Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Johanna Mellis


This research looks at Jewish migration out of German occupied territories from 1933 - 1941. It complicates the common narrative of World War II, characterized as good defeating evil, and instead illustrates a global culture of antisemitism brought to light by Nazi terror. Scholarship investigating Jewish migration out of Nazi Germany during this timeframe has relied heavily on economic and political factors as explanation of host-countries restricted receival of Jewish refugees. Scholars tend to focus on the effects that World War I had on countries' economics and politics, arguing that this caused countries to focus on increasing nationalism and therefore did not want to take in outside refugees. Throughout my research I argue that it was not these bureaucratic push and pull factors influencing countries’ decisions to place barriers on the Jewish population's ability to flee persecution, but rather that it was deeply rooted antisemitism that underpinned the crisis of Jewish migration surrounding the years of World War II. In this argument I complicate the simple explanation of political factors, questioning how the experiences of the persecuted Jewish community during this time would have been different if the world had opened its doors to these individuals.


Presented as part of the Ursinus College Celebration of Student Achievement (CoSA) held April 22, 2021.

The downloadable file is a poster presentation with audio commentary.


Available to Ursinus community only.