By Susan Dunn
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Extra info for 1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler—the Election amid the Storm
Yes,” said the president, “that is true. I had that in mind but forgot it. . ” With the help of that friendly reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer, he had hammered out what would become the key themes of his Four Freedoms address in the winter of 1941. 106 Little did Roosevelt know that his characterization of the Nazi ideology was an understatement. In May 1940, the German minister of agriculture, Richard-Walther Darré, had given a speech to high Nazi officials in Berlin, in which he outlined the vision and goals of the Reich.
Another reporter asked. 45 The president did order that the visas of some fifteen thousand Germans and Austrians be extended indefinitely and that consular officials suspend, at least temporarily, enforcement of the “likely to become a public charge” clause they had used in order to deny visas to Jews impoverished by Nazi confiscations. 46 At the same time, though, the administration denied permission to nine hundred desperate German-Jewish refugees aboard the German liner St. Louis to disembark in the United States after they were refused sanctuary in Cuba.
Nor was this to be the end of it. 44 At a press conference a week after Kristallnacht, President Roosevelt expressed “shock” over the German persecution of Jews. But would he consider offering sanctuary to Jewish refugees? one reporter asked. He had given the subject a great deal of study, he replied, but declined to be more specific. What about raising immigration quotas? another reporter asked. 45 The president did order that the visas of some fifteen thousand Germans and Austrians be extended indefinitely and that consular officials suspend, at least temporarily, enforcement of the “likely to become a public charge” clause they had used in order to deny visas to Jews impoverished by Nazi confiscations.
1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler—the Election amid the Storm by Susan Dunn