American Non-Sectarian Refugee Relief Organizations 1933-1945
American restrictionist immigration policies commenced in the 1920s and became even more severe when the US entered World War II. Nevertheless, some 200,000 Jewish and roughly 50,000 Christian refugees entered the country between 1933 and 1945, and were mostly helped by various sectarian organizations. The various sectarian and non-sectarian bodies often worked inefficiently and to remedy the situation umbrella coordinating committees were set up such as the National Coordinating Committee (NCC). However, the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) provided most of the funding, and nearly all the officials were Jewish. Other services and committees (all named) sprang up and helped settle and retrain many refugees both in and beyond New York. Jewish and non-Jewish refugees were aided, as necessary, by both Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, which raised money from every possible source. Many organizations were abject failures and survived but a short time. The hostile attitude to Jews and Jewish refugees influenced Jewish leaders to use Christian personalities to camouflage their activities in the hope that the gates to the USA would be opened, the quotas abolished, and antisemitism would be lessened. None of these aims was actually achieved.