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Wed, 14 Oct 2015 18:59:32 EDT by webmaster, 19563 views
History paper by Niessen, James P. (all papers)
Opening the Door for Refugees: The Decision to Accept 56ers in Switzerland, Israel, Canada, and the US
The nearly 200,000 refugees who streamed across the border after the failed revolution found new homes in many countries around the world. The US and Canada accepted the largest number in absolute terms, and Switzerland and Canada the most in relation to their population. By a calculation in summer 1957, Canada and Switzerland had each admitted 214 refugees per 100,000 population, and Israel 111. When calculated by refugees per $100 million national income, the corresponding figures were 215 for Israel, 196 for Switzerland, and 158 for Canada. The same ratio for the 34,000 US admissions at that date were 22 and 10, respectively. But the US was the biggest financial contributor: $71 million to ICEM, the Red Cross, and the Austrian government. The reasons behind these countries’ disproportionate representation will be the focus of my paper.
Brief Professional Bio:
Jim Niessen is the President of the AHEA for 2014-2016. He earned his Ph.D at Indiana University with a dissertation on Transylvania in the 1860s. He has published widely on Hungarian and Romanian religious history, libraries, and archives. He has worked as World History Librarian at Rutgers University since 2001, and coordinated the digital project that placed selected records of the President's Committee for Hungarian Refugee Relief online at http://hi.rutgers.edu/56-ers-collection . The proposed paper is part of a series exploring aspects of the 56er story at successive AHEA meetings.