Online Module: The Holocaust and Fundamental Rights

Doc. 5: The Opening Public Session

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In this chapter, representatives of Great Britain, France, and the United States explain the purpose of the Evian conference and define the positions of their countries. Please find the entire material in the download section.

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Material

  • Salomon Adler-Rudel, The Evian Conference on the Refugee Question, in: Leo Baeck Institut Yearbook (1968), 235-276.

 Myron Taylor, United States of America

Portrait of Myron Taylor"Men and women of every race, creed and economic condition, of every profession and of every trade, are being uprooted from the homes where they have long been established and turned adrift without thought or care as to what will become of them or where they will go. A major forced migration is taking place, and the time has come when Governments – I refer specifically to those Governments which have had the problem of political refugees thrust upon them by the policies of some other Governments – must act, and act promptly and effectively in a long-range program of comprehensive scale…"

Lord Winterton, Great Britain

Portrait of Lord Winterton"It has been the traditional policy of successive British Governments to offer asylum to persons who, for political, racial or religious reasons, have had to leave their own countries. The United Kingdom has never yet had cause to regret this policy, and refugees have often enriched the life and contributed to the prosperity of the British people. But the United Kingdom is not a country of immigration. It is highly industrialized, fully populated and is still faced with the problem of unemployment. For economic and social reasons, the traditional policy of granting asylum can only be applied within narrow limits…"

Henri Bérenger, France

Portrait of Henri Bérenger, 1925"Like America, France considers the refugee problem to be an international political problem, which can only be finally solved by the joint and collective action of the Governments of the world. In regard more particularly to German and Austrian refugees, France is prepared to discuss how their emigration can best be controlled and their settlement effected. There are various territorial, shipping, financial, monetary and social measures which will first have to be closely and carefully considered in executive sub-committees. That, it seems to me, should be the real object of our meeting here…"

 

Please see the entire document in the download section.

 

 

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