It is widely believed that the Nazi “Final Solution” would have claimed fewer victims if the free world had shaken off its apathy and helped the Jews to escape.
Contrary to popular belief, the problem for Jews during the Holocaust was not how to get out, but where to go. The key figures in most governments throughout the world, instead of liberalizing their immigration laws, closed their borders to the hunted Jews, or at most admitted token numbers only. The Nazis set the house aflame, and the free world barred the doors. Some of the measures taken by the free world that contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands remain little known. Foremost among these was the thwarting by the United States Department of State of rescue plans that would have brought otherwise doomed refugees to the Caribbean, specifically to the sparsely inhabited U.S. Virgin Islands as well as the Republic of Haiti.