Josiah E. DuBois, Jr

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Josiah E. DuBois, Jr., (1913–1983) was a Treasury Department official who played a major role in exposing State Department obstruction efforts to provide American visas to Jews trying to escape Nazi Europe.[1]

DuBois, a 1934 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was Special assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury, 1944–45; general counsel of the War Refugee Board, 1944; member of the Allied Reparations Commission, Moscow, 1945; member of the U.S. delegation to the Berlin Conference (Potsdam), 1945; and deputy chief counsel for War Crimes in charge of the I.G. Farben case, Nuremberg, Germany, 1947-48 [2]

Report on Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews

DuBois wrote the famous "Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of This Government in the Murder of the Jews," which Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., used to convince President Franklin Roosevelt to establish the War Refugee Board in 1944.[1][3][4] Randolph Paul was also a principal sponsor of this report, the first contemporaneous Government paper attacking America’s policies during The Holocaust.

This document was an indictment of the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic, military, and immigration policies. Among other things, the Report narrated the State Department’s inaction and in some instances active opposition to the release of funds for the rescue of Jews in Romania and German-occupied France during World War II, and condemned immigration policies that closed American doors to Jewish refugees from countries then engaged in their systematic slaughter.

The catalyst for the Report was an incident involving 70,000 Jews whose evacuation from Romania could have been procured with a $170,000 bribe. The Foreign Funds Control unit of the Treasury, which was within Paul’s jurisdiction, authorized the payment of the funds, the release of which both the President and Secretary of State Cordell Hull supported. From mid-July 1943, when the proposal was made and Treasury approved, through December 1943, a combination of the State Department’s bureaucracy and the British Ministry of Economic Warfare interposed various obstacles. The Report was the product of frustration over that event.

On January 16, 1944, Morgenthau and Paul personally delivered the paper to President Roosevelt, warning him that Congress would act if he did not. The result was Executive Order 9417[5] creating the War Refugee Board composed of the Secretaries of State, Treasury and War. Issued on January 22, 1944, the Executive Order declared that "it is the policy of this Government to take all measures within its power to rescue the victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death and otherwise to afford such victims all possible relief and assistance consistent with the successful prosecution of the war."[6]

Nuremberg Military Trials

DuBois was put in charge of the IG Farben trial at the Nuremberg Military Trials, later writing the seminal account of that trial, The Devil's Chemists.[7]

Published works

  • Generals in Grey Suits: The Directors of the International 'I. G. Farben' Cartel, Their Conspiracy and Trial at Nuremberg. London: Bodley Head. 1953. 
  • The Devil's Chemists (PDF). Boston, MA: Beacon Press. 1952. 

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies: Welcome
  2. Truman Library - Josiah E. Dubois, Jr. Oral History Interview
  3. "Report to the Secretary on the Acquiescence of this Government in the Murder of the Jews". The Jewish Virtual Library. January 13, 1944. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  4. Text of report, at website of TV show American Experience, a program shown on PBS.
  5. "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Executive Order 9417 Establishing the War Refugee Board". The American Presidency Project. January 22, 1944. Retrieved August 25, 2009. 
  6. Morse, A. (1968). While Six Million Died. Random House. pp. 92–93. 
  7. Heller, Kevin Jon (2011). The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 26. 

Further reading

External links