The Roosevelt Administration's Response to the Nazis

Ralph Nurnberger
Jewish Culture & History / History

Course Description

One of the most politically-charged questions in American History deals with how the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reacted to the Nazis. In this newly revised and updated presentation, Dr. Nurnberger will review many of the specific examples of actions taken, and not taken, by the Roosevelt Administration as well as the rationale behind these decisions. In Roosevelt’s first two terms, the key issues revolved around immigration. The American response to those who sought to flee from Nazi oppression was shaped by domestic political factors, including the Depression, nativism and anti-Semitism. In addition to quotas and other impediments that made it difficult for Jewish refugees to come to the United States, this presentation will analyze a number of specific incidents, including why Cuba and then the United States turned away over 900 German-Jewish refugees on the ocean liner SS. St. Louis. After the start of World War II, the German army moved throughout Europe. The lives of ever-increasing numbers of Jews were threatened and extinguished. This presentation will review how the United States responded, especially after the administration learned about the Holocaust.

About the Instructor

  • Ralph Nurnberger, PhD, is a widely acclaimed speaker who brings humor, current political insights and historical background to his presentations. He taught History and International Relations at Georgetown University for 38 years. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003. Nurnberger has given talks on a wide range of historical and political topics for the Lifelong Learning Program at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca and Jupiter campuses, where his talks frequently sell out. Nurnberger served on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; as a Legislative Liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC); as Executive Director of Builders for Peace (which had been established to assist the Arab-Israeli Peace Process); and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is a Senior Partner in Nurnberger & Associates, Inc. He received his BA from Queens College, his MA from Columbia University and his PhD from Georgetown University.