When the war began...

Immediately after Adolf Hitler's ascent to power in Germany in 1933 the  Nazi government launched a campaign of persecution against Jews. Soon after, within months, tens of thousands of Jews left Germany.  Emigration slowed considerably as visas became impossible to gain.  In an effort to deal with the “refugee problem” –  the issue of the Jews trapped in Hitler’s Reich, obviously suffering terribly, but unable to find countries willing to take them in and give them refuge - a conference proposed by President Roosevelt was held in the French resort town of Evian, attended by representatives from thirty one countries.

The pre-war persecution of Jews reached its height with the pogrom of November 9 and 10, 1938, known as Kristallnacht (“Night of Broken Glass”), when German and Austrian Nazis killed nearly one hundred Jews and brought thousands more to violence and sadistic torture. 267 community buildings were destroyed, tens of thousands of Jewish shops and homes were broken into and nearly 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent into concentration camps.

 Very few countries were willing to take in Jewish refugees. For this, the world at large has guilt, the U.S. being one of the worst offenders. Until the start of World War II, when borders closed, Jews were allowed to leave (though they were not allowed to take out any possessions or money) and Jews trapped throughout the Reich struggled to find a country that would let them in.

This picture shows the border agreement between Germany and the Soviets and also how Jews were not allowed into other countries.
This picture is showing the German officers and the Soviets signing the border agreement. Notice how Hitler wasn't there...