During the Holocaust, while the Nazis were exterminating thousands of Jews daily, the U.S. State Department official in charge of matters concerning all European refugees was Breckinridge Long. He was known as an extreme nativist, who was suspicious of Eastern Europeans. He feared more immigrants would spoil existing cultural values and bring with them communist ideals.
No Ordinary Time, the New York Times Bestseller by Doris Kearns Goodwin, mentions Long’s obsession with keeping Jews from Immigrating during WWII.
“We can delay and effectively stop for a temporary period of indefinite length the number of immigrants into the United States. We could do this by simply advising our consuls to put every obstacle in the way and to require additional evidence and to resort to various administration advices which would postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of visas,” wrote Breckinridge Long in a secret memo addressed to State Department officials James Dunn and Adolf Berle, Jr.
One refugee scholar in No Ordinary Time said that Long had “a singleness of purpose and a formidable arsenal of political weapons.”
Neil Rolde’s first ever biography, Breckinridge Long – American Eichmann??? An Enquiry into the Character of the Man Who Denied Visas to the Jews, dives into the motivations and inner secrets of Long. Rolde studied Long’s personal diaries and has written a fascinating account about he man who sent so many Jews to their deaths by not allowing them to immigrate during WWII.
“He’s an example of the banality of evil,” said Rolde. “I wanted to highlight his own accounts of his life written in all his diaries, and the times in which he lived, to give people a comprehensive look into his character,” said Neil Rolde author of the first full-length biography of Long titled: Breckinridge Long: An American Eichmann??? An Enquiry into the Character of the Man Who Denied Visas to the Jews.