Dr. Rebecca Erbelding is a historian of American responses to the Holocaust. Erbelding is the author of the forthcoming book, Rescue Board: The Untold Story of America’s Efforts to Save the Jews of Europe, and currently an archivist and curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
In this interview, Erbelding describes in great detail the challenges and difficult decisions that thousands of Jews faced when trying to immigrate from Nazi-occupied Europe to the United States, such as U.S. immigration laws and quotas, as well as financial and wartime barriers. She describes the similarities and differences between American immigration debates during World War II and in America today. She also explains the experiences and challenges of Jews living in wartime France, and how the Holocaust and immigration processes and policies affected Manhattan Project scientists.