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Permanent Transit

Permanent Transit

Jewish Migration during the Interwar Period

(p.53) 4 Permanent Transit
Tobias Brinkmann
NYU Press

This chapter examines Jewish migration during the interwar period. In particular, it considers why countless Jewish migrants across central and eastern Europe were caught up in the so-called permanent transit, as well as the United States' role in it. The chapter first discusses the momentous changes in American immigration policy after World War I and their impact on Jewish migrants and would-be migrants in Europe. It then analyzes Jewish migration in 1929 within the wider European and global context before turning to the 1929 Passover Seder at Ellis Island and how it related to the situation of Jewish migrants after the war. Finally, it assesses the fate of many Jewish migrants and refugees who were caught in permanent transit and a legal gray zone without protection against discriminatory state policies.

Keywords:   permanent transit, Jewish migration, Jewish migrants, Europe, United States, immigration policy, World War I, Passover Seder, Ellis Island, Jewish refugees

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