US policy toward Jewish immigrants and refugees in World War II #general

David Laskin

A relative of mine named Shalom Tvi left his village in Poland (now Belarus)
in July, 1939 and came to stay with my mother's family in the Bronx. The
story is Shalom Tvi came first with the intention of bringing the rest of
his family over -- wife, grown daughters, their husbands, grandchildren.
The war started a few weeks after he arrived here and Shalom Tvi's family
was trapped in Poland.

I have letters they wrote between 1939 and 1941, before the Nazis took
their section of Poland, pleading with the American family to assist them in
emigrating to the US. None of them got out and all were killed by the Nazis.

What are the facts about US immigration policy in those years? Would my US
family have been able to get them out? Why was Shalom Tvi able to travel
to the States before the war? Did US policy change after the war started?

I would appreciate guidance and any suggestions of source material or
histories that cover this topic.

Many thanks.

David Laskin, Seattle WA

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