Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Emmett M. Essin III

Committee Members

Dale J. Schmitt, Stephen G Fritz


This paper examines the role and scope of the American public’s opinion on European Jews in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Significant attention is placed on several aspects of American politics and public perceptions at this time. The ideas that developed from the Great Depression through World War II on refugees and immigrants are closely scrutinized.

The approach to this study focuses on sources from renowned Holocaust scholars including Raul Hilberg, David S. Wyman, Martin Gilbert, Henry Feingold, Hadley Cantril, Robert Divine, and Deborah E. Lipstadt to name a select few of the authors referenced. Several newspapers and journals such as the New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Washington Post, The Christian Century, The Nation, and the New Republic are referenced. The areas of focus are on public attitude, governmental involvement, Jewish leadership in the United States, and military capabilities. Conclusions of this study include apathy from participating parties, the inability to organize strong rescue support, and the refusal to lower the immigration restrictions of the time.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

History Commons