WE HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE. What have we learned? Who will we be? In June 1939, just three months before the start of World War II, a ship filled with Jewish refugees left Germany seeking asylum in Cuba, the United States and Canada. Each of those countries turned them away. The boat was forced to return to Europe with all 937 refugees still on board. 254 of those refugees died in the Holocaust.
Anne Frank and her family also tried to make their way to the U.S. when it became clear how dangerous Hitler and his regime were for Jews. Their entry was denied after multiple efforts to leave Europe and make safe passage to the U.S. or Cuba. Documents were later discovered chronicling Otto Frank’s struggle to get U.S. visas for his family. Historian Richard Breitman wrote that “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.” Breitman has said that the “documents suggest ‘Anne Frank could be a 77-year-old woman living in Boston today – a writer.’ Instead, she died at the age of 15 at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany.”
Let’s rise up, friends. Let’s make our voices heard. What’s going on is not normal. It is not acceptable. It is not tolerable. The world has seen this before, and these beginning stages are a direct threat to generations of peoples the world over who have said, in a whisper or a roar, “NEVER AGAIN.”