Chapter 12:

"Discrimination at Home & in the US"


Quotes from the film:


          “My family came here a very long time ago, but they were refugees too. It's only a difference of time between me and the people on that ship. Eventually, they too will be 'patriots'--terrified that a stranger will slip in through the door and take their country away from them."

        ~ First Lady E R

“It was late at night that we were allowed to disembark. The first thing my sister did was when she climbed down she got on her knees her hands and knees and kissed the ground! She was so happy she was so thrilled to be in the United States of America. She never believed it would come true and it came true at last.

Conversation Starters:

  • In the film, Dr. Stephen Morewitz said:

    •  "A few individuals taking a risk can change history."

      • What does he mean by that?

      • Do you know of someone or have you ever taken a risk and stood up for what 's right?

  • In the film, Allan Harry Morewitz said:

    • "We had the ability and the capacity to save them and we didn't." ​​

      • What could the United States have done differently during WWII?​

  • In the film, Irving Redel said:

    • "We survived. 6 million didn't and that is a catastrophe."

      • What did he mean by that? 

  • In the film Elise Margolius with the National Council of Jewish Women said:

    • "At midnight we all drove our cars to the ship and filled them with overflowing people. The refugees that we housed were eager to get to their families in New York, so we rented a bus for them. I will never forget that moment. I can see their happy, smiling faces waving American flags as they waved goodbye and their bus pulled away. We all just wept.”

      • How do small acts of kindness by volunteers make a world of difference?

Dig a little deeper...

  • Why didn't the US want to get involved in WWII in 1940?

  • What was the FDR administration's stance on refugees trying to come into the country during WWII?

  • Why was the Assistant Secretary of State Breckenridge Long upset that Patrick Murphy Malin, his State Department employee allowed the refugees to come ashore? 

  • Why did First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt want to save these refugees? How did Eleanor Roosevelt's intervention help? What did she do? What role do you think the First Lady should play in our political system?

  • Were the Nazi's hoping that other countries wouldn't allow European refugees into their countries and why?

  • How did the SS Quanza affect the State Department's policies? 

How could immigration lawyers help refugees today?

Dig even deeper...

  • How likely would they have ended up in a concentration camp if they were sent back to Europe? 

    • What are some other outcomes that could have happened to the people on the ship?​

Personal connection...

  • Have you or your family members ever faced discrimination?

  • When did your family come to the US and why did they come.

  • What are some current-day examples that you have witnessed or heard about?

  • What evidence of discrimination do you see in your school or community?

What can I do?

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