On the American experience of postwar Jewish refugees

October 11, 2018 14:23
4 minute read.
President Harry S. Truman

President Harry S. Truman. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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The American experience of Jewish survivors began before they legally reached the refuge of the oppressed either thanks to the Truman directive of December 22, 1945 or to the 1948 Displaced Persons Act, amended in 1950 after bitter debates to remove indirect discriminatory provisions vis-à-vis Jewish DPs. By then, about two-thirds went to Palestine/Israel while a third of them immigrated to the United States – which took the second largest number of survivors. The most common motivations were the desire to renew ties with one or more family members who had emigrated before the war, and the appeal of the American dream, together with the image of tolerance and anonymity, which could be found in such a large country.


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