Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

November 29, 2015

Caught between commission and omission

Filed under: Refugee Crisis — by Philip J. Palin on November 29, 2015

Anne Frank

According to a historian at The American University (Washington DC), the family of Anne Frank, the adolescent diarist of the holocaust, could not qualify for US refugee status:

Otto Frank’s efforts to get his family to the United States ran afoul of restrictive American immigration policies designed to protect national security and guard against an influx of foreigners during time of war. The State Department frequently reduced the number of immigration visas granted below the annual quota levels (set for each European nation by the basic immigration law) by enforcing strict immigration regulations. Those seeking to save themselves had to search for credible American sponsors, accumulate funds for overseas travel,and convince American consuls and State Department officials that they would be a benefit, and not a burden or a threat to the country.

Concerned  by the rise of the Nazis, the Frank family left their native Germany in 1933 to live in Amsterdam. In 1942 the family went into hiding, as described in Anne’s The Diary of a Young Girl.  In 1944 they were betrayed, transported to Bergen-Belsen where Anne died in the late winter of 1945 at fifteen years of age.

In July 1944 she wrote,

It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals.

Seventy years later US refugee policy and procedure continues to challenge the hopes and ideals of many thousands.

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2 Comments »

Comment by Claire Rubin

November 29, 2015 @ 7:53 am

Truly tragic situation for Anne Frank. And I have met two Jewish families (who now live in the U.S.)who had relatives here but they were not willing to sponsor their European relatives to come to the U.S.

We must reexamine our attitudes toward immigrants and share what we have.

Comment by William R. Cumming

November 29, 2015 @ 8:48 am

Disclosure: On my version of the GRAND TOUR in summer 1964 with twin brothers both engineers I visited Amsterdam and the hideout of Anne Frank! No lines then and a started weeping during the visit. I had read her diary. My travel companions did not understand my weeping. Little did I know that over 4 yeard later I would be visiting the site of the Dachau Concentration camp paying a US soldier his pay because while stationed nearby I was the unit PAY OFFICER and the ARMY paid enlisted ranks in cash only. The US Army had used Dachau as a military stockade since the end of WWII in Europe. The soldier was a prisoner there.

When I returned to my unit I wrote a letter through the chain of command questioning largely on public relations ground the use of Dachau as a stockade. I had to walk by the ovens to reach the soldier I was paying. Six months later General Polk closed Dachau.

End of disclosure!

But it is time that political correctness and cover-up end with respect to the US assistance in the Holocaust. Wall Street helped fund the rise of the NAZIs and helped fund the German war effort unit even after Pearl Harbor. And over a million Jews or more could easily have been saved by the US if its State Department had not been filled with anti-semites.

When one of my son’s asked me when he was a teenager why the US supported Israel so strongly I used one word: GUILT!

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