August 1, 1936 -
The Olympics open in Berlin. America participates, reversing a 1933 vote by the U.S. Amateur Athletic Union to boycott the games.
July 6-15, 1938 -
At the Evian conference, called by the United States, 32 nations discuss the refugee crisis yet take little action. The U.S., under its restrictive 1930 immigration rules, accepts fewer German Jews than its quota allows.
September 29, 1938 -
Eager to avoid war, Britain and France sign the Munich Pact letting Germany take over the Sudetenland, a part of Czechoslovakia with a large German population.
February 9, 1939 -
The U.S. Congress considers the "Child Refugee Bill" to accept 10,000 German children in 1939 and 1940. After much opposition, Senator Robert Wagner is forced to withdraw the bill, leaving the restrictive 1924 quotas in force.
May 15, 1939 -
The SS St. Louis sails from Hamburg for Cuba carrying roughly 1,000 German Jews. Refused entry into Cuba and the United States, the St. Louis returns to Europe.
May 17, 1939 -
Britain issues a "White Paper" sharply restricting Jewish immigration to Palestine.