The Nazi regime of Germany brought a lot of suffering to the Jewish community living in Germany. Many of them were oppressed in various forms, and others killed. They lost their property, and families disintegrated.
All these occurred because of the greed of the Nazi regime. Although the Jews were the top crème of the Germany society, the Nazi regime reduced them to nothing since they lost most of the belonging, opportunities, as well as investment. They were only left with unalienable properties, such as their knowledge and skills. In efforts to escape the oppression and other injustices that the Nazi regime administered on them, they sought refuge in the neighboring nations such as Holland, France, and Great Britain. However, this did not last forever as these nations also shut their doors, leaving the Jews to find another country to move. The Jewish voyage moved to Latin America, and the reception was poor, making them begin a search for haven.
Canada was the next destination for this vulnerable community though it was marked with many challenges.
The administrators opposed the entry of the Jews into Canada as much as they got sympathizers who wanted their admission. The King did not welcome them at first, arguing that he had already done enough to help them back in Germany. With Adolf Hitler in power and having denounced their citizenship, it was a tough moment for the Jewish community to find a way of organizing themselves and appealing to the neighborhood for admission. Between 1933 and 1939, more than 800,000 Jews had been displaced from Germany and were seeking refuge in Canada. However, Canada was only able to accommodate about 4000 within its borders. This number was very low compared to the number of Jews that other nations admitted, and it portrayed the extent that Canada was unwilling to help settle the Jews (Abella and Troper 181). Some of the contributing factors to the restricted admission were that Jews were job-hungry immigrants that would bring negative economic consequences in Canada. They were perceived as valueless community owing to the economic depression that Canada was experiencing. Its immigration policy has also been selective based on ethnic identity and affiliation, and this made it nearly impossible to admit a huge of Jews.
The strict immigration policy was administered, and it regulated the activities of the few Jews who were admitted to Canada. Under the leadership of Frederick Charles Blair, he stood his ground of not admitting Jews into Canada since they were perceived as an economic threat to the locals and the nation at large. At the same time, the King wanted Blair to take charge because of his inflexibility in applying laws and using his knowledge on Jews to deny them entry. As more Jews sought entry into Canada, Blair formed a perception that Jews were inassimilable and can organize themselves and accomplish more than the locals. He also perceived the Jews as selfish and people who would promise to abide by eth regulations only to bring in more of their relatives and brothers. Although there were a lot of calls and pressure to allow the Jews community into Canadian society, the person in charge, Blair, stood his ground of not admitting the Jews. The judiciary had also given orders that would allow the admission of the Jews refugees in compliance with the existing international laws, but all efforts were still futile.
The Jews refugees in Canada were determined to do all that was within their reach to ensure they expanded their number. Also, they were determined to allow those who were locked out of Canada. For instance, the formation of a political party was meant to help initiate change in the congress that would ensure that the welfare of the Jews in Canada is taken care of. However, this did not materialize owing to their small number and lack of the power to influence. Their efforts reaped fruits when they showed their potential through farming. Even in Germany, Jews were hard-working people and were knowledgeable in different fields. The few who got admitted in Canada began to practice. Blair later came to recognize their efforts, and perhaps this was the avenue to improve the wellbeing of the Jews in Canada and accept more to participate in farming. As all these were happening, the King was reluctant to allow them in owing to the impact they would have on the locals being that there were already sentiments against them (Abella and Troper 189). Many leading newspapers had begun to echo the voices of the locals who were accused of competing with the residents. Such information was improving to be difficult for the King to disown and allow more European Jews. As these were happening, there was also mounting pressure from the US, which demanded that Canada and other countries admit Jews whom they can care for and avoid their mistreatment and any other form of injustice they faced.
It took many interventions such as conferences, peace talks, demonstrations, lobbying, among other activities to convince the Canadian government to admit the Jews, but it proved to be a difficult task for the organizers. On several occasions, Canadian representatives refused to attend some of these conferences because they were to be in favor of the Jews community. Nearly all other nations agreed to support Canada to accommodate the increasing number of Jews, but the Canadian King and Blair, who was in charge of immigration, refused admission as they saw Jews as a threat and were not going to contribute towards realizing the goals and achieving the vision of industrialization. Throughout this period, the few Jewish in Canada were not enjoying any additional benefit from the government because of being scared of their potential and the impact they have on the local economy.
In conclusion, the journey of the European Jews to Canada was very long and marked by many challenges. The Nazi regime was very hostile to the extent of working to extinct the community from the world. As all these were happening, other European nations were helpless owing to the nature of the Nazi regime, which could easily retaliate. This pushed the Jews to look for alternative locations to settle. Other European nations absorbed a good chunk of the Jews, with Canada admitting the least number. This made it a favorable destination to settle the Jews whose number was increasing each day. However, the immigration policy that Canada adopted could not give it flexible enough to accommodate more of them being that it was also experiencing some economic challenges. Throughout 1930 and 1939, the Jewish refugees suffered in Canada without admission.
Abella, Irving, and Troper, Harold. The line must be drawn somewhere’: Canada and Jewish refugees, 1933-9.