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American Immigration and Refugee Policy Throughout the Holocaust

American Immigration and Refugee Policy Throughout the Holocaust

Register to attend via Zoom: https://virginiatech.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAvduGsqDouHtY3theSYDbbmIPgDeVE1CTp

In association with Americans and the Holocaust: A Traveling Exhibition for Libraries, guest speaker Kathryn Perry Walters will discuss American immigration policy throughout the Holocaust, specifically focusing on refugee practices. The United States government’s role in the Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 1930s and 1940s is a contested historical subject. This talk will elaborate on existing debate by examining the proposal of the Wagner-Rogers bill and the creation of the War Refugee Board to analyze the methods in which the United States government approached refugee assistance. It will also provide background on where today’s anti-foreigner attitudes evolved from and how refugee need had been downplayed, but also how it had been fought for, and demonstrate Americans’ role in international human rights protection.

Kathryn Perry Walters graduated with a bachelor of arts in History from Virginia Tech in 2017 and then received a master of arts in History in 2019, also from Virginia Tech. Her master’s thesis was entitled 20,000 Fewer: The Wagner-Rogers Bill and the Jewish Refugee Crisis and it examined the Wagner-Rogers bill, an American proposal to admit 20,000 German, mostly Jewish, children into the United States during the beginning of the Holocaust. It combined historigraphies of the Holocaust, American politics, refguee history, humanitarianism, and children to challenge the way we look at American Isolationism and Humanitarianism by revealing patterns of American humanitarian intervention in support of refugees by shedding light on activists who are usually overlooked and highlight the historical and contemporary similarities between anti-refugee and immigrant rhetoric to show that this has been an ongoing debate in American for decades. Before graduating, Walters interned with the national curator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and with the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Museum. In graduate school Walters was a graduate assistant with Special Collections and University Archives and with the History Department.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email library-event-accessibility-g@vt.edu during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event

Thursday, April 21, 2022
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Multipurpose Room (Newman 101)
Blacksburg Campus
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Anthony Wright de Hernandez