This paper examines the role of Jewish organizations B’nai B’rith, the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Labor Committee, and the American Jewish Congress, in attempting to shape the response of the United States government to the Nazi persecution of the Jews taking place between 1933 and 1941. Recognizing that these attempts by the Jewish organizations did not take place in a vacuum, the paper also analyzes the presence and actions of key anti-Semitic organizations in America, and how those groups attempted to minimize the effectiveness of the Jewish groups’ efforts. Sources used in this investigation include the minutes and records of the American Jewish Congress and the Joint Boycott Committee, as well as other select documents from the archives of the Jewish Labor Committee and the American Jewish Committee. Other sources examined include the various speeches and publications of the three anti-Semitic organizations studied: the German-American Bund, the Silver Shirts, and the Christian Front. This paper finds that as a direct result of the high level of anti-Semitism present in the United States during the 1930s, the American Jewish organizations were unable to gain the public support necessary to pressure the Roosevelt administration to act on behalf of the Jews in danger from Hitler’s persecution.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2012


Christiane Diehl Taylor

Mentor Department Affiliation

History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Department Name when Degree Awarded