Of Refugees and Resignation

Philippe Sands

Abstract


Building on topics explored in East West Street: on the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity, this article traces the development and publication of James McDonald’s Letter of Resignation of League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Expanding on events outlined in his book, Sands describes how the letter was published in 1935 as a political statement in the wake of emerging news about Nazi atrocities against the Jews and other minority groups. Drawing analogies between these events and the contemporary refugee crisis, he raises questions about the current legal, political and moral frameworks associated with refugees, calling for an end of the ‘closing of the doors’ mentality.

 

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