The Center for New Deal Studies, Roosevelt University

Lynn Weiner, Director Ronald Tallman, Dean
Charles Laurier, Archivist

Advisory Board (in formation)

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Chair Hon. Cardiss Collins, Amina Dickerson, Darlene Clark Hine, Frederick E. Hoxie, Peter Karl Kresl, Newton Minow, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., John Sears, Dempsey Travis, Cornelis van Minnen, William J. vanden Heuvel, Susan Wieninger

December 1, 1996

Dear Friend of Roosevelt University,

The fifth annual Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Lecture, held Oct. 17, 1996 at Roosevelt University in Chicago, featured William vanden Heuvel, President of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, New York.

Ambassador vanden Heuvel has spent the last several years opening up a dialogue with scholars and the public on the controversial topic of Franklin Roosevelt's actions on behalf of European Jews during World War 11. At that time, the President argued that the best way to save the Jews was through a quick end to the war and a policy of "rescue through victory." By 1944, he established the War Refugee Board to rescue those who might be saved from Hitler. Still, many believe that inaction on the part of the Roosevelt administration reflected a lack of sensitivity that resulted in terrible consequences for millions.

William vanden Heuvel's expertise comes from his service as President of the International Rescue Committee and member of the Council on Foreign Relations. From 1977 to 1979, he was U.S. Representative to the European Office of the United Nations, and from 1979 to 1981, Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. He also served as Chair of the Board of Governors of the United Nations Association, and co-chair of the Council of American Ambassadors. His appointed offices have included Assistant to General William J. Donovan, Special Counsel to New York Governor Averell Herriman, and Assistant to U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.

We are proud to share his remarks with you and thus to participate in this important historical debate. The version printed here reflects some slight revisions made for a repeat performance of the lecture at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 1996.

The Roosevelt Distinguished Lecture Series, co-sponsored with the Roosevelt Institute of Hyde Park, New York, strives to present programs that reflect the legacy of the Roosevelts. The Lecture is now organized through the Center for New Deal Studies at Roosevelt University. The Center invites visitors and inquiries about its programs and resources, which feature the Albert Lepawsky Papers, the Joseph Jacobs Collection of FDR Memorabilia, and a special collection of New Dealers books, photographs, and scrapbooks.

We think you will find the following comments on refugees worth reading .


Lynn Y. Weiner Director Center for New Deal Studies Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Chair, Advisory Board Center for New Deal Studies

Ambassador vanden Heuvel's Address