Resettlement of Refugees

April 14, 1938

Report Outline
Austria, Spain, and New Repugee Floods
Treatment of Post-War Refugee Problem
Provision for Emigrants from Nazi Germany
United States as a Haven for Refugees

Austria, Spain, and New Repugee Floods

Germany's annexation of Austria in mid-March, which was followed immediately by application of repressive measures against Jews, monarchists, and active adherents of the regime of former Chancellor Schuschnigg, foreshadowed a new flood of refugees—augmenting the tens of thousands who in the past five years have left Germany to seek abroad a haven from Nazi persecution. Austria's absorption into the Reich had scarcely taken place, moreover, when Insurgent General Franco's drive to the sea appeared to threaten the early collapse of Loyalist Spain. Such an event would force more thousands of refugees to search for safety and shelter in foreign countries.

Hull's Plan for International Refugee Committee

These developments occurred at a time when the two principal international bodies organized to deal with the refugee problem—the Nansen International Office for Refugees and the High. Commission for Refugees (Jewish and Other) Coming from Germany—were preparing to wind up their affairs and liquidate. On March 24, however, Secretary of State Hull addressed to the governments of nine European countries, of the 20 Latin American republics, and of the four British dominions, notes inquiring, in the words of the State Department announcement, “whether they would be willing to cooperate in setting up a special committee for the purpose of facilitating the emigration from Austria and presumably from Germany of political refugees.”

Favorable replies have been received to date from 26 of the 33 nations queried. Italy alone has made an unfavorable response. The convening, in a Swiss city, of an intergovernmental committee to formulate definite plans of action is expected in the near future. While the Hull proposal pertained only to Austrian and German refugees, the work of the committee will presumably be expanded to include Spanish refugees if events in Spain make such a step necessary.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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Oct. 27, 1989  The Politics of American Refugee Policy
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Aug. 26, 1977  Indochinese Refugees
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Jan. 08, 1958  Palestine Arab Refugees
Oct. 12, 1954  Assimilation of Refugees
May 03, 1950  Right of Asylum
Nov. 27, 1946  Immigration of Refugees
Apr. 14, 1938  Resettlement of Refugees
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