What were American attitudes toward accepting child refugees who were fleeing Nazi terror in the 1930s? What role did the Wagner-Rogers Bill (1939) play in responding to this refugee crisis? What does this moment in history say about a nation's responsibility in helping people on the move with ambiguous status, especially children? How might we use our country's past to inform and strengthen our actions today?
To explore these questions, we created this resource with Jill Weiss Simins, a historian at the Indiana Historical Bureau (IHB) who works on Hoosier State Chronicles (HSC), a free database of digitized Indiana newspapers. We highlighted a selection of primary sources to demonstrate a variety of opinions and knowledge about the Wagner-Rogers act and ways to respond to the refugee crisis that was prompted by Nazi aggression. To support the resource, this lesson plan contains teaching suggestions and ideas for the classroom.