jueves, 19 de noviembre de 2015

Anne Frank and the refugees

Anne Frank was taken prisoner by the Nazis in Holland where she was in hiding with her family. Since the war hadn't ended, the U.S. refugee policy hadn´t been put into place. Her family wasn’t “expelled” by the Nazis during the war, and so she wasn’t among the groups that were moved to other places before the war’s end. She was simply undercover, and then discovered and sent to one of those unspeakable camps.

I remember the arrival of the refugees in my town in the United States after WWII. 

When I was young I lived down the street from a refugee family (called “displaced persons” at that time). Their daughter was my best friend for years. They weren’t Jewish, rather they were Latvians that escaped the Russian-German cycles of war and revenge. There were many DP’s in my town, and some local people initially rejected them. They were often professionals who had to work in manual labor, but they rapidly joined the rest of the population. A very dear friend of mine in the university -and for many years afterward- was a Chinese refugee. 

There were many of them.

I got this from the Internet: “The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was set up in 1943, to provide humanitarian relief to the huge numbers of potential and existing refugees in areas facing Allied liberation. UNRRA provided billions of US dollars of rehabilitation aid, and helped about 8 million refugees. It ceased operations in Europe in 1947, and in Asia in 1949, upon which it ceased to exist. It was replaced in 1947 by the International Refugee Organization (IRO), which in turn evolved into United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950” (https://en.wikipedia.org/.../World_War_II_evacuation_and...).

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