Refugee resettlement – Migration – The Second World War – Cecilia Razovsky – Varian Fry


Despite anti-immigrant sentiment and severe restrictions on immigration to the us during the Second World War, many individuals and organisations fought to change attitudes and utilise the limited possibilities available. Cecilia Razovsky worked throughout this era to utilise quotas, increase awareness, and avoid negative attention that could hinder immigration. Varian Fry provided practical and legal assistance to refugees fleeing France until he was stopped by government officials. Razovsky has remained largely unknown but Varian Fry has drawn attention as an example of America’s best intentions. The Second World War is frequently invoked in contemporary discourse surrounding immigration and the stories of rescue during that era continue to fascinate, as Fry’s recognition shows. Through examining how the us immigration advocates Cecilia Razovksy and Varian Fry responded to restrictions during the Second World War, this article asks why aspects of humanitarian memory persist and examines why particular aspects of their work continue to resonate and hold meaning for contemporary resettlement work.

Original Publication Citation

Shaw, S.A. (2018). Implications of the World War II U.S. refugee resettlement efforts of Cecilia Razovsky and Varian Fry. Journal of Migration History, 4, 111-133.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Migration History




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor