Canada's Efforts to Support Jewish Refugees

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by meiryyz
Last updated 9 years ago

Social Studies
Jewish History

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Canada's Efforts to Support Jewish Refugees

After 1945 Mackenzie King started a slow change in Canada's immigration policy. Canadians finally saw the horrors of what happened in concentration camps and slowly started to change their mind about Jewish refugees.

1930sCanada stopped excepting refugees except from America, Britain and those who had enough capital start a business. This was due to the lack of jobs in Canada because of the Great Depression. This was a problem for Jewish Refugees from Germany because they had no money and at that time Canada did not distinguish between refugees and regular immigrants.

Canada's Efforts to Suport Jewish Refugees by Meir Sifen

"I often think that instead of persecution it would be far better if we more often told them frankly why many of them are unpopular," said Blair. "If they would divest themselves of certain of their habits I am sure they could be just as popular in Canada as our Scandinavians."

In May of 1939, The MS St Louis was carrying nearly 1000 Jewish refugees and was turned away by Cuba than U.S and finally Canada. Mackenzie King and his ministers said that the refugees was not Canada's problem, even though many Jewish and Non-Jewish organizations petitioned for the entry of refugees from Germany.

Many wealthy Jewish refugees we turned away even though they would be able to support themselves. This shows how anti-Semitic many Canadians were at that time. The Canadian Jewish Congress offered to support 10,000 Jewish refugees but this offer was still turned down by the Canadian Government.

Fredrick Blair was a rabid anti-Semite and he was head of immigration to Canada from 1936 to 1943. He is famous for saying "None is too many." He was speaking about Jewish immigration.

Canada had the lowest Jewish refugee rate of any 1st world nation with only 4000 immigrants.


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