Roosevelt, Franklin Delano

Birth Name Roosevelt, Franklin Delano [1a]
Also Known As FDR
Call Name Franklin
Call Name FDR
Gender male


Married Wife Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor 'Ellie'
  1. Roosevelt, James


In November, 1938, n a private conversation, President Franklin Roosevelt told refugee advocate, James G. McDonald, the United States might contribute to an international fund to resettle the Jews.
The President said that “when practical plans emerge” in which “other governments and private agencies participate,” then “an appropriation by Congress might be conceivable.”
President Roosevelt spoke of a $400 million resettlement budget, of which the United States might contribute $150 million.


Men of Our Time - Franklin D. Roosevelt Reel 1 & 2


In the late 1930s, pindits in Washington entertained several ideas regarding one settlement of Jewish refugees.
Among the settlement suggestions were:
* the Orinoco River valley in Venezuela, proposed by a former Venezuelan minister to Washington
* near the Costa Rica-Panama border, proposed by the former US minister to Costa Rica.
Monty Noam Penkower cites President Roosevelt asked Isaiah Bowman, territorial specialist in the American delegation to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, to explore possibilities for settlement of refugees in northern South America.
Isaiah Bowman , who thought that Jews should be spread thin all over the world to avoid Gentile antagonism, rejected Palestine, claiming there was limited capacity to absorb the large number of refugees, and proposed Angola as the best location for a large-scale postwar settlement.


The Roosevelt administration shot down resettlement proposals involving United States territory, or that were near America’s shores.
President Roosevelt proposed moving 10,000 settlers to Alaska each year for five years, half of them immigrants, but added, that only 10 percent should be Jewish, "to avoid the undoubted criticism" of any system bringing too many Jews.
The Department of the Interior drew up legislation for Congress to consider, and newspaper editorials around the country and letters to the government were generally enthusiastic about the proposal to develop Alaska.
Two major Roosevelt administration policy-makers on Alaska the lined up in opposition to the plan, and both were Jewish.
In October, 1939, Ernest Gruening wrote to Harold L. Ickes. "This provision would be universally resented in Alaska,"
Ernest Grruening agrued that admission of immigrants outside the normal quota would be a mistake, and would stir resentment in Alaska, and arouse national opposition to Alaska development in general
In the end, President Franklin Roosevelt not only ignored proposals for Alaska and the Virgin Islands, but undermined them.
He agreed with the State Department that “all kinds of undesirables and spies” would enter the islands disguised as refugees and from there sneak into the United States, and he told Interior secretary, Harold Ickes, to drop the idea lest it “hurt the future of present American citizens.”



In early 1940, refugee sympathizers in Congress introduced the King-Havenner Bill permitting foreign workers to enter Alaska outside the quota system.
Although President Roosevelt’s supposed supported the idea of refugees colonizing Alaska, when the bill was introduced, the President backed away from it,


In early 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt adopted a relaxation policy for the Jewish immigration to Palestine.
He authorized a mission to rescue 50,000 Jews from the Nazi-occupied Southern Europe, transporting them with the Turkish boats to Istanbul and then to Palestine via the land route.
President Roosevelt sent Ira Hischmann to Turkey, as his special envoy, to make a deal with the Romanian ambassador to Turkey, Alexandre Cretzianu, , $5 million in gold sovereigns, to be used as needed.
He met with the ambassador in the woods outside Ankara, and told him that the Soviet army was advancing, and not only his life but his family's life was also in danger, but if he helped to get the Jews out of Romania on Turkish boats, he and his family, in return, would be granted visas to the United States.
According to Mr. Hirschmann, both sides kept their part of bargain, and the deal worked, with eight ships carrying 2,936 Jewish refugees from Romania to Istanbul, and the Turks providing transit visas and trains to transport the Jewish refugees to Syria.

Source References

  1. The Holocaust and Israel reborn: from catastrophe to sovereignty
    1. Page: 143, Part 3, The Anglo-American Alliance


    1. Roosevelt, Franklin Delano
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