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Final Thoughts

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Chapter Summary

In order to explain Mexico's position toward the Jewish exiles during the years of Nazism, one must tease apart the threads of a complex and tangled web of political, economic, and legal circumstances. Widespread distrust and wariness towards foreigners in general, the geographical and cultural distance that separated Mexicans and Jews, and the automatic classification of the latter as "undesirable foreigners" constituted a great obstacle to seeing them as people in danger and often threatened by death. The Mexican state had no experience with sheltering groups of persecuted people searching refuge, nor did it have legislation that might allow it to define the limits of its action. Thus the regulations seemed to be on the order of precautionary measures: refusing to authorize admission, even for small groups, with the objective of sending a clear message in the face of what they thought might turn into a veritable avalanche of refugees.

Keywords: Jewish exiles; Jews; Mexicans; Nazism; refugees

10.1163/9789004262102_010
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    Unwelcome Exiles. Mexico and the Jewish Refugees from Nazism, 1933-1945 — Recommend this title to your library
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