Essay on My Own Family 's Post Wwii Emigration From Germany

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As I interpret the stories of my own family’s post-WWII emigration from Germany, to Canada and America between 1952 and 1953, it becomes evident that things have indeed changed historically in regard to immigration policy in the U.S. as well as in Europe. However, one disturbing factor that remains the same is the practice of exclusion and restriction.1 In the case of my grandfather Julius Mathews, a native German born in 1908, exclusion laws prohibited him from entering the U.S. in 1953 based on the fact that he was an officer in the Nazi Party during WWII. During a 2013 interview with my father Joachim Mathews, he stated that my grandfather, “was considered a Nazi because he belonged to the party, so Canada took him… Canada didn’t care, so he went to Canada.”2 The 1952 U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act excluded “…the Communist or any other totalitarian party of any State of The United States, of any foreign state, or of any political or geographical subdivision of any foreign state,”3 so the United States government consequently labeled my grandfather an “Enemy of the State” and barred his entrance to the U.S. This particular immigration act, passed shortly after WWII, was a clear attempt at reducing threat to the nation’s safety by restricting and inhibiting immigrants based on certain post-war profiles.
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1 Daniels, Roger. Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882. New York: Hill and Wang, 2004.
In chapter one…

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