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This radio program uses dramatization to sway public opinion in favor of "displaced pilgrims," European Jews seeking American citizenship after the Second World War.
Although the United States and its allies won WWII, anti-Semitism after the Holocaust ran high enough to result in restrictive immigration policy. Many Americans believed these new policies were targeted towards European Jews, who were seen as "weak" or so battle-worn that they were unable to care for themselves or hold jobs. This show (circa late 1940s) aimed to update the term "displaced person" to the more dramatic and humanizing "displaced pilgrim." One of the first national programs to use a blend of fiction and nonfiction to sway public opinion, this Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons (CCDP) program provides a snapshot of America after the war, as well as the expanding role of radio.
The CCDP was formed in 1946, initiated by the American Council of Voluntary Agencies and the National Committee on Immigration Policy. Its objective was to seek temporary legislation suspending immigration quotas, allowing displaced persons to enter the United States. The CCDP aroused public concern through local committee groups, films, publications, etc., and also lobbied directly for passage of the desired bills. Though unsuccessful in obtaining passage of the Stratton Bill (HR2910) and Wiley Bill (S2242), the CCDP played a role in the passage of the DP Act of 1948 and in the Act's amendment in 1950. Having attained its goals, the Committee disbanded after the amendment of the DP Act.