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What Americans Thought of Jewish Refugees Prior to World War II


What is your attitude towards allowing German, Austrian and other political refugees to come into the United States? (Fortune, July 1938)

With conditions as they are, we should try to keep them out.
We should allow them to come but not raise our immigration quotas
We should encourage them to come even if we have to raise our immigration quotas
Don't Know

It has been proposed to bring to this country 10,000 refugee children from Germany - most of them Jewish - to be taken care of in American homes.
Should the government permit these children to come in? (Gallup American Institute of Public Opinion, January 20, 1939)

No Opinion

Tharoor notes: Polling in this period, including Gallup surveys, was not as scientifically rigorous as it later became. Also, respondents may not necessarily have had a particular bias against Jewish refugees. A separate portion of Gallup respondents were asked a nearly identical question which did not describe refugees as Jewish. Support for accepting refugees was slightly lower than when they were described as mostly Jewish.

Source: Ishaan Tharoor, “What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II,” Washington Post, (November 17, 2015).