The United States, which also turned away refugees, has yet to be strongly criticized. Its policy on Jewish refugees during the war seems to have been swept under the rug.
Only 29 percent of all Americans know that the US did not admit all European Jews who sought refuge before or during the war,
1938 -- Canada did not want any immigrants
Almost every French-language newspaper had warned the government against opening Canada's doors to European Jews. Le Devoir asked "Why let in Jews?" This was a mild reaction compared to other vicious Anti-Semitic utterances that appeared in La Nation L'Action Catholique and L'Action Nationale. Three Quebec M.P.'s spoke out against the Jews. Wilfrid LaCroix, C.H. Leclerc and H.E. Brunelle led the anti-refugee onslaught. In the House of Commons Brunelle said "Jews have caused great difficulties wherever they have lived." Organizations in Quebec wrote letters to the Immigration Branch and were very anti-Semitic.
St.Jean Baptiste Society, the Provincial Knights of Columbus
128,000 members of the St.Jean Baptiste society signed a petition opposing all immigration and especially Jewish immigration, which Lacroix delivered to the Commons.
Mackenzie King himself after Evian said that "as far as he was concerned the admission of refugees perhaps posed a greater menace to Canada in 1938 than did Hitler." At an informal gathering at his summer residence he fondly recalled his meeting with Hitler in Germany a year earlier. He described him as being SWEET.He had a good face.
In Sept. 1938 less than a year before Canada declared war on Germany King was still mixed in his attitude to Hitler--"He might come to be thought of as one of the saviours of the world" he wrote:'
Although some organizations and high-placed members of religious groups such as the Anglican and United Churches, actively campaigned on behalf of Jewish refugees, most Canadians seemed indifferent.to the suff ering of German Jews and hostile to their admission to Canada. Rev. Silcox spoke out in Toronto. The Globe and Mail asked "does Canada stand for anything?" In New Brunswick the Lieutenant Governor George Stanley condemned those who shed tears over the fate of Jews in Europe. IN March 1939 Blair was attempting to deport Jews back to Germany who were here on tourist visas. Even the famous "voyage of the damned" received no mercy in Canada.
This ship loaded with 907 Jews from Hamburg was on its way to Cuba but Cuba refused it. The U.S. and Canada refused them and Canada even sent out a "gun boat" to shadow them.
The Chapter in this book that deals with our refusal to bring in Jewish children is the most shocking of all. We could have brought in thousands but all the stumbling blocks that were placed in the way eventually succeeded in preventing this and in the end none of those thousands came.They had been deported to Auschwitz and were gassed. The title of the long chapter that contains all the information on this incredible injustice is "the children who never came."
Charlotte Whitton had not wanted Jewish children to be brought into Canada. She wanted British children brought in and fought the Jewish community on this issue. In 1945 Britain had asked that 9000 refugee children be taken in but MacKenzie King had immediately rejected the idea. Yet they could accept 10,000 British children. Canada told Georges Vanier the Ambassador to France that they would take French children and pay their way. All the time Jewish officials were told to be silent so as not to cause problems.
Maurice Dupleissis who had once been Premier of Quebec but was now leader of the opposition party in Quebec assaulted the liberals verbally over a rumour that they were going to allow 100,000 Jews in. He got the citizens all riled up over the possibility of it coming to pass, claiming that there was an international Zionist conspiracy. Shortly after he was elected Premier again, of the Province. There was one magazine that did publish something of value and it was the LIBERTY MAGAZINE--they showed the horrible details of the Babi Yar massacre when 60,000 Jews died.
Basilea Schlink, founder of the Sisterhood of Mary in Darmstadt Germany wrote in her book Israel My chosen People about the need for German Christians to repent. I recommend you get a copy and read it. She points out that Paul warned us not to have a superior attitude--- it is in Romans 11: 18,20,---to verse 25. It says:
"Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee...The Jews are the root of the tree--they bear us, not we them, we are grafted in. We need to repent of our arrogance. That is what led to the Crusades--Since Constantine, Christians have looked down from the throne of the Church in judgment of the Jew."
If German Christians share the guilt of the Holocaust so do Canadian Christians because our government kept a closed door policy towards them and we voted these people into office. It is interesting to note and keep in mind what Basilea Schlink points out, that the countries that offered refuge to the Jews and cared for them were spared the worst ravages of W.W.2.
Something we can rejoice about is- -Denmark alone with the King rose as one in Unity and resisted. They brought Jews to safety. God can use a hand full of people if they are in a spirit of repentance.He can turn this nation around. Didn't He say He would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if only a few people would have repented? He waits in vain for people to repent. we can't have revival without repentance.