For the Jewish villagers of Kippenheim, no challenge was as urgent or formidable as escaping Nazi Germany, often by acquiring American visas. In his book, The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught in Between, Michael Dobbs painstakingly documents how several members of this small community struggled to find refuge and what obstacles stood in their way.
Deported to unoccupied France in October 1940, the refugees continued their visa quest, even as the Nazis planned further deportations to the East. Interned in grim concentration camps, they became entangled in bureaucratic red tape. Some perished in the camps; others were deported to Auschwitz. Those who survived by reaching the United States understood all too well that an American immigration visa often meant the difference between life and death.
Published by Knopf in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Unwanted is part of a groundbreaking educational initiative that includes a new exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust, on display in Washington, D.C.
Michael Dobbs was a longtime reporter for The Washington Post, covering the collapse of communism as a foreign correspondent. An employee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, he has taught at several American universities, including Princeton, the University of Michigan and Georgetown. His previous books include One Minute to Midnight on the Cuban missile crisis.
This event is presented in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Doors to the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium open at 5 p.m., and seating is first come, first served. Books are available for purchase and the author will autograph books at the conclusion of the program. Photo of Michael Dobbs by Miriam Lomaskin USHMM.