The July 1938 Conference that sealed the fate of European Jewry

The Evian Conference on Jewish refugees from Nazism gave Hitler the green light to implement the Final Solution.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


The infamous Evian Conference on Jewish refugees from Nazism was held in July 1938. Its actual purpose was to see if anyone wanted the Jews - or to prove just the opposite.

The original pre-war conference had been planned to be held in the diplomatic hub of Geneva, but due to the Swiss claim of “neutrality,” it was moved across the lake to French Evian-les-Bains.

“Evian was a death sentence," said Dr. Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, who spoke this week at an international gathering of experts in Evian on the 80th anniversary of the conference.

"It succeeded in its aims:

- proving Hitler's point that no-one and nowhere wanted the Jews;

- setting the appeasement scene of Munich a few weeks later;

- justifying the British White Paper that closed the doors of the Palestine Mandate;

- giving validity to the 1942 Wannsee Protocol, which listed by country the number of Jews to be murdered, totaling over 11 million.”

“Of 32 countries represented, 31 Ambassadors rose to explain why they would not take Jews. Only one, the Dominican Republic, offered 100,000 visas for German Jewish bachelor farmers. The bachelors were expected to marry Dominican women. Agriculturists were very few. Nevertheless, some 500 arrived after the outbreak of war - the last to leave Europe.”

“However, Evian carries another message" he continued, "... the indisputable justification for a Jewish State... the wandering Jew has a home... there are no more Jewish refugees... for Jews, there can never be another Evian.”

Today’s “Evian Revisited,” was organized by Elihu “Hugh” Baver of New Hampshire, USA and a number of sponsors led by the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice. It took place in the Hotel Royal, the site of “Evian I.”