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Black and white photograph of man in hat (Cordell Hull) talking in front of five other men, all looking down to write. Back of photo includes “International News Photos, Washington D.C. June 14th ‘39

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Cordell Hull before Senate Foreign Relations Committee, June 14, 1939, nine days after meeting with Morgenthau regarding the SS St. Louis refugees.

Cordell Hull was Secretary of State under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as well as a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in facilitating the creation of the United Nations. He was also instrumental in refusing any action that might have helped Jews persecuted by the Nazis.

When Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr. recommended that passengers aboard the refugee ship SS St. Louis be allowed to debark with temporary tourist visas, Hull rejected the idea, citing the technicality that the passengers has not return address thus consigning them to the fate of having to return address, thus consigning them to the fate of having to return to Europe where many would be murdered by the Nazis. When French and German government officials complained about the rescue activities of Varian Fry, Hull demanded that Fry return stateside immediately. When Fry refused, Hull had his passport revoked. Indeed, Eleanor Roosevelt had to circumvent Hull to help Jews board the Portuguese ship SS Quanza and receive visas. With his assistant Breckenridge Long, Hull and the State Department’s discriminatory policies against Jews ensured that saving Jews being slowly crushed under the Nazi boot (e.g., by relaxing immigration quotas, issuing visas, or sending money to agencies working to rescue Jews) was simply not a priority, as a consequence of which many more were allowed to perish who could not otherwise have been saved.


8 x 10"


Cordell Hull, St. Louis, Immigration Quotas


St. Louis

Press Photograph of Cordell Hull Before Senate Foreign Relations Committee



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