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Letters: Rescuing Jews

January 10, 2013

Re "Holocaust's children," Column One, Jan. 4

Doris Small's story, in which she escaped Nazi Germany before World War II thanks to the rescue mission Kindertransport, is indeed very moving and poignant. But let's not forget that there was an effort by a few Americans to actually try to do the same thing the British government was doing then.

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who in 1939 urged her husband to support a bill in Congress to allow 20,000 Jewish children to come to America and be temporarily adopted by American parents for the duration of the hostility. It was known as the Wagner-Rogers bill.

But the American sentiment at that time was overwhelmingly isolationist and, yes, anti-Semitic. Organizations such as the American Legion and Daughters of the American Revolution opposed the bill, which they claimed threatened American liberty.

The bill was never put up for a vote. What a shame.

Osmond Cheung

Valley Village

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