This is the second installment of my comments examining the comparison between America's refusal to date to accept more than a tiny number (10,000) of the millions of Syrian refugees who have fled the war criminals and torturers in the Russian-backed Assad dictatorship, and the ISIS jihadist murderers, both of which are racking their country with war, persecution and terror against that country's population on the one hand, and America's refusal to admit more than a small number of Jewish refugees from Hitler in the 1930's.

Admittedly there are those who object to making such a comparison, or even find it offensive. Legal scholar, immigration law expert and former Congressional immigration staffer Nolan Rappaport, for example, writes the following, in response to Part 1 of my comments in the October 17 issue of Immigration Daily:

"Hitler was trying to exterminate the entire Jewish race, and he succeeded in murdering 8 million of them. How is that similar in any way to the plight of the Syrian refugees?"

A simple and obvious answer would be the one given by Eva Schloss, the step-sister of Anne Frank, who was recently quoted in the Huffington Post (a publication that Mr. Rappaport also happens to be a contributor to - though that does not imply he agrees with their views) as follows:

"The fact is that six million people were not able to find refuge and were murdered....And that is what is happening to these people [Syrian refugees today]. They have to leave because their lives were threatened"


Mr. Rappaport undoubtedly knows a great deal about the Holocaust, and his views on this topic should be taken seriously and with great respect. But is he in a position to know as much about the Holocaust as someone who actually lived through it, such as Anne Frank's own step-sister?

Huffington Post describes the vain attempt of Anne Frank's and Eva Schloss' common father, Otto Frank (whom Eva Schloss' mother married after the war, when Otto Frank had returned from the Nazi concentration camps in which Anne Frank had died) to gain refuge for his family in the United States:

"Otto Frank, Anne's father and Eva's step father, spent months filling out the colossal amount of paperwork necessary to be granted asylum in America. He required affidavits of support from family already stateside. He wrote friends in positions of power. In the end, fueled by fears of "Nazi spies" being among the refugees. a fear very similar to today's claims of ISIS infiltrators among Syrian refugees, the US would deny his and thousands of others."

Huffington Post, in the same article, also asked Eva Schloss:

"Would your step sister Anne Frank be alive today if the US hadn't denied sanctuary?"

Schloss' answer was;

"Of course!...No doubt about it!

Eva Schloss, of course, is not the only Jewish person who is concerned about the Holocaust and who believes that it is not "offensive" to make comparisons to between Jewish refugees seeking entry to the US in the 1930's and Syrian refugees trying to do the same today. A June 25, 2015 article in the Forward, one of America's oldest and most respected Jewish newspapers, states:

"For Jewish activists pushing the government to shift gears [by admitting more Syrian refugees], that feeble number [less than 1,000 as of the date of the article] and the accompanying bottleneck in resettlement of Syrian refugees are troubling reminders of their community's own experience during World War II."



Mr. Rappaport also points to the fact that Syria has been on America's list of state sponsors of terror for almost forty years, since 1979 (even though Hezbollah, which Syria's support for was one of the main reasons for putting Syria on the list in the first place, is no longer on the US list of terrorist organizations itself.}

But even if Syria was a state sponsor of terrorism then, or even if Syria is still so now (since ISIS, of course, was not in existence forty years ago and it it is NOT a state organization or an organization supported by the current Syrian regime, as far as anyne knows), how does this distinguish the situation of Syrian refugees today from that of Jewish refugees seeking entry to America in the 1930's?

Was Nazi Germany a sponsor of world peace and cooperation among nations then?

In Part 3 of this series, I will examine the common elements of popular prejudice against Jews in general and Jewish refugees in particular, fueled in part by one of America's wealthiest and best known business tycoons, Henry Ford; and the prejudice against Muslims in general, and Syrian refugees in particular, which is being promoted by another well known wealthy businessman today, among others.

I will also show how these popular attitudes have led, then and now, to legal restrictions against refugee admissions affecting both groups, as explained by Holocaust scholar Peter A. Shulman of Case Western Reserve University, writing in FORTUNE.


How America's Response to Syrian and Jewish Refugees is Eerily Similar

To be continued in Part 3.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law