Evian Conference

The Évian Conference was convened at the initiative of United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt in July 1938 inresponse to the plight of the escalating numbers of refugees (mainly Jews) fleeing persecution by the NazisFor eight days, from 6 — 15 July at Évian in France, representatives from 32 countries met and formally discussed the issue.

The conference proved an abject failure because the United States and Britain refused to accept any more refugees. No mention was made of the fact that the United States was not filling its immigration quotas. At Britain’s insistence, any mention of Palestine as a possible destination for Jewish refugees was excluded from the agenda. The only country willing to accept a large number of Jews was the Dominican Republic. Other countries at the conference declared their inability or unwillingness to take in refugees, the result being that the Jews had no escape and were ultimately victims of Hitler’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” — the Nazi plan to annihilate the Jews. The conference was seen by some, as an “exercise in Anglo-American collaborative hypocrisy.”