Chapter 6: “Everyone Had Hope”

Topics Covered

Immigration policies in the US and Mexico in 1940

Quotes From The Film

  • “We had hope. We were writing to the US State Department. Everyone had someone who knew someone, but it didn’t work."

— Irving, 17 years old in 1940

  • "Where do we go from here? We’re getting really worried. My mother and father are very upset. Who’s going to take us in? What do we do? We’re sailing from port to port."

— Simone, 13 years old in 1940

Put yourself in their shoes:

In the midst of all the uncertainty and unsuccessful attempts to reach freedom, Irving remained hopeful. 

  • Would you have been able to remain hopeful like Irving or would you have felt more worried like Simone? Why would you have felt that way?

In the film, Irving said that Mexico didn't want to let them in beacuse they were falsely assumed to be "rich Jews".  Annette said, "We didn't have that kind of money." 

  • How would you feel if people made false assumptions about you because of your religion or race?

Dig a little deeper...

  • Should freedom and safety be rights that are only available to refugees who can afford them?

  • What is an immigration quota?

  • How were refugees at this time affected by immigration quotas?

What's Happening Now:

  • What are current examples of racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural stereotypes?

What Can I Do?

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