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VIRTUAL TALK: “The Last Million: Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War” with David Nasaw
January 19, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm$10.00
THE LAST MILLION
Europe’s Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War
At the end of World War II, millions of lost and homeless concentration camp survivors, POWS, slave laborers, political prisoners and Nazi collaborators in flight from the Red Army overwhelmed Germany, a nation in ruins. British and American soldiers attempted to repatriate them. But after exhaustive efforts, many refused to go home or had no homes to return to. They were referred to as the Last Million. The International Refugee Organization was created to resettle them in nations reluctant to receive them. Including ours. In 1948, the United States–among the last countries to accept refugees—passed a displaced persons bill. Here, Cold War fears supplanted memories of World War II atrocities; the bill granted the majority of visas to those who were reliably anti-Communist, including thousands of former Nazi collaborators and war criminals, while severely limiting the entry of Jews, who were suspected of being Communist sympathizers or agents because they had been recent residents of Soviet-dominated Poland. It wasn’t until the controversial partition of Palestine and Israel’s declaration of independence that the remaining Jewish survivors were able to leave their displaced persons camps in Germany. By 1952, the Last Million were scattered around the world. This is their incredible history. This is our history as well. PURCHASE THIS BOOK ONLINE FROM EIGHT COUSINS BOOKSTORE
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