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The fifteen unused visas were likely the result of a clerical error. It is difficult to estimate how many of these were refugees escaping Nazi persecution. In spite of the urgency for refugees to escape, American popular opinion was against accepting more new arrivals. After war began in Europe in September , and especially after the German invasion of Western European countries in the spring of , many Americans believed that Germany and the Soviet Union were taking advantage of the masses of Jewish refugees to send spies abroad. The State Department cautioned consular officials to exercise particular care in screening applicants.

Despite public antipathy to revising American immigration laws, some private citizens and refugee aid organizations stepped in to assist the thousands attempting to flee. Jewish and Christian organizations provided money for food and clothing, transit fare, employment and financial assistance, and help finding affidavits for prospective immigrants without family in the United States. These private organizations enabled thousands to escape who otherwise would not have been able to compile their paperwork and pay for their passage.

On July 1, , the State Department centralized all alien visa control in Washington, DC, so all applicants needed to be approved by a review committee in Washington, and needed to submit additional paperwork, including a second financial affidavit. At the same time, Nazi Germany ordered the United States to shut down its consular offices in all German-occupied territories.

After July , emigration from Nazi-occupied territory was virtually impossible.

Between and , , self-identified Jewish refugees immigrated to the United States. Many hundreds of thousands more had applied at American consulates in Europe, but were unable to immigrate.

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Many of them were trapped in Nazi-occupied territory and murdered in the Holocaust. We would like to thank The Crown and Goodman Family and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors. You are searching in English. Tags Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics. Browse A-Z Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically. For Teachers Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust.

About This Site. Glossary : Full Glossary. Because many economists and others blamed the depression on inadequate demand, the Keynesian view that government could and should stabilize demand to prevent future depressions became the dominant view in the economics profession for at least the next forty years. Although an increasing number of economists have come to doubt this view, the general public still accepts it. Interestingly, given the importance of the Great Depression in the development of economic thinking and economic policy, economists do not completely agree on what caused it.

Recent research by Peter Temin, Barry Eichengreen, David Glasner, Ben Bernanke, and others has led to an emerging consensus on why the contraction began in and There is less agreement on why the contraction phase was longer and more severe in some countries and why the depression lasted so long in some countries, particularly the United States. The Great Depression that began at the end of the s was a worldwide phenomenon. By , Germany, Brazil, and the economies of Southeast Asia were depressed. By early , the economies of Poland, Argentina, and Canada were contracting, and the U.

As Temin, Eichengreen, and others have shown, the larger factor that tied these countries together was the international gold standard. By , most developed countries had adopted the gold standard with a fixed exchange rate between the national currency and gold—and therefore between national currencies. The United States remained on the gold standard without altering the gold value of the dollar. Investors and others who held gold sent their gold to the United States, where gold maintained its value as a safe and sound investment.

At the end of World War I, a few countries, most notably the United States, continued on the gold standard while others temporarily adopted floating exchange rates. Some countries pledged to return to the gold standard with devalued currencies, while others followed the British lead and aimed to return to gold at prewar exchange rates. This was not possible, however. Too much money had been created during the war to allow a return to the gold standard without either large currency devaluations or price deflations.

In addition, the U. As a result, the leading nations established a gold exchange system whereby the governments of the United States and Great Britain would be willing, at all times, to redeem the dollar and the pound for gold, and other countries would hold much of their international reserves in British pounds or U. The demand for gold increased as countries returned to the gold standard.

Because the franc was undervalued when France returned to the gold standard in June , France began to receive gold inflows. As French exports rose and French imports fell, their international accounts were balanced by gold shipped to France. In , the Federal Reserve System raised its discount rate—that is, the rate it charged on loans to member banks—in order to raise interest rates in the United States, which would stem the outflow of American gold and dampen the booming stock market. As a result, the United States began to receive shipments of gold. These deflationary policies were designed to restrict economic activity and reduce price levels, and that is exactly what they did.

Thus began the worldwide Great Depression. The onset of the contraction led to the end of the stockmarket boom and the crash in late October However, the stock market collapse did not cause the depression; nor can it explain the extraordinary length and depth of the American contraction. In most countries, such as Britain, France, Canada, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries, the depression was less severe and shorter, often ending by Those countries did not have the banking and financial crises that the United States did, and most left the gold standard earlier than the United States did.

In the United States, in contrast, the contraction continued for four years from the summer of through the first quarter of During that time real GNP fell In previous depressions, wage rates typically fell percent during a one- to two-year contraction; these falling wages made it possible for more workers than otherwise to keep their jobs.

However, in the Great Depression, manufacturing firms kept wage rates nearly constant into , something commentators considered quite unusual. With falling prices and constant wage rates, real hourly wages rose sharply in and Though some spreading of work did occur, firms primarily laid off workers.

As a result, unemployment began to soar amid plummeting production, particularly in the durable manufacturing sector, where production fell 36 percent between the end of and the end of and then fell another 36 percent between the end of and the end of Why had wages not fallen as they had in previous contractions? One reason was that President Herbert Hoover prevented them from falling.

When President Hoover organized conferences in December to urge business, industrial, and labor leaders to hold the line on wage rates and dividends, he found a willing audience.


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The highly protective Smoot-Hawley Tariff, passed in mid, was supposed to provide protection from lower-cost imports for firms that maintained wage rates. Though there was not a general call for tariff increases, Hoover proposed it in as a means of aiding farmers. He quickly lost control of the bill and it ended up protecting American businesses in general with much less real protection for farmers. Many of the tariff increases in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff were quite large; for example, the tariff on Canadian hard winter wheat rose 40 percent, and that on scientific glass instruments rose from 65 percent to 85 percent.

Overall on dutiable imports the tariff rate rose from These numbers may sound small, but compared with the U. The first major bank runs and failures occurred in the Southeast in November ; these were followed by more runs and failures in December. There was another flurry of bank runs and bank failures in the late spring and early summer of After Great Britain left the gold standard in September , the Federal Reserve System initiated relatively large increases in the discount rate to stem the gold outflow. Overseas investors in nations still on the gold standard expected the United States to either devalue the dollar or go off the gold standard as Great Britain had done.

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The result would be that the dollars they held, or their dollar-denominated securities, would be worth less. To prevent this they sold dollars to obtain gold from the United States. The rise in American interest rates also made it more costly to sell American assets for dollars to redeem in gold. The resulting rise in interest rates caused not only more business failures, but also a sharp rise in bank failures. In the late spring and early summer of , the Federal Reserve System finally undertook open market purchases, bringing some signs of relief and possible recovery to the beleaguered American economy.

By the surplus had turned into a deficit that grew rapidly as the economy contracted. By the end of Hoover had decided to recommend a large tax increase in an attempt to balance the budget; Congress approved the tax increase in Personal exemptions were reduced sharply to increase the number of taxpayers, and rates were sharply increased. The lowest marginal rate rose from 1. We now understand that such a huge tax increase does not promote recovery during a contraction. Bank runs and bank failures resumed with a vengeance, and American dollars began to be redeemed for gold as the gold outflow resumed.

Between and , 10, of the 24, commercial banks in the United States failed. As the public increasingly held more currency and fewer deposits, and as banks built up their excess reserves, the money supply fell Though the Federal Reserve System did increase bank reserves, the increases were far too small to stop the fall in the money supply. As businesses saw their lines of credit and money reserves fall with bank closings, and consumers saw their bank deposit wealth tied up in drawn-out bankruptcy proceedings, spending fell, worsening the collapse in the Great Depression.

This collection consists of newspapers and periodicals; broadsides; leaflets; and books and pamphlets and other documents produced by or relating to the underground resistance in France during World War II. Also included are related materials: ephemera from the pre-War and "Phony War" periods; Free French and other foreign publications; items related to the liberation of Paris and to the period immediately after the liberation; autograph letters and manuscripts; and books inscribed by their authors.

Most of the documents are in French, while some are in German or Yiddish. This catalog provides access to the digitized versions of the Mexican Graphic Novels from the collections of the National Library of Mexico. The catalog is called Pepines after the name of the legendary graphic novels related magazine.

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