More than 100 anti-Semitic organizations blanketed the US with propaganda blaming Jews for all America’s ills. Businesses discriminated against Jews, refusing them jobs. Signs at private beaches bore the words “No Jews or Dogs allowed” and certain hotels and housing developments proudly proclaimed themselves “Restricted.” Even the government was not immune from anti-Semitic sentiments.
As part of Tolerance Week the PBS American Experience documentary America and the Holocaust, Deceit and Indifference was shown on Monday, April 3 at 6:30 pm in the Cargill Auditorium.
In 1938, American society had its own political, social, and economic problems, including anti-Semitism. Despite stories coming from Europe about a campaign to force Jews out of Germany and about the horrors of Kristallnacht (“the night of broken glass”), the majority of Americans were fearful that an influx of immigrants would only aggravate the serious unemployment problem brought on by the Depression.
America and the Holocaust paints a troubling picture of the U.S. during this time. It reveals a government that not only delayed action but also suppressed information and blocked efforts that could have resulted in the rescue of hundreds of thousands of people.