Tony Vaccaro. Jewish immigrants to the USA – Bremen to Bremerhaven (1948)

Tony Vaccaro, American photographer, took this photograph in 1948. It shows some Jewish immigrants in a train which goes fromBrementoBremerhaven, part of the long journey toUSA.

After World War II, thousands of Jewish survivors wanted to start a new life. As they got out of concentration camps and refuges, they found nowhere to live inEurope, so they had to find somewhere outside its frontiers. Most of the Jews immigrated toPalestineandUSA, butIsraelbecame one of the most popular destinations from its beginnings in 1948.

Countries such asUSA,Canada,AustraliaandArgentinaestablished migration programs. They were convenient for them, as they needed to increase their population and workers in order to take advantage of the post-war economic boom. One of the slogans that was commonly used was “populate or perish”. In their migration programs, they favoured European immigrants rather than others who came from other parts of the world.

In 1948, the US Congress proclaimed a law which allowed 400,000 displaced people to enter the country. 20% of them were Jewish. They influenced American culture and economics, including marketing and business areas.

From my point of view, immigration was the only solution that most people had and, due to that fact,Europelost population and an important cultural source.

Author:Iguácel Cuiral

 

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