• Menu

  • Visiting

  • Shop

  • Languages

  • Accessibility
Visiting Info
Opening Hours:

Sunday to Wednesday: 09:00-17:00
Thursday: 9:00-20:00 *
Fridays and Holiday eves: 09:00-14:00.

Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

* The Holocaust History Museum, Museum of Holocaust Art, Exhibitions Pavilion and Synagogue are open until 20:00. All other sites close at 17:00.

Drive to Yad Vashem:
For more Visiting Information click here

The American Jewish Committee and the Admission of Nazi Collaborators into the United States, 1948-1950

Haim Genizi

  1. See Naomi W. Cohen, Not Free to Desist: The American Jewish Committee, 1906-1966 (Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1972), pp. 3-18,154-264; Frederick A. Lazin, “The Response of the AJC to the Crisis of German Jewry, 1933-1939,” American Jewish History, 68 (March 1979), pp. 283-304; Sheldon Morris Neuringer, “American Jewry and United States Immigration Policy, 1881-1953” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, 1969), pp. 216, 229-230, 242, 270.
  2. FNT (Frank N. Trager) to SW, December 29, 1938 , H W. Levy to Trager, September, 1939, AJC Archives (AJC), Refugees, 1938-1944; Clarence E. Pickett, For More Than Bread (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1953), p. 148; Haim Genizi, American Apathy: The Plight of Christian Refugees from Nazism (Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 1983), pp. 189-190, 285-286.
  3. Dr. Cyrus Adler (1863-1940), a Semitic scholar, was a leading figure in the American Jewish community during the first four decades of the twentieth century. The founder of the American Jewish Historical Society and its president (1898-1922); president of Dropsie College for Hebrew and Cognate Learning in Philadelphia; chairman of the United Synagogue of America; and president of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. He was one of the founders of the AJC, its director, and, for more than two decades, its president, until his death in 1940.
  4. Cyrus Adler to Samuel Dickstein, March 27, 1933, AJC, Immigration.
  5. Morris D. Waldman (1879-1963), a rabbi and a social worker, director of Galveston Movement (1906-1908); director of United Hebrew Charities (1908- 1917); lecturer in social science at Columbia University (1916-1918); executive secretary of the AJC (1928-1945); and executive vice-president after 1945.
  6. Morris Waldman to Joseph I. Brody, May 16, 1933, AJC, Germany; see also Emanuel Celler to Cyrus Adler, April 5, 1938; Harry Schneiderman to C. Adler, April 7, 1938, AJC, Refugees.
  7. Lazin, “The Response of the AJC to the Crisis of German Jewry,” pp. 285, 289, 295, 301-302.
  8. Among others, see David S. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews: America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York: Pantheon, 1984); Seymour M. Finger, ed., American Jewry During the Holocaust (New York: American Jewish Commission on the Holocaust, 1984); Henry L. Feingold, “Was There Communal Failure? Some Thoughts on the American Jewish Response to the Holocaust,” American Jewish History, 81 (1993), pp. 60-80; Leonard Dinnerstein, “What Should American Jews Have Done to Rescue Their European Brethren?,” Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, 3 (1986), pp. 277-287; Frank W. Brecher, “David Wyman and the Historiography of American Response to the Holocaust: Counter Considerations,” Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 5 (1990), pp. 423-431; Lucy S. Dawidowicz, What Is the Use of Jewish History?, edited by Neal Kozodoy (New York: Schocken, 1992); Rafael Medoff, The Deafening Silence: American Jewish Leadership and the Holocaust (New York: Shapolsky, 1987); William D. Rubinstein, The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies Could Not Have Saved More Jews from the Nazis (London and New York: Routledge, 1997); Jeffrey S. Gurock, ed., America, American Jews and the Holocaust (New York and London: Routledge, 1998).
  9. Wyman, Abandonment of the Jews, p. 328.
  10. Louis M. Hacker and Mark D. Hirsch, Proskauer: His Life and Times (Birmingham: The University of Alabama Press, 1978), p. 133; Joseph M. Proskauer, A Segment of My Life (New York: Farrar, Straus and Co., 1950), p. 199.
  11. Proskauer, A Segment of My Life, p. 199; see also Cohen, Not Free to Desist, pp. 256-257.
  12. Proskauer, A Segment of My Life, pp. 204-205; see also Zvi Ganin, Truman, American Jewry, and Israel, 1945-1948 (New York and London: Holmes and Meier Publishers,, 1979), p. 11.
  13. Cohen, Not Free to Desist, p. 259; Ganin, Truman, American Jewry, p. 11.
  14. Quoted in Cohen, p. 260.
  15. Ibid., p. 262.
  16. Ibid., p. 453.
  17. Ibid., pp. 339, 266.
  18. Report of the AJC (n.d.), AJC, Germany, Immigration, Adviser.
  19. See Haim Genizi, The Adviser on Jewish Affairs to the American Army and the DPs, 1945-1949 (Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Moreshet and Sifriat Poalim, 1987), pp. 22-25.
  20. For a detailed discussion of the history of the Adviser on Jewish Affairs, see ibid.
  21. President’s Directive on Immigration from Europe, December 22, 1945,The United Nations Archives,New York, the papers of UNRRA, PAG- 4/3.0.11..0.6:12 ( UNA/UNRRA).
  22. Jacob Blaustein (1892-1970), oil business executive and philanthropist, was chairman of the AJC executive committee and later served as its president.
  23. Department of State, VD to Jacob Blaustein, January 25, 1946, AJC, FAD- 1, box 33, YIVO.
  24. AJC, “Memorandum on Immigration,” n.d.,(AJC, Immigration, DP, 1945- 1947.
  25. Joseph Proskauer to the Members of the AJC, October 7, 1946, AJC, Joseph M. Proskauer papers, DP, Immigration (JMP).
  26. Irving M. Engel (1891-1978), a lawyer, communal leader and active in Democratic and liberal politics, was chairman of the AJC executive committee (1949-1954), and the Committee’s president (1954-1959).
  27. Proskauer to John Slawson, October 15, 1946; Slawson to Proskauer, October 22, 1946, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946-1953.
  28. Lessing Rosenwald to Proskauer, November 13, 1946; Proskauer to Rosenwald, November 19, 1946, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946-1953, box 3. See also Thomas A. Kolsky, “Jews Against Zionism: The American Council for Judaism, 1942-1948” (Ph.D. Dissertation, George Washington University, Washington D.C., 1986), p. 342.
  29. Quoted in Leonard Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors of the Holocaust (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), p. 124.
  30. AJC, Minutes of Immigration Subcommittee, November 5, 1946; CCDP, Articles of Organization, December 26, 1946, AJC, the papers of Irving M. Engel ( IME), CCDP, 1946, box 15.
  31. AJC, “Interim Report on AJC Immigration Campaign,” April 14, 1947, AJC, IME, CCDP, 1947.
  32. Proskauer to Frederick O. Nolde, November 18, 1946; Engel to Nolde, November 20, 1946, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946-1953, box 3; Minutes, Meeting of Immigration Subcommittee, November 5, 1946; Selma Hirsch to Engel, November 6, 1946; “Humane Treatment of DPs,” Excerpt from the Statement of the Catholic Bishops on “Man and Peace,” November 16, 1946; Engel to Martin F. Huberth, November 18, 1946; Engel to H.J. Carroll, November 19, 1946; Engel to Edward Swanstrom, November 19, 1946, AJC, IME, Correspondence, 1945-1946. 
  33. Ely M. Aaron to Proskauer, May 21, 1947, AJC, Fund Raising, 1947-1948; see also Genizi, American Apathy, pp. 285-334.
  34. Engel to Sinton, December 11, 1946, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. 1946.
  35. William Bernard to Joseph L. Baron, December 15, 1947, AJC, IME, CCDP, 1947.
  36. Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 126-127.
  37. CCDP, “News Release,” April 1, 1947, AJC, Immigration, DP, 1945-1947.
  38. Statement on DPs Adopted by the Executive Committee of the National Catholic Rural Life Conferenece, Meetings held in Des Moines, Iowa, April 16, 1947; Bishop William T. Mulloy to Bernard, April 22, 1947; Engel to George Hexter, January 27, 1947, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20, Editorial, ”On Aiding DPs,” America, 77 (May 3, 1947); Walter Dushnyck, “European Refugees in Grave Danger,” ibid., pp. 125-127; Dushnyck and W. J. Gibbons, “For a Positive Refugee Policy,” ibid., 77 (June 21, 1947), pp. 317-319.
  39. Dushnyck to Engel, June 18, 26, 1947, AJC, IME, CCDP, June-August, 1947.
  40. Editorial, The Christian Century, April 23, 1947.
  41. “Refugees, Immigrants and Christian Charity,” America, 76 (February 22, 1947), p. 564.
  42. “Statement of his Eminence, Francis Cardinal Spellman, for pamphlet of the CCDP,” June 3, 1947; Spellman to Proskauer, June 4, 1947, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946-1953.
  43. For a detailed account of the deliberations on the Wiley-Revercomb Bill, see Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 162-175.
  44. Engel to Benjamin S. Katz, March 12, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20.
  45. The New York Times, June 5, 24, July 15, 1948.
  46. Ibid., June 25, 1948.
  47. A four-page undated AJC memorandum, beginning with the words “The DP Act,” AJC, IME, CCDP, box 15; Proskauer to Truman, June 18, 1948, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  48. Truman to Frank Goldman (B’nai Brith), July 7, 1948, Anti Defamation League Archives, New York City (ADL); The New York Times, July 22, 1948.
  49. Slawson to William Haber, June 21, 1948, AJC, Emigration-Immigration, Germany West, 1944-1949, Adviser.
  50. “An Act of Atonement: A Statement by the CCDP,” October 24, 1948, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3; Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 172-175.
  51. “ADL, Press Release,” June 8, 1948, ADL.
  52. George Hexter to CRC, Subject: DP Legislation, June 24, 1948, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 16. This draft letter, which clearly revealed Hexter’s feelings, was never sent. See the meaningful changes in the letter of the following day: Hexter to CRC, June 25, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20.
  53. Memo from Mark [Vosk] to Sandy [Flowerman], Re: DP Legislation, July 9, 1948, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 16.
  54. Abraham G. Duker, “Summary of the Statement on the Need for Screening Displaced Persons Applying for the Entry into the U.S.,” June 1, 1948, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 16; A.G. Duker, “The DP Scandal Reviewed,” The English Section of the Day, July 25, 1948.
  55. Hexter to Jacob Billikopf, July 28, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20.
  56. Proskauer to Engel, March 9, 11, 1949, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946- 1953.
  57. Harry N. Rosenfield to Kurt Grossman, December 21, 1950, National Archives, Washington, Displaced Persons Commission, box 40; William Haber to Abraham Ruthfeld, August 31, 1948, AJC, Emigration-Immigration, Germany, 1948-1949, Adviser.
  58. The New York Post, November 19, 21, 1948.
  59. Edwin A. Brown to Herbert C. Lytle, November 22, 1948; Brown to Almon R. Pepper, November 22, 1948, The Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, the files of the National Council of Churches, the papers of Church World Service, RG-8, S-VIII, box 113, 1948, DP and Refugees.
  60. William J. Gibbons to Engel, December 28, 1948, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration.
  61. Letters to the New York Times, January 12, 1949. The Christian response condemned the “widespread propaganda” concerning the large proportion of former Nazi collaborators among non-Jewish DPs; The New York Times, February 3, 1949.
  62. Hexter to Billikopf, July 28, 1948; Lessing Rosenwald to Charles P. Taft, December 6, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20; William Haber, “Final Report,” December 20, 1948, AJC, Emigration-Immigration, Germany West, 1948-1949, Adviser.
  63. Engel to Baron, December 28, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20.
  64. Slawson to Watson B. Muller, August 16, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 19.
  65. Joseph L. Lichten to Arnold Forster, July 9, 1948, ADL; The New York Post, November 26, 1948; The New York Times, May 31, 1950.
  66. Engel to Liskofsky, December 18, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20; The New York Times, February 2, 1949.
  67. Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 192-196; Allan A. Ryan, Quiet Neighbors: Prosecuting Nazi War Criminals in America (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984), pp. 21-24.
  68. CG USFA (Commanding General, United States Forces in Austria) to WAR for WDSCA-ES, January 3, 1947; HQ, European Command, signed Huebner to AGWAR, July 2, 1947, The National Archives and Records Agency, Suitland, Maryland, RG 383, 7, box 69, Refugees and DPs , 1947 (NARA).
  69. Lithuanian Central Committee to General Joseph McNarney, February 4, 1947; USFA to War for Civil Affairs Division, February 28, 1947, NARA, RG 383, 7 box 69.
  70. “Screening DPs,” America ,78 (December 1, 1948), p. 251.
  71. Joel D. Wolfsohn to John Slawson, August 13, 1948, (AJC, Immigration, DP, 1945-1947; The New York Times, March 16, 1950; Ryan, Quiet Neighbors, pp. 2-10. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, which specializes in hunting Nazi war criminals, 15,000 Nazis and collaborators entered America. “Chasing Monsters,” Wall Street Journal, April 16, 1991.
  72. Michael F. Markel to Ugo Carusi, January 12, 1950, The Archives of Cooperative Lutheranism, New York City, the papers of the National Lutheran Council-Lutheran Resettlement Service, Markel (ACRL, NLC-LRS). For a detailed discussion of the Lutheran Resettlement Service, see Haim Genizi, America's Fair Share: the Admission and Resettlement of Displaced Persons, 1945-1952 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1993), pp. 148-169.
  73. LRS, “Progress Report,” no. 15, January 29, 1951, ACRL, NLC-LRS.
  74. Clarence Krumbolz to Markel, February 9, 1950, ACRL, NLC-LRS, Baltic Legion, 1950.
  75. Cordelia Cox to Paul C. Empie, and Krumbholz, April 22, 1950, ACRL, NLC-LRS, Baltic Legion, 1950.
  76. Herve J. L’Heureux to Cox, September 13, 1950; James J. McTigue to Cox, December 15, 1950, ACRL, NLC-LRS, DPC, 1948-1950.
  77. Raul Hilberg, The Destruction of European Jews, Revised Edition (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1985), pp. 312-313, 374, 485-486, 513; Henry Friedlander and Earlean M. McCarrick, “Nazi Criminals in the United States: Denaturalization after Fedorenko,” Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual, 3 (1986), pp. 55, 62.
  78. LRS, “Data Prepared for the DPC,” ACRL, NLC-LRS, DPC.
  79. Jules Cohen, “Summary of conclusions reached at special meeting of the NCRAC Legislative Information Committee to consider the DP Act”, July 20, 1948, ADL; “Recommended Changes in the DP Act of 1948,” August 3, 1948, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  80. Lessing Rosenwald to Charles P. Taft, December 6, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20.
  81. Proskauer to Truman, June 18, 1948, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  82. Edward Swanstrom to Ugo Carusi, February 14, 1949, NA, DPC, box 24, NCWC; Minutes, Meeting of CCDP Executive Committee, January 6, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, 1949, box 15;Van Dausen, “Statement on the German Expellee problem,” August 5, 1949, ACRL, NLC-LRS, Expellees, 1949.
  83. The New York Times, May 31, 1950; Harold Menheim to Proskauer, September 9, 1948; Lessing Rosenwald to Charles P. Taft, December 6, 1948, AJC, IME, DP, Corr. box 20; Arthur Greenleigh to Jewish Members of the State DP Commissions, November 16, 1950, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research Archives (YIVO), Files of United Service for New Americans, box 25: file 570. Catholic sources also stated that 50 percent of the German expellees were ineligible for American visas because they failed to pass the screening. Charles F. Gerhard to Bruce M. Mohler, June 17, 1950; Mohler to S.K. Trau, September 8, 1949, The Archives of Center for Migration Studies, Staten Island, N.Y., the papers of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, DI, GC, box 23, German Ethnic (CMS, NCWC).
  84. “Summary of a Report on German Expellees and Refugees prepared by the AJC,” December 5, 1950, The Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, New York City, DP, 1950; Charles Steinberg, “Report on the German Expellees and Refugees,” November, 1950, AJC, FAD-1, box 33.
  85. Gibbons to Engel, December 28, 1948, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration.
  86. The New York Times, January 13, 28, 1949; Swanstrom to Carusi, February 14, 1949, NA, DPC, box 24, NCWC.
  87. Liskofsky to Dave Danzig, February 16, 1949, AJC, Immigration, DP, 1945- 1947; Engel to Sidney Goldmann, January 31, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 19.
  88. Engel to Goldmann, January 31, 1949.
  89. GJH [George J. Hexter] to Proskauer, February 4, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 15.
  90. Ibid.
  91. Engel to Proskauer, February 18, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 19.
  92. Engel to Edward A. Conway, January 21, 1949; Engel to Bernard Lobman, February 7, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, boxes 15, 19.
  93. Proskauer to Francis Cardinal Spellman, February 23, 1949, AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946-1953.
  94. Spellman to Proskauer, February 26, 1949, AJC, JMP, Immigration, 1946- 1953.
  95. IME (Engel), Re: “DP Legislation,” March 8, 1949, (AJC, JMP, DP, Immigration, 1946-1953; Catharine O'Brien to Engel, March 8, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 19.
  96. Proskauer to Engel, March 9, 1949, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  97. Engel to Proskauer, March 10, 1949; Proskauer to Engel, March 11, 1949, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  98. Engel to Proskauer, March 14, 1949; Proskauer to Spellman, March 15, 1949, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  99. Engel to Proskauer, March 10, 1949, AJC, JMP, Corr. box 3.
  100. A.J. Wycislo to Engel, September 22, 1949, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 19; CCDP, Memorandum, September 22, 1949, ibid., box 16.
  101. For a detailed discussion of the McCarran bill and the Kilgore-Ferguson alternate bill, see Dinnerstein, America and the Survivors, pp. 218-253.
  102. William S. Bernard to Cooperating Organizations, Local Citizens Committees and Friends of the CCDP, March 24, 1950, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 17.
  103. Gibbons to Engel, February 23, 1950, AJC, IME, CCDP, box 19.
  104. EH [Eugene Hevesi], “Confidential,” “The Question of Resettlement of Refugees and Expellees of German Ethnic Origin,” April 24, 1950, AJC, FAD- 1, box 33.
  105. Dinnerstein, Survivors of the Holocaust, p. 249.
  106. Ibid., p. 251.