top of page

Chapter 7: “Trapped On The Ship”

Topics Covered

Virginia lawyers & the State Department gets involved

Quotes From The Film

  • “The Assistant Secretary of State wants us to make it very difficult for new refugees to come into the country.  He’s directed me to ... determine if we should grant any of the people on the ship political refugee status -- and how many we should send back to Europe.”

— Patrick Murphy Malin,

Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees

  • “Mr. Malin, before you issue a visa to these refugees, procrastinate.  Delay, delay, delay!”

— Assistant Secretary of State Breckenridge Long,

war diary in September 1940

Put Yourself in Their Shoes:

  • If you were a leader in the US State Department in 1940, what would you do regarding refugees?

Dig deeper...

  • Imagine a debate between Aristides de Sousa Mendes and Assistant Secretary of State Breckenridge Long.

  • Give 3 arguments for each side of the debate regarding allowing the refugees to proceed to safety versus sending them back.

What's happening now:

  • What are some examples of refugees seeking safety in the US today?

What Can I Do?

More Information

bottom of page