Unwelcome Exiles. Mexico and the Jewish Refugees from Nazism, 1933-1945
Daniela Gleizer, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. Translated by Susan Thomae
Unwelcome Exiles. Mexico and the Jewish Refugees from Nazism, 1933–1945 reconstructs a largely unknown history: during the Second World War, the Mexican government closed its doors to Jewish refugees expelled by the Nazis. In this comprehensive investigation, based on archives in Mexico and the United States, Daniela Gleizer emphasizes the selectiveness and discretionary implementation of post-revolutionary Mexican immigration policy, which sought to preserve mestizaje—the country’s blend of Spanish and Indigenous people and the ideological basis of national identity—by turning away foreigners considered “inassimilable” and therefore “undesirable.” Through her analysis of
Mexico’s role in the rescue of refugees in the 1930s and 40s, Gleizer challenges the country’s traditional image of itself as a nation that welcomes the persecuted.
This book is a revised and expanded translation of the Spanish El exilio incómodo. México y los refugiados judíos, 1933-1945, which received an Honorable Mention in the LAJSA Book Prize Award 2013.