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Morgenthau Tells Roosevelt State Department is Blocking Rescue of Jews

(January 16, 1944)

This memorandum written by John Pehle, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau’s assistant, regarding January 16, 1944, meeting with President Roosevelt. Morgenthau related that the State Department was obstructing the rescue of European Jews. Breckinridge Long was blamed for the problem, but Roosevelt was skeptical. He thought the problem was that “bad people” were being recommended for admission to the United States, but Morgenthau explained that only three Jews who entered the country turned out to be “undesirable.” Morgenthau gave the president a detailed memo documenting the State Department’s behavior with regard to European Jewry.