature of the sub-
committee, with concern expressed over the fact that the Jewish organ-
izations kept presenting the refugee issue “as an essentially Jewish
problem.”19 This had been a worry for the conference from the start.
Indeed, an ongoing theme was that refugees on “racial grounds” were
not to be regarded as “political refugees”—and it was the latter who were
the main focus of the conference. This took away the essentially Jewish
dimension of Nazi persecution, given that the Nazis had racialized the
German Jewish population and, in so doing, politicized their very exist-
ence.
Sir Thomas White’s speech on behalf of Australia at the plenary ses-
sion, followed by his chairmanship of the sub-committee the day after,
did little to endear him to many of those present. One of the Jewish rep-
resentatives who had run the gauntlet of the audience chamber proudly
7  THE SUB-COMMITTEES  87

informed the delegate from the British Board of Deputies that he had
stood up to White’s dismissive treatment:

I told Col. White … exactly what I thought of him and his statement that
Australia had no racial problem and did not want to import any. I told him
that as far as racial origin was concerned, Australians themselves had little
cause for pride as to their own ancestors!!!20

While sentiments like these may have assuaged damaged sensitivities, it is


highly unlikely that they would ultimately have served any good purpose.
The upshot of the sub-committee’s hearings was a distillation of all
the memoranda presented into a single, three-page synopsis. It identi-
fied four main trends that were of concern to the refugee organizations
and noted that some varied widely: (1) according to the first school of
thought, “it would be advisable to encourage the return of the Jews
to Palestine by substantially increasing the quota which at present lim-
its the number of Jews allowed to return to their ancient home” (this
was a view not shared by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, President of the Zionist
Organization, who, just before the conference, expressed the view that
“Palestine ought to be excluded altogether from the Evian discussion on
the ground that it is sui generis and ought not to be mixed up with the
general question of providing for Jewish refugees”)21; (2) assistance to
refugees should primarily enable them “to be assimilated into the new
national environment into which they are transplanted;” (3) the refu-
gees should be given an uninhabited area in which to live, so that they
“could settle without mingling with indigenous ethnical elements;” and
(4) where Jews managed to obtain refuge they should be guaranteed “all
necessary protection, so that they can enjoy the rights granted to the
minorities of the country on whose soil they are settled.”22
The sub-committee’s report added one further thought, in which
the great Powers were urged to convince Germany to guarantee the
civil rights of Jews pending their emigration. Further, the refugees,
once in a new country, should not be discriminated against “because of
their wealth or social status.” The core of the sub-committee’s lack of
understanding of the true situation facing the Jews in Germany was then
spelled out unequivocally: “priority of departure should only be granted
in the case of political prisoners or individuals who had suffered because of
their opinons”23, 24—a classic misreading of the situation.
88  P.R. BARTROP

Sir Neill Malcolm’s Statement


Sir Neill Malcolm, the League of Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, was, as noted, given the opportunity to speak before the sub-
committee, but in addition he addressed the plenary session during the
crowded third session of the conference, Saturday July 9. In his official
capacity he recognized that “there was very little chance of our being
able to carry through any large-scale settlement in any of the countries
overseas,” and that the speeches he had heard since the conference began
two days earlier had borne this out. All else being equal, he conceded
that “in the present conditions of labour markets in the countries of the
world, any large-scale scheme of migration could only arouse hostility;”
moreover, where there was currently no anti-Jewish feeling, he was con-
scious that “such hostility might easily be aroused if the Government
were to introduce solid blocks of foreign immigrants who would, almost
necessarily, build up an alien element inside the State concerned.”25
Sir Thomas White could not have said it any better, but this would only
be voicing what many were already thinking or saying privately.
Group immigration was also not an option; upon investigating the
issue over a lengthy period, Malcolm’s office found that it would be
far easier for countries to receive “considerable numbers” if they were
introduced as individuals, were able to find occupations, and assimilated
quickly. The best way to do this, he maintained, was to help the private
organizations “in their existing activities,” as it was they who had dem-
onstrated the greatest degree of success in resettling refugees. And this
is where there could be important cooperation between those attending
the Evian meeting and the Office of the High Commissioner: by act-
ing together they would be able to assist each other strategically, and if
the Evian group could also “assist [the] private organizations financially,
I feel that money would be very well spent.”26
Unlike the statements coming from many of the delegates at Evian,
Malcolm’s contained one further view quite at variance with the major-
ity: “it is sufficiently obvious that highly trained experts such as doctors,
lawyers and engineers, whose work lies mostly in the towns, can be set-
tled more cheaply” than other refugees, but “the real difficulty is to find
asylum for the less well-educated masses.” The problem, of course, lay in
the fact that country after country, particularly those from Latin America
speaking on the very same day as Malcolm, had said that only agricul-
tural workers were suitable and that places for urban professionals were
7  THE SUB-COMMITTEES  89

not available. The solution for which he might have hoped was never
going to eventuate as long as this preference remained.
He sought one further positive outcome: that those meeting at Evian
“might be able to induce the German Government to adopt a more lib-
eral policy in matters of money and property.” He also hoped the confer-
ence “might be able to give assistance to the private organisations which
have already done so much,” as any scheme involving successful emigra-
tion required three conditions: “land must be available, there must be
emigrants with suitable training, and money must be forthcoming.”27
While this combination was at present not likely, Malcolm was an opti-
mist who hoped for the best while at the same time expecting the worst.

The Technical Sub-Commitee


The second of the two sub-committees, the Technical Sub-committee,
was tasked with learning about the laws and practices of each of the
attending states. On Monday July 11 its chairman, Judge Michael
Hansson of Norway, was asked by Myron Taylor, to give a quick account
as to its progress owing to the fact that several of the states had not
yet replied to the sub-committee’s requests for information. Hansson
responded that the sub-committee had received written statements from
a number of delegations, and that of those yet to do so “their repre-
sentatives have dealt in the plenary meetings with the questions referred
for study to the Technical Sub-Committee.”28 Accordingly, on the after-
noon of Thursday July 14, in private session, the report of the Technical
Sub-committee was submitted and accepted.
The report stated that the evidence gathered across three days of
intense investigation pointed to one conclusion: that all the governments
appreciated “the serious nature of the refugee problem and the urgent
necessity of finding a solution,” and that, as a result, they were all pre-
pared to cooperate “to the extent permitted by their laws and individual
situation.”29 With a touch of optimism, the report then declared that
“the statements in general hold out prospects for increased reception
of refugees qualifying for admission under the receiving government’s
immigration laws.” It then proceeded to summarize the various ways in
which the countries at Evian had said they would accept refugees. It was
a much more positive take on the countries’ statements than what the
delegates had led the conference to believe in the days preceding. It was
recognized that those bordering on Germany had already done enough;
90  P.R. BARTROP

that many countries were in difficult economic and unemployment situ-


ations; and that the refugees were often impoverished, which was “a
major obstacle to their transference to another country.”
The other key item concerning the sub-committee was the question of
documentation, that is, what passports would be respected by the various
countries, and what to do in situations where a refugee had been rendered
stateless or their passport (as in the case of Austrians) had now become
worthless. The sub-committee found that there were a number of ways
around this problem, several of which had already been in operation.
The Technical Sub-committee, in one sense, did very little other than
to summarize what was already well known among all the major actors
at the conference. It was a useful way of gathering a definitive over-
view of the immigration policies of many of the world’s nations, and
of distributing this knowledge to those present. When it was adopted,
the report became a document that effectively served as a mandate for
doing nothing—other than continuing the discussion. The wording of
the Resolution adopting the report made this clear: it was recommended
that governments should now “continue to study, in a generous spirit,”
the problems it raised.30 And there, so far as the conference was con-
cerned, the matter rested.

Evaluating the Sub-Committees


From the outset it was held that the “real work” would be performed
by the two sub-committees, established for the purpose of extending the
operations of the conference beyond it just being a talking shop. The
first encompassed representatives taken largely from immigrant-­receiving
countries, together with the Big Three (presumably ex officio). The sec-
ond was comprised principally of European countries and those that
could be described as “Western” (plus Brazil, Chile, and Haiti).
Together, the sub-committees demonstrated just how far the whole
conference was a sham. The first, as the delegates learned, was humiliat-
ing, an interrogation carried out with great speed, with those sitting in
judgment alienated from a gaggle of representatives from private organi-
zations who were far from harmonious towards each other. No-one on
that sub-committee, it seemed, was favorably disposed towards receiving
them in a positive manner; all, it seemed further, endorsed Sir Thomas
White’s curtailment of ten minutes to five minutes as the day drew to an
end and the sub-committee members grew restless.
7  THE SUB-COMMITTEES  91

The second sub-committee, gathering data as to the laws and practices


of each country regarding immigration, learned much that was in effect
already known—and during the hearings no country was willing to com-
mit itself to more than that.
One of the more interesting observations concerned the man who was
the link between the two sub-committees, Sir Neill Malcolm. While it
was understood that as High Commissioner for Refugees his was a next-
to-impossible situation, he nonetheless came in for criticism from the
one quarter where the hand of cooperation could have been expected
to have been extended: the conference Chairman and United States del-
egate, Myron Taylor.
Taylor reported after the conference that during the Technical Sub-
committee hearings Malcolm attacked the American representative,
George Brandt, implying that the Americans “should not have called
this Meeting unless we were prepared to modify our immigration laws.”
For Taylor, Malcolm’s attitude throughout the conference “was one
of open hostility,” which was not surprising as he was “a semi-invalid”
who engaged in the work of the League on a part-time basis and left
the rest to “his Turkish Assistant, Mr. Erim [and] Lord Duncannon, a
young boy of some ability who has just left college.” Amidst this suc-
cession of disparagements, Taylor added that Malcolm’s “chief virtue”
was that “he obeys the orders of the British Foreign Office and of the
League Secretariat without question, and does not even attempt to act
independently.” Taylor’s overall view was that, although “pleasant,” Sir
Neill Malcolm was “of little real value.”31
While he was at it, Taylor then also took a swipe at Judge Michael
Hansson, saying that he was “an agreeable, pleasant spoken man,
but proved to be completely ineffective as Chairman of the Technical
Subcommittee.”32
Comments such as these provide a key to understanding why the
sub-committees were successful in what they set out to achieve but at
the same time useless so far as the refugees were concerned. Beneath
the veneer of polite diplomatic discourse lay a writhing mass of national
interests and personal rivalries, all jostling for advantage and keen to gain
ascendancy over the situation. The first sub-committee sought to show
the refugee bodies that it held all the cards; the second, to show that
only existing policies would be adhered to and that nothing new could
be expected. In such an atmosphere, only the refugees would be the
losers.
92  P.R. BARTROP

Notes
1. Proceedings of the Intergovernmental Committee, Evian, July 6th to
15th, 1938: Verbatim Record of the Plenary Meetings of the Committee,
Resolutions, and Reports (hereafter, Proceedings), p. 24.
2. Board of Deputies of British Jews Archives, London, file E3/282/1,
“Inter-Governmental Conference on Refugees Held at Evian, July 6,
1938,” unsigned report (hereafter Board of Deputies Evian Report).
3. Proceedings, p. 24.
4. Ibid.
5. Norman Bentwich, My 77 Years: An Account of My Life and Times,
1883–1960, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962, pp. 147–148.
6. Board of Deputies Evian Report.
7. Wiener Library (London), Document Collection 503, World Jewish
Congress Central Files, 56/7 Box A8/2 “Report on the Governmental
Conference at Evian” by Norman Bentwich, undated, p. 3 (hereafter
Bentwich Report).
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid., pp. 3–4.
10. Proceedings, p. 49.
11. David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis,
1938–1941, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1968, p. 49.
12. Bentwich Report, p. 4.
13. Ibid.
14. NAA A981, file Refugees 4 Pt 1, “Refugees—General Inter-
Governmental Committee (Including Evian Conference)” Pt 1, Alfred
Stirling (London) to W.R. Hodgson (Department of External Affairs,
Canberra), July 17, 1938.
15. S. Adler-Rudel, “The Evian Conference on the Refugee Question,” Leo
Baeck Institute Year Book, vol. XIII (1968), p. 255.
16. Bentwich, My 77 Years, p. 148.
17. Ibid.
18. Adler-Rudel, “The Evian Conference,” p. 255.
19. Bentwich Report, p. 4.
20. Board of Deputies Evian Report.
21. TNA, CO 323/1605/3, unsigned memorandum, June 1938.
22. Proceedings, p. 50.
23. Ibid.
24. Ibid., pp. 32–33.
25. Ibid., p. 33.
7  THE SUB-COMMITTEES  93

26. Ibid.
27. Ibid., pp. 33–34.
28. Ibid., p. 34.
29. Ibid., p. 51.
30. Ibid., p. 53.
31. State CDF 840.48 Refugees/585, report by Myron C. Taylor on a
Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees at Evian, July
20, 1938. In John Mendelsohn (ed.), The Holocaust: Selected Documents
in Eighteen Volumes, vol. 5: Jewish Emigration from 1933 to the Evian
Conference of 1938, Clark (NJ): The Lawbook Exchange Co., 2010,
pp. 258–259.
32. Ibid., p. 259.
CHAPTER 8

Evian: The Dénouement

I am sure … that we should all desire to emphasise the novelty and originality
of what has taken place here.
Henry Bérenger (Proceedings of the Intergovernmental Committee, Evian,
July 6th to 15th, 1938: Verbatim Record of the Plenary Meetings of the Committee,
Resolutions, and Reports (hereafter, Proceedings), p. 45)

Abstract  In this chapter, consideration is given to the overall effective-


ness of the Evian Conference in achieving its aims as they had been set
out in the original invitation and prepared agenda. It is argued did
not “fail,” as is often asserted, when it is measured alongside of its for-
mal intentions. Further, it will be shown that practically the only per-
son to read the reality behind the Evian Conference was Adolf Hitler,
the man who was directly responsible for the refugee crisis in the first
place. Finally, the chapter asks whether the conference could have made
a difference to the events of the Holocaust that were to follow within
a few short years, concluding that no other outcome was ever likely for
the meeting than that which ensued, owing to the priorities of those
attending—priorities which did not give any weight to what was, in reality,
the most pressing humanitarian crisis of the day.

Keywords  Recommendations · Adolf Hitler · Failure

© The Author(s) 2018 95


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3_8
96  P.R. BARTROP

Thursday July 14, the fifth session of the Evian Conference, began with
the submission of a draft resolution “with which it is proposed to con-
clude” the meeting.1 It recommended that refugees henceforth be con-
sidered as “persons who have not already left their country of origin”
(and on this occasion Germany and Austria were named), but who
“must immigrate on account of their political opinions, religious beliefs
or racial origin.” Refugees were also defined as those who, having left
their country of origin, had “not yet established themselves permanently
elsewhere.”2
This was then followed up by a series of other recommendations that
to a large degree let the governments off the hook: they should continue
to provide information; refugees should accept “changed conditions of
living in the countries of settlement;” governments should not have to
accept any financial obligations for taking in refugees; and the govern-
ments should consider a measure of flexibility when it came to assessing
immigration documentation. For all that, however, no actual demands
were made.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the meeting resolved “That
there should meet at London an Intergovernmental Committee consist-
ing of such representatives as the Governments participating in the Evian
Meeting may desire to designate.” This committee would “continue and
develop the work of the Intergovernmental Meeting at Evian.”3 The first
meeting of the new body would take place on August 3, 1938. The pro-
posed resolution received the blessing of Michael Hansson on behalf of
the Nansen Office, and adopted unanimously.

Closing the Conference: The Big Three Again


The conference ended on Friday, July 15. Starting at 11:00 am, Myron
Taylor, as Chairman, made a final formal address to the assembled del-
egates, in which he expressed his view that:

due to the serious spirit of cooperation which has animated this first inter-
governmental meeting, due to the deep-rooted conviction that we were
dealing with a harrowing human problem, we have been able to recom-
mend to our respective Governments the establishment of machinery that
should, if we keep the wheels turning, bring about a real improvement in
the lives and prospects of many millions of our fellow men.4
8  EVIAN: THE DÉNOUEMENT  97

He urged that the work continue “tirelessly, without interruption, in


order that the hopes of the men, women and children who have placed
their faith in our efforts may not be dispelled and their suffering embit-
tered.” As he saw it, the meeting now in the process of adjournment “is
merely a beginning,” and from this point on “the Intergovernmental
Committee is in permanent session.” Between now and when the com-
mittee reconvened in London he expected those participating to remain
in close contact with the Chairman.
Drawing his comments to a close, Taylor hearkened back to his open-
ing address on the first day, reminding delegates that “unless steps were
taken forthwith to remedy the present disorderly exodus … there was
catastrophic human suffering ahead which might have far-reaching con-
sequences in international unrest and strain.”5 He now wished once
more to reaffirm these initial views. His goal was to ensure that the ref-
ugees left their country of origin in an orderly manner and with their
property and possessions intact, and thus, to avoid the prospect of a cha-
otic outcome, it was imperative “that the countries which are willing to
receive immigrants in refuge or in permanent settlement” should collab-
orate with “the country of origin”—that is, Nazi Germany.
Taylor was followed by Lord Winterton. Speaking on behalf of
His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, he said, he gladly
accepted the resolutions of the conference, which represented “a very
encouraging outcome of our work.” In what must have come as a shock
to many of those present, he then broke the cardinal rule determining
Britain’s attendance at Evian from the first: he spoke about Palestine.
A.J. Sherman (whose work, even after four decades, remains defini-
tive vis-à-vis the formation of British policy at this time) has noted that
Winterton had been strongly criticized by Jewish organizations and
the press (particularly in the United States) for having not mentioned
Palestine in his address on the first day.6 Upon his return to London
after the conference he reported to Cabinet that he decided to raise
Palestine “in order to counter possible criticism of the fact that Palestine
had not been mentioned at the meeting at all,” and that his statement
had had “a good effect.”7
His words, however, continued to betray his own anti-Zionist convic-
tions. Representing “the Power that holds the mandate for Palestine,” he
noted that according to some people the whole refugee issue would be
solved “if only the gates of Palestine were thrown open to Jewish immi-
grants without restrictions of any kind.” In response to such a charge,
98  P.R. BARTROP

he found that he had to underscore “as emphatically as I can” that the


very idea was “wholly untenable.” For Zionists at the conference, hear-
ing the devastating words “wholly untenable” must have dashed their
hopes completely. He added that Palestine was beset by “special consid-
erations arising out of the terms of the mandate and out of the local situ-
ation which it is impossible to ignore.”8 That said, Britain had certainly
met its obligations to facilitate Jewish immigration into Palestine, with a
record to date “which calls for no apology;” 300,000 Jews had entered
the country since 1920, and “the number of German Jews admitted dur-
ing the last few years is, I believe, over 40,000.”
Without referring directly to the conflict between Arabs and Jews, he
then discussed what he referred to as “prevailing conditions” with which
Britain was confronted in the Mandate. Numerous proposals were being
put forth for drastic change in the political structure of the country, and
while this did not mean that Jewish immigration would be discontin-
ued—“that has never been contemplated”—it did, nonetheless, suggest
that “certain restrictions of a purely temporary and exceptional charac-
ter” were needed. The object of these restrictions would be to maintain
within reasonable limits “the existing balance of population” pending a
final decision on Palestine’s political future, and as a consequence “no
immediate change is to be anticipated.”9
Having thus dismissed Palestine, he then turned to the rest of
Britain’s empire. This, too, cut across the instructions issued before
the British delegation went to Evian, with the colonies originally out
of bounds as a topic for discussion. Winterton now, however, decided
to raise it, specifically with regard to a possible Jewish refugee haven in
Kenya. Here, he declared, the possibilities for “the small-scale settle-
ment of Jewish refugees has been under consideration for some time.”
Investigations had been made, and reports were favorable. A plan was
being formulated, though what precise form it would take “I am not
in a position to say.” Nevertheless, “in any case it is quite clear that the
process of settlement must be a gradual one.” There could be no ques-
tion of mass immigration “or of disturbing land allotted for native occu-
pation.” He was also interested in other possibilities elsewhere in East
Africa, but did not yet have sufficient information—though “enquiries
are being actively pursued.”10
In his report to Cabinet upon returning to London, Winterton
said that his statement on Kenya “had an excellent effect,” and on this
basis he hoped that soon he would be able to make a similar statement
8  EVIAN: THE DÉNOUEMENT  99

in respect of Northern Rhodesia as well.11 He ended his peroration by


referring directly to the Jews in Germany. He noted that at Evian “we
have all had very much in mind the hardships and difficulties of the peo-
ple who, by reason of the pressure to which they are subjected feel com-
pelled to leave their homes,” which was, to say the least, a strange way of
putting it. He did, however, hope that “their sufferings may be alleviated
in consequence of the present meeting.”12
An unexpected interlude then intruded on the proceedings, when
the delegate for Bolivia, Adolfo Costa Du Rels, was granted leave
to speak. He had been unable to attend the earlier sessions, but now,
rather than recite what his country could or could not do in the man-
ner of the other delegates, he used the opportunity to praise not only
President Roosevelt, but also Michael Hansson and Sir Neill Malcolm.
Looking ahead to London, he said that the government of Bolivia would
“endeavor to give our assistance within the limits of our material pos-
sibilities and the laws in force in our country,” and that, as a result, he
welcomed “the prospect of seeing streams of Jewish emigration moving
towards our countries in America and creating there new centres of civi-
lisation and progress.” We cannot forget, he said, “that to the old adage
‘policy comes first!’ we must to-day reply ‘No, humanity comes first’.”13
It was a remarkable statement, which must have led some to wonder
whether this sense of resolve would have led to a different overall envi-
ronment if it had come earlier in the conference. Bolivia, as it turned
out, proved to be something of a haven, and between 1938 and 1941 it
oversaw the admission of more than 20,000 Jewish refugees.14
Myron Taylor then handed the Chair across to the host, Henry
Bérenger, for the honor of imparting the final words. These were short,
but they said much. While extending his thanks and admiration to Taylor
and Winterton—as well as expressing the pride he felt in being the rep-
resentative of his country in such an important humanitarian undertak-
ing—he then spoke for France one last time, expressing his unreserved
acceptance of the resolutions “unanimously adopted for the purpose of
giving effective and continuous help to refugees” from Germany and
Austria. France, he said, “will collaborate fully with this work in future
as she has collaborated fully in the past, since 1933, with the League of
Nations organs.” Further, he agreed with Taylor that this was only the
start of a process, not the end of one, and he, too, looked forward to the
resumption of the meeting in London in August.15
100  P.R. BARTROP

… And So To London
The upshot of the Evian Conference saw the agreed-upon perma-
nent session in London convene on August 3, 1938. The date and
location having been made at the suggestion of the Americans, in
the words of Canadian historian Michael Marrus it “proved to be the
sole tangible result of the deliberations.”16 The main job of the new
Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees (ICR), he writes, was thus
“to negotiate with the Reich so as to end the current chaos of expulsions
and permit the refugees to take some of their property with them.”17
Its first director was an elderly American lawyer, George Rublee, who,
like Myron Taylor, was a close friend of President Roosevelt; he, in turn,
worked closely with Lord Winterton, who was named as ICR chairman.
There were also two vice-chairmen from France and the Netherlands; the
vice-chair from France was Henry Bérenger.
In addition to negotiating with the Germans, the ICR was also
charged with approaching the governments most likely to offer the ref-
ugees a safe haven, “with a view to developing opportunities for per-
manent settlement.”18 As things turned out, however, the ICR, in the
words of David S. Wyman, “true to the inauspicious circumstances of its
birth at the Evian Conference,” received negligible authority, and virtu-
ally no funds other than a minimum for administration. Member states
provided little; as a result, “the performance of the ICR failed to extend
beyond talk and paperwork,” and it “did not accomplish much in its
nine-year career.”19
In the lead-up to the outbreak of war in September 1939 the ICR
met a number of times, and carried with it the hopes of Jewish organi-
zations and individuals throughout Europe. These meetings, however,
were largely ineffectual and involved, again, little other than talk.20 The
start of World War II brought many of these initiatives to an abrupt halt.
If the follow-up to the Evian Conference was intended to develop a
momentum that would make a genuine and lasting difference, such ide-
als were but a chimera; those attending at Evian, and those who contin-
ued the effort in London made it perfectly clear that there was no will
to carry words into action when it came to helping German—and, later,
European—Jewry.
8  EVIAN: THE DÉNOUEMENT  101

Nazi Germany Looks at Evian


There was, however, one person who saw through the rhetoric coming
from the conference; indeed, he had from the very beginning. Two days
after Roosevelt’s announcement of the forthcoming conference on refu-
gees, Adolf Hitler expressed the hope that given the “deep sympathy”
the nations of the world possessed for the Jews (whom he identified as
“these criminals”), they would “be generous enough to convert their
sympathy into practical aid.” With malicious sarcasm he then offered up
all of Germany’s Jews to any countries that would take them, even pro-
posing that they could leave Germany “on luxury ships.”21
In light of the conference, he could argue that the Jews he did not
want were also unwanted elsewhere. Indeed, in his closing speech at
the Nuremberg Party rally on September 12, 1938, he lampooned
the hypocrisy of the democratic countries who, while bemoaning “the
boundless cruelty” of countries such as Germany and Italy, now offered
“nothing but laments.” Such lamentations, he continued, “have not led
these democratic countries to substitute helpful activity at last for their
hypocritical questions; on the contrary, there was no place for the Jews
in their territory. So no help is given, but morality is saved.”22 When he
mentioned help, he meant, of course, help for Germany to offload its
Jews, not help for the Jews to find a haven.
Moreover, the conference at Evian was employed by the Nazis as a
propaganda opportunity justifying Germany’s antisemitic policies. It was
ridiculed in the Nazi press, even as it took place. One of the most rep-
resentative (and often-quoted) examples of such contempt came from
the daily Völkischer Beobachter on July 13, 1938. Headed “NO ONE
WANTS TO HAVE THEM/FRUITLESS DEBATES AT THE JEW-
CONFERENCE IN EVIAN,” it opened with the statement that “the
results of this conference are very meager.” The article asserted that
for left-wing opponents of Nazism—those the newspaper referred to as
“Marxists”—the conference was an embarrassment in that “it leads to an
intentional legalization of German antisemitic policy.” More than this,
though, while the official statements of the United States, France, and
Britain “made noises of moral outrage over the liquidation of the Jewish
problem in Germany,” they were at the same time “so reserved when
it came to declaring readiness to accept more emigrants that the rep-
resentatives of other states, who did not wish to speak out at all at the
outset, found the courage to express one after the other their reluctance
102  P.R. BARTROP

to permit new Jewish emigration.” The bottom line, in a contradictory


departure from all that had gone before, was that “the United States
alone can be considered a target for Jewish emigration of any significant
proportion.”23 That the Nazis could have read the rest of the confer-
ence in the way they did, but misread where the United States could go,
demonstrated a certain measure of confusion. The United States, after
all, was just as clear in its unhelpfulness as all the other countries, so the
Nazi conclusion that the U.S. was a potential country of significance in
the refugee equation suggests something else—perhaps a challenge to
Roosevelt that he should take the Evian initiative further.
Ironically, the Nazis assessed the Evian Conference better than any-
one else did at the time. It was they who realized that the conference
was focused more on looking good than on actually doing anything of a
definite and lasting nature; it was they who saw that the conference was
not about saving Jews but about saving the reputation of the attending
countries; and it was they who made the connection between Roosevelt’s
calling of the conference and his attempt to deflect attention away from
an otherwise unhelpful American policy.
At an official level no-one else, it seems, was as insightful. Hopes
were actually (and genuinely) held in many quarters that the conference
would achieve something of value for the refugees, and at no time was it
ever considered that the conference had been called not to help the Jews
of Germany and Austria, but to help the countries of the world decide
how best to deal with a policy challenge. It is hardly to be wondered at,
in this light, that Hitler was able to conclude about Evian that no help
would be given by the democracies, but that their own sense of morality
would be saved.

Failure? Success?
Did the conference at Evian, held between July 6 and 15, 1938, live up
to President Roosevelt’s original invitation from back in March? The
answer has to be an unequivocal yes—though this should not give cause
for celebration. As a result of Evian most governments, unsure of where
developments would lead, preferred to adopt a “wait and see” attitude.
At the conference itself, delegate after delegate lined up to say that what
their country was doing for refugees was actually quite a lot, while at
the same time demonstrating that they could do no more and were not
prepared to try. Thus, the immediate results of the conference amounted
8  EVIAN: THE DÉNOUEMENT  103

to nothing of any lasting worth, which was exactly what the attending
governments expected. The assembled countries used the opportunity
presented in order to look good, but the refugees got nothing for it. As
Michael Marrus concludes, “To the consternation of Jewish representa-
tives in mid-1938, Evian simply underscored the unwillingness of the
Western countries to receive Jewish refugees.”24
And yet, despite the oratory and the promises, Evian must be viewed
through the lens of its initiation in March 1938 rather than the horrors
of World War II or the Holocaust. The words of Roosevelt’s invitation
should be borne in mind here: “no country would be expected or asked
to receive a greater number of immigrants than is permitted by its exist-
ing legislation.” All those participating knew this, and all took inspiration
from it.
It is therefore heartbreaking that ever since Evian there has been a
long and constant narrative that begins with “the failure of the Evian
Conference.” In what regard, it must be asked, did Evian actually fail?
It achieved precisely what it set out to achieve, and if its failure lay in
the fact that the delegates did not foresee Auschwitz, then they were not
alone. No-one in 1938 could have done so; more’s the pity.
Admittedly, there were a number of areas in which the conference was
clearly deficient. Even if the Holocaust could not be foreseen, nonethe-
less the possibility of war could be, but at Evian there was no discussion
of what would happen to the Jews of Eastern Europe should Germany
embark on a war of conquest and thereby increase the number of Jews
under Nazi rule. The conference never managed to resolve the points
of crossover between the League of Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, the Nansen Office, or the IGC-in-progress, and it failed to
make any sort of financial arrangements for the refugees. Nor, shame-
fully, did the delegates even agree to condemn the Nazi antisemitic per-
secution that led to the refugee crisis in the first place, with the issue not
even raised. These were all within the conference’s remit as targets that
could have been addressed and met, but none of them were.
On this basis, the Evian Conference could have been criticized at the
time, and it is on this basis alone that any “failures” must be assessed.
The conference, moreover, took place before a further intensification of
anti-Jewish measures was initiated.
After Evian, but prior to the German attack on Poland precipitating
the Second World War, a vast number of events took place that further
reduced options for Jews to remain in Germany. These included: the
104  P.R. BARTROP

establishment of a Nazi Office of Jewish Emigration to speed up the pace


of Jewish emigration from Germany (August 1, 1938); the requirement
that Jewish women add “Sarah” and men add “Israel” to their names
on all legal documents (August 17); the closure of Swiss borders for
Austrian Jews seeking sanctuary (August 19); the Munich Conference
in which Britain and France surrendered the Sudetenland regions of
Czechoslovakia to Germany by negotiation (September 29–30); the
compulsory stamping of passports belonging to German Jews with
the letter “J” to indicate their identity (October 5); the Kristallnacht
pogrom throughout Germany and Austria (November 9–10); the
German invasion of what remained of Czechoslovakia (March 15, 1939);
and the return to Europe of the S.S. St. Louis, a ship carrying 936 Jewish
passengers, after being denied entry into Cuba and the United States
(June 17, 1939). Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939;
Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later, and the
Second World War began.
While it is true that before Evian there were no mass deportations or
large-scale brutal assaults against Jews (though the immediate period
after the Anschluss could fall into the latter category for a brief span), it is
equally true that these began in large and increasing measure after Evian.
Were these in response to the nations of the world turning their back on
the Jews in July 1938? Ascribing too much to a Nazi grand plan lead-
ing to the Holocaust is dangerous; as stated previously, no-one at Evian
could anticipate what would happen next, and the policies in which the
Nazis were engaging could not possibly foresee any of the events to fol-
low. There could be no escaping the fact, however, that even in July
1938 the Jews of Germany were in desperate straits, or that the states
represented at Evian displayed little other than apathy and disregard over
their ultimate destiny.
Could the Evian Conference have made a difference to the events that
were to follow? This is one of the key unanswered (and, ultimately, unan-
swerable) questions of the Holocaust. Perhaps Evian could have acted
as an occasion for caring administrations to voluntarily make some kind
of announcement that they would agree to an increase in their refugee
or immigration intakes. But questions of realpolitik, racial and popula-
tion preferences, antisemitism, economic priorities, and other factors led
to a collective rejection of any liberalization in favor of Nazi Germany’s
unwanted Jews. No other outcome was ever likely at this meeting, and
the hopes of many were consequently both misplaced and unrealizable.
8  EVIAN: THE DÉNOUEMENT  105

When all was said and done, therefore, it was perhaps no coinci-
dence that the word Evian, when spelled backwards, read “naïve,” for
that is precisely what it was; a hope conceived and developed in inno-
cence, in which the stakes for the Jews of Germany (and then, Europe)
were frighteningly high, confronting a regime that cared nothing for
the standard conventions of international behavior and a community of
states that cared little for the fate of the people they had come together
to discuss. If there was any failure, it was a failure of imagination. The
years that followed should have broadened humanity’s horizons; how far
that rings true today, sadly, is for another generation to judge.

Notes
1. Ibid., p. 40.
2. Ibid., p. 54.
3. Ibid., p. 55.
4. Ibid., p. 41.
5. Ibid.
6. A.J. Sherman, Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from the Third Reich,
1933–1939, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973, p. 116.
7. Ibid., p. 120.
8. Proceedings, p. 42.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Sherman, Island Refuge, p. 120.
12. Proceedings, p. 43.
13. Ibid.
14. See Leo Spitzer, Hotel Bolivia: The Culture of Memory in a Refuge from
Nazism, New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.
15. Proceedings, p. 44.
16. Michael R. Marrus, The Unwanted: European Refugees in the Twentieth
Century, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
17. Ibid.
18. Proceedings, p. 55.
19. David S. Wyman, Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis,
1938–1941, Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1968, p. 51.
20. Wyman shows well how weak the ICR was in its first year; see especially
his analysis on p. 52 of Paper Walls.
21. Ronnie Landau, The Nazi Holocaust, London: I.B. Tauris, 1994, p. 137.
22. Norman H. Baynes (ed.), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922–August
1939, vol. 1, New York: Oxford University Press, 1942, pp. 719–720.
106  P.R. BARTROP

23. Völkischer Beobachter, Berlin, July 13, 1938, cited in www.jewishvirtualli-


brary.org/german-paper-ridicules-evian-conference, accessed on May 29,
2017.
24. Marrus, The Unwanted, p. 172.
Appendices

The following appendices are taken directly from Proceedings of the


Intergovernmental Committee, Evian, July 6th to 15th, 1938: Verbatim
Record of the Plenary Meetings of the Committee, Resolutions, and Reports.

1. The Course of the Conference


Session 1: Wednesday July 6, 1938, 4:00 pm
Session 2: Thursday July 7, 3:30 pm
Session 3: Saturday July 9, 11:00 am
Session 4: Monday July 11, 11:00 am
Session 5: Thursday July 14, 5:00 pm
Session 6: Friday July 15, 11:00 am

2. Members of the Deglegations


Argentine Republic

Dr. Tomas A. Le Breton, Ambassador in France


Carlos A. Pardo, Secretary-General of the Permanent Delegation to
the League of Nations

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018 107


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3
108  Appendices

Australia
Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas W. White, DFC, VD, MP, Minister for
Trade and Customs
Alfred Thorpe Stirling, Australian liaison officer in the Foreign Office,
London
A.W. Stuart-Smith, Australia House, London

Belgium
Robert de Foy, Chief of the Belgian State Security Service
J. Schneider, Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign
Trade

Bolivia
Simón Iturri Patiño, Minister in France
Adolfo Costa du Rels, Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations

Brazil
Hélio Lobo, Minister (First Class)
Jorge Olinto de Oliveira, First Secretary to the Brazilian Legation

Canada
Humphrey Hume Wrong, Permanent Delegate to the League of
Nations
W.R. Little, Commissioner for European Emigration in London

Chile
Fernando García Oldini, Minister in Switzerland and Representative
at the International Labor Organization, with the rank of Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

Colombia
Luis Cano, Permanent Delegate to the League of Nations, with the
rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Professor J.M. Yepes, Legal Counselor to the Permanent Delegation
to the League of Nations
Abelardo Forero Benavides, Secretary to the Permanent Delegation to
the League of Nations
Appendices   109

Costa Rica
Professor Luís Dobles Segreda, Chargé d’Affaires in Paris

Cuba
Dr. Juan Antiga Escobar, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary in Switzerland, Permanent Delegate to the League
of Nations

Denmark
Gustav Rasmussen, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Troels Hoff, of the Ministry of Justice

Dominican Republic
Virgilio Trujillo Molina, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary in France and Belgium
Dr. Salvador E. Paradas, Acting Chargé d’Affaires, of the Permanent
Delegation to the League of Nations

Ecuador
Alejandro Gastelu Concha, Secretary of the Permanent Delegation to
the League of Nations, Consul-General in Geneva

France
Henry Bérenger, Ambassador
Bressy, Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Director of the International
Unions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Combes, Director at the Ministry of the Interior
Georges Coulon, Foreign Ministry
Fourcade, Head of Bureau in the Ministry of the Interior
François Seydoux, official of the for Europe
Baron Brincard, Sub-Department for the League of Nations Affairs at
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Guatemala
José Gregorio Diaz, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary in France
110  Appendices

Haiti
Léon R. Thébaud, Commercial Attaché in Paris, with the rank of
Minister

Honduras
Mauricio Rosal, Consul in Paris, with the rank of Envoy Extraordinary
and Minister Plenipotentiary

Ireland
Francis Thomas Cremins, Permanent Delegate to the League of
Nations
John Duff, Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Justice
William Maguire, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of
Industry and Commerce

Mexico
Primo Villa Michel, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
in the Netherlands
Manuel Tello Barraud, Chargé d’Affaires representing the Permanent
Delegation to the League of Nations

Netherlands
W.C. Beucker Andreae, Head of the Legal Section in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs
R.A. Verwey, Director of the State Department for Unemployment
Insurance and Labor Exchanges, Ministry of Social Questions
I.P. Hooykaas, Adviser to the Ministry of Justice

New Zealand
C.B. Burdekin, OBE, from the New Zealand High Commissioner’s
Office in London

Nicaragua
Constantino Herdocia, Minister to Great Britain and France, with the
rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
Appendices   111

Norway
Michael Hansson, President of the Nansen International Office for
Refugees
Carl Platou, Director-General of the Ministry of Justice
Finn Moe, journalist, representative of the private organizations for
refugees in Norway
R. Konstad, Director of the Central Office of Norwegian Passports

Panama
Dr. Ernesto Hoffmann, Consul-General at Geneva and Permanent
Delegate to the League of Nations, with the rank of Envoy
Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

Paraguay
Gustavo A. Wiengreen, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary of Paraguay in Hungary

Peru
Francisco García Calderón Rey, Minister to France, with the rank of
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary

Sweden
Gösta Engzell, Head of the Legal Department of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs
C.A.M. de Hallenborg, Chief of Bureau in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs
E.G. Drougge, Secretary at the Ministry of Labor and Social
Insurance

Switzerland
Dr. Heinrich Rothmund, Director of the Police Division of the
Federal Department of Justice and Police
Henri Werner, Legal Advisor to the Police Division of the Federal
Department of Justice and Police

United Kingdom
Edward Turnour, 6th Earl Winterton, MP, Chancellor of the Duchy
of Lancaster
Sir Charles Michael Palairet, KCMG, Minister Plenipotentiary
112  Appendices

Sir John Shuckburgh, KCMG, CB, Deputy Under-Secretary of State


at the Colonial Office
J.G. Hibbert, MC, Principal, Colonial Office
E.N. Cooper, OBE, Principal, Home Office
R.M. Makins, Assistant Adviser on League of Nations Affairs, Foreign
Office
Captain Victor Cazalet, MP
T.B. Williamson, Home Office

United States of America


Myron C. Taylor, Ambassador on Special Mission
James Grover McDonald, Advisor, Chairman of President Roosevelt’s
Advisory Committee on Political Refugees
Robert T. Pell, Division of European Affairs, State Department
George L. Brandt, Technical Advisor, formerly Chief of the Visa
Division, State Department
Hayward G. Hill, Secretary of the Delegation, Consul in Geneva
George L. Warren, Assistant to Mr. McDonald, Executive Secretary,
President Roosevelt’s Advisory Committee on Political Refugees

Uruguay
Dr. Alfredo Carbonell Debali, Delegate Plenipotentiary

Venezuela
Carlos Aristimuño Coll, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary in France
In attendance by invitation:
High Commissioner’s Office for Refugees from Germany

Sir Neill Malcolm, KCB, DSO


Lord Duncannon
M.K. Erim, Member of the Political Section of the Secretariat of
the League of Nations

3. Conference Agenda
Communicated by the Government of the United States of America to the
Governments invited
Appendices   113

1. To consider what steps can be taken to facilitate the settlement


in other countries of political refugees from Germany (includ-
ing Austria). The term “political refugees,” for the purposes of
the present meeting, is intended to include persons who desire
to leave Germany as well as those who have already done so. The
Conference would of course take due account of the work now
being done by other agencies in this field and would seek means of
supplementing the work done by them.
2. To consider what immediate steps can be taken, within the exist-
ing immigration laws and regulations of the receiving countries,
to assist the most urgent cases. It is anticipated that this would
involve each participating Government furnishing, in so far as
may be practicable, for the strictly confidential information of
the Committee, a statement of its immigration laws and practices
and its present policy regarding the reception of immigrants. It
would be helpful for the Committee to have a general statement
from each participating Government of the number and type of
immigrants it is now prepared to receive or that it might consider
receiving.
3. To consider a system of documentation, acceptable to the partici-
pating States, for those refugees who are unable to obtain requi-
site documents from other sources.
4. To consider the establishment of a continuing body of Governmental
representatives, to be set up in some European capital, to formulate
and to carry out, in co-operation with existing agencies, a long-range
programme looking toward the solution or alleviation of the problem
in the larger sense.
5. To prepare a resolution making recommendations to the par-
ticipating Governments with regard to the subjects enumerated
above and with regard to such other subjects as may be brought
for consideration before the intergovernmental meeting.

4. Resolution (Adopted by the Committee


on July 14, 1938)

The Intergovernmental Committee,


Having met at Evian, France, from July 6th to July 13th, 1938;
114  Appendices

1. Considering that the question of involuntary emigration has


assumed major proportions and that the fate of the unfortunate
people affected has become a problem for intergovernmental
deliberation;
2. Aware that the involuntary emigration of large numbers of people,
of different creeds, economic conditions, professions and trades,
from the country or countries where they have been established,
is disturbing to the general economy, since these persons are
obliged to seek refuge, either temporarily or permanently, in other
countries at a time when there is serious unemployment; that, in
consequence, countries of refuge and settlement are faced with
problems, not only of an economic and social nature, but also of
public order, and that there is a severe strain on the administrative
facilities and absorptive capacities of the receiving countries;
3. Aware, moreover, that the involuntary emigration of people in large
numbers has become so great that it renders racial and religious
problems more acute, increases international unrest, and may hinder
seriously the processes of appeasement in international relations;
4. Believing that it is essential that a long-range program should be
envisaged, whereby assistance to involuntary emigrants, actual and
potential, may be coordinated within the framework of existing
migration laws and practices of Governments;
5. Considering that if countries of refuge or settlement are to coop-
erate in finding an orderly solution of the problem before the
Committee they should have the collaboration of the country of
origin and are therefore persuaded that it will make its contribu-
tion by enabling involuntary emigrants to take with them their
property and possessions and emigrate in an orderly manner;
6. Welcoming heartily the initiative taken by the President of the
United States of America in calling the Intergovernmental Meeting
at Evian for the primary purpose of facilitating involuntary emigra-
tion from Germany (including Austria), and expressing profound
appreciation to the French Government for its courtesy in receiv-
ing the Intergovernmental Meeting at Evian;
7. Bearing in mind the resolution adopted by the Council of the
League of Nations on May 14th, 1938, concerning international
assistance to refugees:
Appendices   115

8. 
Recommends:

a. That the persons coming within the scope of the activity of the
Intergovernmental Committee shall be (1) persons who have
not already left their country of origin (Germany, including
Austria), but who must emigrate on account of their politi-
cal opinion, religious beliefs or racial origin, and (2) persons
as defined in (1) who have already left their country of ori-
gin and who have not yet established themselves permanently
elsewhere;
b. That the Governments participating in the Intergovernmental
Committee shall continue to furnish the Committee for its
strictly confidential information, with (1) details regarding
such immigrants as each Government may be prepared to
receive under its existing laws and practices and (2) details of
these laws and practices;
c. That in view of the fact that the countries of refuge and set-
tlement are entitled to take into account the economic and
social adaptability of immigrants, these should in many cases
be required to accept, at least for a time, changed conditions
of living in the countries of settlement;
d. That the Governments of the countries of refuge and settle-
ment should not assume any obligations for the financing of
involuntary emigration;
e. That, with regard to the documents required by the countries
of refuge and settlement, the Governments represented on the
Intergovernmental Committee should consider the adoption
of the following provision:
In those individual immigration cases in which the usually
required documents emanating from foreign official sources
are found not to be available, there should be accepted such
other documents serving the purpose of the requirements of
law as maybe available to the immigrant,
and that, as regards the document which may be issued to an
involuntary emigrant by the country of his foreign residence
to serve the purpose of a passport, note be taken of the several
international agreements providing for the issue of a travel
document serving the purpose of a passport and of the advan-
tage of their wide application;
116  Appendices

f. 
That there should meet at London an Intergovernmental
Committee consisting of such representatives as the
Governments participating in the Evian Meeting may desire
to designate. This Committee shall continue and develop the
work of the Intergovernmental Meeting at Evian and shall
be constituted and shall function in the following manner:
There shall be a Chairman of this Committee and four Vice-
Chairmen; there shall be a director of authority, appointed
by the Intergovernmental Committee, who shall be guided
by it in his actions. He shall undertake negotiations to
improve the present conditions of exodus and to replace
them by conditions of orderly emigration. He shall approach
the Governments of the countries of refuge and settlement
with a view to developing opportunities for permanent set-
tlement. The Intergovernmental Committee, recognizing
the value of the work of the existing refugee services of the
League of Nations and of the studies of migration made by
the International Labor Office, shall cooperate fully with
these organizations, and the Intergovernmental Committee
at London shall consider the means by which the cooperation
of the Committee and the director with these organizations
shall be established. The Intergovernmental Committee, at
its forthcoming meeting at London, will consider the scale on
which its expenses shall be apportioned among the participat-
ing Governments;
9. That the Intergovernmental Committee in its continued form shall
hold a first meeting at London on August 3rd, 1938.
Bibliography

The following bibliography relates specifically to items referred to in the


endnotes, and has been compiled for ease of reference for readers seeking
an overview of the source used overall.

Archival Collections
Wiener Library, London.
People’s History Museum Archive and Study Centre, Manchester.
Board of Deputies of British Jews Archives, London.
The National Archives, Kew (TNA).
National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA).
Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa (LAC).

Books and Articles


Abella, Irving, and Harold Troper, “‘The Line Must be Drawn Somewhere:’
Canada and Jewish Refugees, 1933–39,” Canadian Historical Review, vol.
60, no. 2 (June 1979), pp. 178–209.
Abella, Irving, and Harold Troper, None is too Many: Canada and the Jews of
Europe, 1933–1948, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.
Adams, R.J.Q., British Politics and Foreign Policy in the Age of Appeasement,
1935–39, Houndmills, Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993.
Adler-Rudel, S., “The Evian Conference on the Refugee Question,” Leo Baeck
Institute Year Book, vol. XIII (1968), pp. 235–273.

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018 117


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3
118  Bibliography

Avni, Haim, Argentina and the Jews: A History of Jewish Immigration,


Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1991.
Bach, H.I., The German Jew: A Synthesis of Judaism and Western Civilization,
1730–1930, Oxford: Oxford University Press/Littman Library, 1984.
Bartrop, Paul R., “Indifference of the Heart: Canada, Australia and the Evian
Conference of 1938,” Australian–Canadian Studies, vol. 6, no. 2 (1989),
pp. 57–74.
Bartrop, Paul R., Australia and the Holocaust, 1933–1945, Melbourne:
Australian Scholarly Publishing, 1994.
Bartrop, Paul R., “The British Colonial Empire and Jewish Refugees during the
Holocaust Period: An Overview,” in Paul R. Bartrop (ed.), False Havens: The
British Empire and the Holocaust, Lanham (MD): University Press of America,
1995, pp. 1–19.
Bartrop, Paul R., “The Dominions and the Evian Conference, 1938: A Lost
Chance or a Golden Opportunity?” in Paul R. Bartrop (ed.), False Havens:
The British Empire and the Holocaust, Lanham (MD): University Press of
America, 1995, pp. 53–78.
Bassler, Gerhard P., Sanctuary Denied: Refugees from the Third Reich and
Newfoundland Immigration Policy 1906–1949, St. John’s: Institute of Social
and Economic Research, 1992.
Baynes, Norman H. (ed.), The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922–August 1939,
vol. 1, New York: Oxford University Press, 1942.
Beaglehole, Ann, A Small Price to Pay: Refugees from Hitler in New Zealand,
1936–46, Wellington: Allen and Unwin, 1988.
Bein, Alex (ed.), Arthur Ruppin: Memoirs, Diaries, Letters, London: Weidenfeld
and Nicolson, 1971.
Beir, Robert L. with Brian Josepher, Roosevelt and the Holocaust: A Rooseveltian
Examines the Policies and Remembers the Times, Fort Lee (NJ): Barricade
Books, 2006.
Bentwich, Norman, “The Evian Conference and After,” Fortnightly, vol. 144
(September 1938), pp. 287–295.
Bentwich, Norman, My 77 Years: An Account of My Life and Times, 1883–1960,
London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962.
Blakeney, Michael, Australia and the Jewish Refugees, 1933–1948, Sydney:
Croom Helm Australia, 1985.
Breitman, Richard, and Alan M. Kraut, American Refugee Policy and European
Jewry, 1933–1945, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988.
Breitman, Richard, and Allan J. Lichtman, FDR and the Jews, Cambridge (MA):
Harvard University Press, 2013.
Breitman, Richard, Barbara McDonald Stewart, and Severin Hochberg (eds.),
Advocate for the Doomed: The Diaries and Papers of James G. McDonald,
1932–1935, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007.
Bibliography   119

Brodrick, Alan Houghton, Near to Greatness: A Life of Earl Winterton, London:


Hutchinson, 1965.
Brustein, William I., Roots of Hate: Anti-Semitism in Europe before the Holocaust,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Bukey, Evan Burr, Hitler’s Austria: Popular Sentiment in the Nazi Era, 1938–
1945, Durham (NC): University of North Carolina Press, 2000.
Burgess, Greg, The League of Nations and the Refugees from Nazi Germany:
James G. McDonald and Hitler’s Victims, London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
Caestecker, Frank, and Bob Moore (eds.), Refugees from Nazi Germany and the
Liberal European States, New York: Berghahn, 2010.
Caron, Vicki, Uneasy Asylum: France and the Jewish Refugee Crisis, 1933–1942,
Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.
Clayton, Anthony, The British Empire as a Superpower, 1919–39, London:
Macmillan, 1986.
Delpard, Raphaël, La Conférence de la Honte, Évian, juillet 1938: Une incroyable
page d’histoire enfin révélée, Paris: Michalon, 2015.
Deutsch, Sandra McGee, “Anti-Semitism and the Chilean Movimiento Nacional
Socialista, 1932–1941,” in David Sheinin and Lois Baer Barr (eds.), The
Jewish Diaspora in Latin America: New Studies on History and Literature,
New York: Garland, 1996, pp. 161–181.
Dippel, John V.H., Bound Upon a Wheel of Fire: Why So Many German Jews
Made the Tragic Decision to Remain in Nazi Germany, New York: Basic
Books, 1996.
Dwork, Debórah, and Robert Jan van Pelt, Flight from the Reich: Refugee Jews,
1933–1946, New York: Norton, 2009.
Estorick, Eric, “The Evian Conference and the Intergovernmental Committee,”
Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 203, no.
1 (May 1939), pp. 136–141.
Fein, Helen (ed.), The Persisting Question: Sociological Perspectives and Social
Contexts of Modern Antisemitism, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1987.
Feingold, Henry L., The Politics of Rescue: The Roosevelt Administration and the
Holocaust, 1938–1945, New Brunswick (NJ): Rutgers University Press, 1970.
Friedman, Saul S., No Haven for the Oppressed: United States Policy toward Jewish
Refugees, 1938–1945, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1973.
Gilbert, Martin, Exile and Return: The Emergence of Jewish Statehood, London:
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978.
Gilbert, Martin, Auschwitz and the Allies, London: Michael Joseph/Rainbird, 1981.
Gleizer, Daniela, Unwelcome Exiles: Mexico and the Jewish Refugees from Nazism,
1933–1945, Leiden: Brill, 2014.
Grady, Tim, The German-Jewish Soldiers of the First World War in History and
Memory, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2011.
Hamerow, Theodore S., Why We Watched: Europe, America, and the Holocaust,
New York: Norton, 2008.
120  Bibliography

Häsler, Alfred A., The Lifeboat is Full: Switzerland and the Refugees, 1933–1945,
New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1969.
Hayes, Peter, Why? Explaining the Holocaust, New York: Norton, 2017.
Hertz, Deborah, How Jews became Germans: The History of Conversion and
Assimilation in Berlin, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.
Kaplan, Marion A., Dominican Haven: The Jewish Refugee Settlement in Sosúa,
1940–1945, New York: Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to
the Holocaust, 2008.
Keogh, Dermot, Ireland and Europe, 1919–1948, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan,
1988.
Keogh, Dermot, Jews in Twentieth Century Ireland: Refugees, Anti-Semitism and
the Holocaust, Cork: Cork University Press, 1998.
Keogh, Dermot, “The Irish Free State and the Refugee Crisis, 1933–45,” in Paul
R. Bartrop (ed.), False Havens: The British Empire and the Holocaust. Lanham
(MD): University Press of America, 1995, pp. 211–237.
Klein, L. Ruth (ed.), Nazi Germany, Canadian Responses: Confronting Antisemitism
in the Shadow of War, Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2012.
Klier, Freya, Promised New Zealand: Fleeing Nazi Persecution, Dunedin: Otago
University Press, 2009.
Koblik, Steven, The Stones Cry Out: Sweden’s Response to the Persecution of the
Jews, 1933–1945, New York: Holocaust Library, 1988.
Kreis, Georg, “Swiss Refugee Policy, 1933–45,” in Georg Kreis (ed.), Switzerland
and the Second World War, London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 103–131.
Laffer, Dennis Ross, “The Jewish Trail of Tears: The Evian Conference of July
1938,” MA thesis, Department of History, University of South Florida,
March 16, 2011.
Landau, Ronnie, The Nazi Holocaust, London: I.B. Tauris, 1994.
Laqueur, Walter, The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth about Hitler’s “Final
Solution,” London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980.
Lesser, Jeffrey, Welcoming the Undesirables: Brazil and the Jewish Question,
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995.
Levine, Paul A., From Indifference to Activism: Swedish Diplomacy and the
Holocaust, 1938–44, Uppsala: Studia Historica Uppsaliensia, 1998.
Livingstone, Michael A., The Fascists and the Jews of Italy: Mussolini’s Race Laws,
1938–1943, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Litvinoff, Barnet (ed.), The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann, Series
B, Papers, vol. II, December 1931–April 1952, New Brunswick (NJ):
Transaction, 1984, p. 102.
London, Louise, Whitehall and the Jews: British Immigration Policy, Jewish
Refugees, and the Holocaust, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
Maga, Timothy P., “Closing the Door: The French Government and Refugee
Policy, 1933–1939,” French Historical Studies, vol. 12, no. 3 (Spring 1982),
pp. 424–442.
Bibliography   121

Markus, Andrew, “Jewish Migration to Australia 1938–49,” Journal of


Australian Studies, no. 13 (November 1983), pp. 18–31.
Marrus, Michael R., The Unwanted: European Refugees in the Twentieth Century,
New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
Massing, Paul, Rehearsal for Destruction: A Study of Political Anti-Semitism in
Imperial Germany, New York: Harper, 1949.
McCagg, William O., Jr., A History of Habsburg Jews, 1670–1918, Bloomington:
Indiana University Press, 1989.
Mendelsohn, John (ed.), The Holocaust: Selected Documents in Eighteen Volumes,
vol. 5: Jewish Emigration from 1933 to the Evian Conference of 1938, Clark
(NJ): The Lawbook Exchange Co., 2010.
Michaelis, Meir, Mussolini and the Jews: German–Italian Relations and the Jewish
Question in Italy, 1022–1945, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.
Michman, Dan (ed.), Belgium and the Holocaust: Jews, Belgians, Germans,
Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1998.
Milgram, Avraham, Portugal, Salazar, and the Jews, Jerusalem: Yad Vashem,
2012.
Moore, Bob, Refugees from Nazi Germany in the Netherlands, 1933–1940, New
York: Springer, 2012.
Morse, Arthur D., While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy, New
York: Hart, 1967.
Mosse, George, Toward the Final Solution: A History of European Racism,
New York: Howard Fertig, 1978.
Offenberger, Ilana, The Jews of Nazi Vienna, 1938–1945: Rescue and Destruction,
Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
Parker, R.A.C., Chamberlain and Appeasement: British Policy and the Coming of
the Second World War, New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
Penkower, Monty Noam, The Jews Were Expendable: Free World Diplomacy and
the Holocaust, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983.
Proceedings of the Intergovernmental Committee, Evian, July 6th to 15th, 1938:
Verbatim Record of the Plenary Meetings of the Committee, Resolutions, and Reports.
Pulzer, Peter, The Rise of Political Anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria,
Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press, 1988.
Pulzer, Peter, Jews and the German State: The Political History of a Minority,
1848–1933, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003.
Rees, Laurence, The Holocaust: A New History, London: Penguin Viking, 2017.
Rubinstein, William D., The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies could not have
Saved more Jews from the Nazis, London: Routledge, 1997.
Rutland, Suzanne D., Edge of the Diaspora: Two Centuries of Jewish Settlement in
Australia, Sydney: Collins Australia, 1988.
Sanders, Ronald, Shores of Refuge: A Hundred Years of Jewish Emigration. New
York: Henry Holt, 1988.
122  Bibliography

Sarfatti, Michele, The Jews in Mussolini’s Italy: From Equality to Persecution,


Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Press, 2006.
Sherman, A.J., Island Refuge: Britain and Refugees from the Third Reich,
1933–1939, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973.
Shain, Milton, A Perfect Storm: Antisemitism in South Africa, 1930–1948, Cape
Town: Jonathan Ball, 2015.
Shimoni, Gideon, Jews and Zionism: The South African Experience (1910–1967),
Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1980.
Shirer, William L., Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent,
1934–1941, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1941.
Sichel, Frieda, From Refugee to Citizen: A Sociological Study of the Immigrants
from Hitler-Europe who Settled in Southern Africa, Cape Town: A.A. Balkema,
1966.
Spitzer, Leo, Hotel Bolivia: The Culture of Memory in a Refuge from Nazism,
New York: Hill and Wang, 1998.
Tal, Uriel, Christians and Jews in Germany: Religion, Politics, and Ideology in the
Second Reich, 1870–1914, Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 1975.
Thomas, Martin, Britain, France and Appeasement: Anglo-French Relations in the
Popular Front Era, London: Bloomsbury, 1997.
Volkov, Shulamit, Germans, Jews, and Antisemites: Trials in Emancipation,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Wagner, Dietrich, and Gerhard Tomkowitz, Anschluss: The Week Hitler Seized
Vienna, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1971.
Warren, Kenneth, Big Steel: The First Century of the United States Steel
Corporation, 1901–2001, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001.
Wasserstein, Bernard, Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939–1945, Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1979.
Wathen, Mary Antonia, The Policy of England and France towards the “Anschluss”
of 1938, Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1954.
Weiss, John, The Politics of Hate: Anti-Semitism, History, and the Holocaust in
Modern Europe, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2003.
Wells, Allen, Tropical Zion: General Trujillo, FDR, and the Jews of Sosúa, Durham
(NC): Duke University Press, 2009.
Winterton, Earl, Pre-War, London: Macmillan, 1932.
Winterton, Earl, Orders of the Day, London: Cassell, 1953.
Winterton, Earl, Fifty Tumultuous Years, London: Hutchinson, 1955
Wyman, David S. Paper Walls: America and the Refugee Crisis, 1938–1941,
Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1968.
Wyman, David S., The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust,
1941–1945, New York: Pantheon, 1984.
Yahil, Leni, The Rescue of Danish Jewry: Test of a Democracy, Philadelphia: Jewish
Publication Society of America, 1969.
Index

A Board of Deputies of British Jews, 79,


Abella, Irving, 18, 28, 31, 80 82, 83, 92
Adler-Rudel, Salomon, 7 Bolivia, 79, 99, 105
Aliens Act 1937, South Africa, 56 Brandt, George, 36, 91
Anschluss, 2, 6, 12–14, 17, 18, 48, 61, Brazil, 2, 24, 25, 30, 62, 63, 78, 82,
62, 104 90
Argentina, 25, 62, 63, 78 Breitman, Richard, 9, 14, 18, 68, 79
Armenians, 16 Briand, Aristide, 37
Australia, 4, 16, 24, 27, 28, 30, 31, Britain, 12, 16, 18, 22, 24–30, 34,
70–74, 76, 79, 80, 82, 85–87 42–45, 48, 49, 52, 53, 57, 71,
Austria, 2, 4–6, 8, 12, 14–16, 24, 27, 92, 97, 98, 101, 104, 105
28, 42, 44, 47, 56, 59, 65, 72, British Empire, 22, 29, 31, 54, 56, 70
73, 75, 79, 82, 96, 99, 102, 104 British Guiana, 26
British Honduras, 26
British West Indies, 64
B Bruce, S.M., 27, 31
Baker, George F., 35 Bulgaria, 56
Baldwin, Stanley, 40 Burdekin, C.B., 75
Belgium, 24, 58, 67, 77, 82 Burgess, Greg, 5, 9
Bentwich, Norman, 70, 79, 83–85, 92
Bérenger, Genevieve Delzant, 39
Bérenger, Henry, 34, 36, 39, 41, 45, C
46, 50, 57, 95, 99, 100 Caillaux, Joseph, 37
Berlin, 2, 8, 9, 45, 52, 54, 77, 106 Calderón Rey, García, 66
Beucker-Andrae, W.C., 58 Canada, 16, 18, 24, 27, 28, 31, 71,
Blair, F.C., 31 73, 74, 76, 80, 82

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018 123


P.R. Bartrop, The Evian Conference of 1938 and the Jewish Refugee Crisis,
The Holocaust and its Contexts, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-65046-3
124  Index

Cárdenas, Lázaro, 65 Dippel, John V.H., 3, 9


Carnegie, Andrew, 35 Dominican Republic, 24, 67, 68
Carnegie Steel Company, 35 Dominions Office, British, 9, 24
Caron, Vicky, 25 Duncannon, Lord, 91
Cazalet, Victor, 41
Chamberlain, Neville, 12, 40, 41
Chautemps, Camille, 12 E
Chile, 65, 78, 82, 90 Ecuador, 65
Ciano, Count Galeazzo, 24 Eden, Anthony, 12
Clemenceau, Georges, 37 Edward VII, King, 44
Coll, Carlos Aristimuño, 66 Egypt, 39
Colombia, 24, 63, 64 El Salvador, 68
Colonial Office, British, 26 Engzell, Gösta, 60
Committee on Foreign Affairs, French, Erim, M.K., 91
38 Eton College, 39, 41
Concha, Alejandro Gastelú, 65
Copenhagen, 59, 77
Cornell Law School, 34 F
Costa Du Rels, Adolfo, 99 Federal Steel Company, 35
Costa Rica, 56, 68, 82 Feingold, Henry L., 18, 29, 42, 48,
Council for German Jewry, 70, 83, 85 53, 56, 77
Cremins, Francis Thomas, 75 “15,000 refugees,” Australia, 72
Cuba, 56, 82, 104 Finland, 56
Czechoslovakia, 24, 56, 104 First World War, 2, 8, 12, 13, 22, 23,
34, 37, 39, 51
Foreign Ministry, French, 25
D Foreign Office, British, 4, 9, 16, 22,
Daladier, Édouard, 39 70, 91
Damascus, 39 France, 7, 12, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25,
Debali, Alfredo Carbonell, 66 30, 34, 36–39, 42, 43, 45, 46,
de Foy, Robert, 58 50–54, 57, 63, 64, 66, 67, 82,
Delpard, Raphaël, 7, 10 99–101, 104
Denmark, 59, 60, 66 French West Indies, 64
Department of Agriculture, Friedman, Saul S., 15, 18, 29, 48, 53,
Dominican Republic, 67 68, 79
Department of Justice and Police,
Switzerland, 60
Department of Mines and Resources, G
Canada, 27 Gallipoli, 39
Department of the Interior, Australia, Garnett, W.J., 22, 24, 29, 30
27 Gary, Elbert H., 35
Depression, The, 35, 62, 74 Geneva, 25, 29, 38, 65, 83
Index   125

Goebbels, Joseph, 38 J
Greece, 23, 56 Jewish Agency for Palestine, 26, 48,
Guadeloupe, 37 70, 84
Guatemala, 24, 56 J stamp, 61

H K
Haiti, 69, 82, 90 Keller, Friedrich von, 38
Hamilton, Lady Georgiana Susan, 39 Kenya, 26, 98
Hansson, Michael, 57, 82, 89, 91, 96, Kristallnacht pogrom, 72, 104
99
Haute-Savoie, Department of, 44
Hayes, Peter, 23, 30 L
Henderson, Sir Nevile, 52 Lake Geneva, 44
Herdocia, Constantino, 68 Lancaster, Duchy of, 40
Heydrich, Reinhard, 57 Lausanne, 44
Hitler, Adolf, 5, 12, 56, 101, 105 Lavisse, Ernest, 37
Hoffmann, Ernesto, 68 Lawrence, T.E., 39
Home Office, British, 40 League of Nations, 5, 6, 9, 23, 25, 26,
Honduras, 56, 68 38, 46, 52, 60, 63, 65, 73, 75,
House of Commons, British, 40 84, 99
Hull, Cordell, 14, 19, 56 League of Nations High
Hungary, 16, 23, 56, 69, 71 Commissioner for Refugees, 45,
50, 85, 88, 103
League of Nations Secretariat, 14
I Le Breton, Tomás, 63
ICR. See Intergovernmental Lesser, Jeffrey, 25, 30, 78
Committee on Refugees Lichtman, Allan J., 14, 18, 68, 79
Immigration Act 1924, United States, Lindsay, Sir Ronald, 24, 30
13 Lobo, Hélio, 62
Imperial Camel Corps, 39 London, 1, 6, 9–11, 16, 18, 19, 22,
India, 40 24, 27, 29–32, 42, 43, 54, 55,
Intergovernmental Committee on 70, 75–79, 83, 84, 92, 96–100,
Refugees, 6, 53, 54, 93, 100 105
International Cotton Mills, 34 Lyons, J.A., 27, 31
Ireland, 16, 17, 23, 24, 28, 29, 31,
71, 75, 76, 80
“Israel”, 104 M
Italy, 24, 56, 76, 101 MacDonald, Ramsay, 40
Mack, Anabel Stuart, 36
Mackenzie King, W.L., 28
Maga, Timothy P., 51, 54
126  Index

Makins, Roger, 21, 22, 24, 29, 30, 32, Norway, 57, 82, 89
41, 53, 70, 79 Nuremberg Nazi Party Rally, 1938,
Malcolm, Sir Neill, 6, 85, 88, 91, 99 101
Marrus, Michael, 100, 103
McDonald, James G., 6, 9
McEwen, John, 72 O
Mein Kampf, 12 Office of Jewish Emigration, Nazi,
Mellon, Andrew W., 37 104
Mellon-Bérenger Agreement, 37 Oldini, Fernando García, 64
Messersmith, George S., 14 “100,000 refugees,” Dominican
Mexico, 24, 65, 78, 82 Republic, 68
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Brazilian, 62
Danish, 59 P
Dutch, 58 Palairet, Sir Michael, 45
Swedish, 60 Palestine, 26, 40, 45, 49, 87, 97, 98
Molina, Virgilio Trujillo, 67 Palestine Mandate, 2, 26, 70
Moore, William Henry, 35 Panama, 56, 68
Morgan, J. Pierpont, Jr., 35 Paraguay, 24, 69
Morgan, J. Pierpont, Snr., 35 Paul-Boncour, Joseph, 25
Mosul, 37 Peel Commission, 2
Munich Conference, 1938, 104 Pell, Robert, 36
Mussolini, Benito, 38, 56, 76 Perth, Lord, 24, 30
Peru, 24, 66, 67, 70, 82
Pétain, Philippe, 39
N Pius XII, Pope, 36
Nansen, Fridtjof, 5 Playfair, Edward, 5
Nansen Office, 5, 6, 57, 82, 96, 103 Poland, 16, 22–24, 50, 54, 56, 71,
National Government, British, 40 103, 104
National Steel Company, 35 Popular Front, France, 12
Netherlands, 58, 59, 64, 77, 82, 100 Portugal, 23, 29, 56
Netherlands West Indies, 64 Pretyman, E.G., 39
New College, Oxford, 39 Privy Council, British, 40
Newfoundland, 31, 71
New Statesman, 55, 76
New York Stock Exchange, 34 R
New York Times, 14 Radical Socialist Party, France, 12
New Zealand, 2, 16, 24, 27, 28, 30, Ramsay, Sir Patrick, 59, 77
31, 70, 71, 75, 76, 80 Rassmussen, Gustav, 59, 66
Nicaragua, 24, 56, 68, 82 Ribbentrop, Joachim von, 52
“No real racial problems” speech, 72 Romania, 16, 23, 24, 50, 56, 77
Northern Rhodesia, 26, 99
Index   127

Roosevelt, Franklin D., 13, 14, 16, 25, T


28, 35, 48, 66, 102 Taylor, Myron C., 46, 93
Rosal, Mauricio, 68 Technical Sub-committee, 82, 89–91
Rothmund, Heinrich, 60, 61 Thébaud, Léon R., 69
Royal Hotel, Evian, 28, 44 Time (magazine), 14
Rubinstein, William, 68, 79 Troper, Harold, 18, 28, 31, 80
Rublee, George, 100 Trujillo, Rafael Leónidas, 67
Ruppin, Arthur, 48, 54, 85 Turkey, 23, 56
Russian Revolution, 23 Turnour, Edward. See Lord Winterton
Turnour, Ronald Chard, 41

S
Salazar, António, 23 U
“Sarah”, 104 United Kingdom. See Britain
Second World War, 3, 18, 30, 61, 78, United States Congress, 13
103, 104 United States Embassy, London, 28
Segreda, Luis Dobles, 68 United States of America, 19, 32
Senate, French, 37 Uruguay, 24, 66
Sherman, A.J., 18, 26, 30, 40, 42, 81, USSR. See Soviet Union
92, 97, 105 U.S. Steel Corporation, 35
Sicherheitsdienst (SD), 57
Sorbonne, 36
South Africa, 16, 24, 27, 28, 56, 71, V
77 Vatican, 12, 36
Soviet Union, 23, 38, 56 Venezuela, 66, 82
Spain, 23, 56, 64, 71 Versailles, Treaty of, 12
Spanish Civil War, 16, 41 Villa Michel, Primo, 65
S.S. St. Louis, 104 Völkischer Beobachter, 101, 106
State Department, United States, 11
Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee,
35 W
Stirling, Alfred, 76, 85, 92 “Wailing Wall,” Evian Conference, 64
Sub-committee for the Reception of Warren, George, 48
Organizations, 82 Washington, D.C., 17, 19, 37, 48
Sudetenland, 6, 73, 104 Weizmann, Chaim, 2, 8, 26, 87
Sweden, 24, 60, 77 Welles, Sumner, 14
Sweetser, Arthur, 14 White, Sir Thomas, 71, 82, 86, 88, 90
Swinton, Viscount, 40 Wiengreen, Gustavo A., 69
Switzerland, 2, 24, 30, 44, 60, 61, 64, Wilson, Cecilia Monica, 41
78, 82 Wilson, Charles Henry Wellesley, 41
World Zionist Organization, 2
128  Index

Wrong, (Humphrey) Hume, 73, 80 Y


Wyman, David, 14 Yepes, Jesús Maria, 63
Yugoslavia, 24, 56