Moscow, June 4, Interfax - Exhibition Closed boundaries. Sketches on diplomatic history 1938-1943 dedicated to the episode in history when world powers rejected to accept Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II opened in the Jewish Museum and Center of Tolerance.
"The desire to stand for justice was not popular then, it is often not popular today. Consequences of that indifference were certainly Holocaust, tragedy of Jewish people, and not only Jewish. The whole World War II is a consequence of indifference and desire of countries' leaders to stand aside, not participate in restoring justice and struggling against evil," head of the Center of Tolerance, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia Alexander Boroda, opening the exhibition.
In summer 1938 in France, US President Franklin Roosevelt initiated a meeting of delegates from 32 countries to discuss possible settlement of migration crisis, which Europe faced. In the late 1930-s, Jewish population of Germany and Austria tried to escape the borders of the Third Reich. However, frontiers of the countries free from Nazism turned out to be closed for refugees. During the conference that lasted nine days all delegates expressed their sympathy to Jews, but majority of countries, including the Great Britain and the USA said they were not able to receive them anymore. Five years later, in the midst of the war, the USA again initiated an international conference - on Bermuda, but immigration quotas were not increased.
According to Boroda, one of the exhibition goals is "to arrive at correct conclusions and learn all the lessons." "Many people do not want to recall these shameful conferences: it is a real shame for the countries which did not want to receive refugees, knowing that if they refuse to accept them, they would perish. They were ruled out from the lists of living, they were unwanted," - the FJCR president said.
Among exhibits are documents, photographs and videos provided by the Russian state archive of social and political history, the Archive of Russia's foreign policy, the Wiener Library in London, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in the USA National park, Yad Vashem Museum in Israel and the Holocaust History Museum in Washington.