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Bermuda Conference

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Bermuda Conference-  A conference held in Hamilton, Bermuda from April 19, 1943 to April 30, between representatives of the United States and Great Britain to discuss policy about Holocaust refugees. The Americans sent Harold Willis Dodd, president of Princeton University. The British sent Richard Law, parliamentary under-secretary of state for foreign affairs. Neither delegate had the power to make any decisions.

The conference was held as a sop to mounting pressure to respond in some way to the extermination, both planned and actual, of European Jews, and in particular to respond to offers to the Jewish Agency and others by Eastern European Nazi allies such as Roumania, to ransom Jews. The allies were terrified by the prospect of taking in Jews and found, on many occasions, numerous excuses to prevent Jews from leaving Roumania and Hungary.


The British were adamant that no Jews could be allowed to leave and that in particular, no Jews should be allowed to immigrate to the suppose "national home" of the Jewish People in Palestine, in contravention of the 1939 White Paper. The conference was held in Bermuda to prevent access by journalists and Jewish Agency and Joint Distribution Committee members. It was forbidden to discuss Jewish refugees. An appeal of Chaim Weizmann to rescind the White Paper was ignored. The conference concluded that nothing could be done on the cynical excuse that any action would interfere with the war effort. An attempt to revive the intergovernmental committee established by the Evian Conference, the only recommendation of the conference, failed because no funds could be found to support it. The Bermuda conference accomplished nothing, which was its purpose. Ironically it was held at bout the same time as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Szmul Zygielbojm, a member of the Jewish advisory body to the Polish government-in-exile, committed suicide in protest.

Ami Isseroff

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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This work and individual entries are copyright © 2005 by Ami Isseroff and Zionism and Israel Information Center and may not reproduced in any form without permission unless explicitly noted otherwise. Individual entries may be cited with credit to The Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Zionism and Israel


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