Chapter 7:

"Trapped on the ship"

Quotes from the film:


          “The Under Secretary of State Breckinridge Long wants us to make it very difficult for new refugees to come into the country.  He’s directed me to go down to Norfolk and assess the situation. I’m 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 Malin, State Department

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

~ Quote from Breckinridge Long's war diary in Sept 1940

Conversation Starters:

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

Dig deeper...

  • Why would Breckinridge Long say to "delay, delay, delay?"

  • What was the US policy regarding foreigners and quotas at that time? 

  • Discuss some obstacles that refugees may face when hoping to find safety in the US today.

Dig a little deeper...

  • When could a decision-maker's personal opinion cloud their judgment and become subjective verses objective?