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Joseph In America

Friday, June 06, 1947

The exact date of this episode is unknown. We've filled in the date above with a placeholder. What we actually have on record is: 1947-06-06 (ca.).

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Misha Auer narrates "a story about a man and his family who will someday become American citizens." Briefly recounts his own story as a displaced person.

The drama is about a man, Joseph, who is forced to leave his home. Re-enactment of his long journey in a crowded box car. Upon his arrival, he assigned to a compound, rather than killed, because his skill as a watchmaker is needed. At the end of the war, he cannot return to Europe and is sent to another camp while he waits for permission to enter the US. The words of Philip Murray, president of the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) are recited: we are a nation of immigrants... There is no truth to the claims that allowing immigrants in would cause the loss of jobs. "Here, they will work for democracy - and our freedom." Joseph is allowed in to the US, where he is given a home and a place to live.

One day, in the plant where he was working, Joseph overhears a man talking about him. He is nominated for a Patriots Award as a new American.

The program closes with Donald Bucher (?), who introduces William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor (AFL).


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 2296
Municipal archives id: LT992

Produced by:

Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons and Ted Hudis

Contributors:

Misha Auer, John Garth, William Green, Philip Murray and James Sheldon

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About Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons

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.

- Citizens Committee on Displaced Persons Historical Sketch

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