Many organizations that are struggling today to cope with massive population displacements had their origins in the refugee crises that preceded and followed World War II. The non-governmental International Rescue Committee (IRC) was founded in Germany in 1933. The UN Relief & Rehabilitation Administration was founded in 1943, and the UN Refugee Convention signed in 1951.
Mr. Rackmales’ talk will focus on the period from July, 1938 when Franklin Roosevelt’s attempt to organize an international effort to provide refuge to victims of Nazism in Germany and Austria collapsed, to July, 1951 when the UN Refugee Convention was signed in Geneva (but not by the United States). As is the case today, issues involving acceptance of refugees aroused intense public reactions in the US, often limiting presidential options. These controversies did not always follow strictly partisan lines and were also capable of creating deep divisions within the government.
During his 32-year career in the US Foreign Service, Bob Rackmales dealt with refugee issues on multiple occasions. His meeting in Istanbul in 1986 with Turkish refugees from Bulgarian persecution was shown on Turkish national TV. As US Charge d’Affaires in Belgrade during the Balkan wars of the 1990’S, he worked closely with IRC and UNHCR officials providing assistance to refugees from each of the affected ethnic groups. He is a former board member of the Camden Conference and Senior College at Belfast, and is a member of the American Foreign Service Association and the American Historical Association.
This presentation is hosted by the Belfast Free Library and offered as a free community event in in anticipation of the 30th Annual Camden Conference -Refugees and Global Migration: Humanity’s Crisis, February 17-19, 2017. The 30th Anniversary Camden Conference Community Events Series is supported in part by the Maine Humanities Council.
The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world issues. For more information, visit www.camdenconference.org, email email@example.com, or call 207-236-1034.
Now you can own the photos you see on RCN America Network and Rocky Coast News!
Visit our online gallery: www.rcnamericanetwork.zenfolio.com
GALLERY WRAP WALL PRINTS