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The Evian Conference was called by President Roosevelt in 1938 The purpose of the conference was to fix the refugee problem and save Jewish lives This did not occur because of many contributing factors Many questions arose surrounding this failure from how each nation reacted to whether or not anti-Semitism was present affecting the outcome of negotiations But what is possibly the hardest to answer was what Roosevelts true intentions were Was he truly acting to help the Jews or portraying so for reputation purposes In March of 1938 President Roosevelt decided to call an international conference on the refugee crisis This came as a shock to many as the employment rate was at an all time low and the amount of restrictionists in Congress was at an all time high Restrictionists would surely challenge the idea as they were for immigration laws the way they were It seemed ridiculous to think that anything could get done at the conference unless immigration laws were modified so that a distinction between refugees and immigrants could be drawn Other foreign countries werent any more enthusiastic about things The League of Nations was having its own struggles with the refugee problem In addition countries surrounding Germany were being burdened by the refugee load they didnt need the suggestion to take in more The British government was under a lot of pressure from the Palestine policy thus making it difficult for them to want to attend a conference that would increase the pressure However Roosevelt was aware of these risks It is my hope that the narrow isolationists will not use this move of ours for purely partisan objectives-but no one can tell Roosevelt told Judge Irving Lehman There needed to be a guarantee that the quota system would not be challenged The twenty-nine nations invited to the conference were asked to form a special committee to facilitate emigration from Germany and Austria and to ensure that no country
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