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Sanctuary Denied

Refugees From the Third Reich and Newfoundland Immigration Policy 1906-1949

By Gerhard P. Bassler
Categories: Migration And Resettlement, History, Newfoundland And Labrador Studies
Series: Social and Economic Studies
Series Number: 48
Paperback : 9780919666757, 312 pages, January 1992


This is the first book-length inquiry into Newfoundland immigration prior to Confederation in 1949. Sanctuary Denied sheds new light on the preservation of Newfoundland's culturally "distinct" homogeneous society and its endemic difficulties.

Refuting a widespread assumption that pre-Confederation Newfoundland was unable to attract immigrants, Dr. Bassler identifies numerous requests involving thousands of potential immigrants eager to move to Newfoundland in the half century prior to Confederation. Despite the existence of a uniquely liberal refugee law from 1906 to 1949, Newfoundland immigration policy developed a tradition of refusing asylum to all refugees and of deporting and excluding non-British immigrants as undesirable. The analysis of this immigration record raises intriguing questions about the legacy of nation-building in Newfoundland.


"For those who like their history in sugar-coated form, this will be a bitter pill to swallow. But, by being so hard hitting, I think this study will generate healthy public and scholarly debate, and, maybe, even some retrospective soul searching. "

- Harold Troper, author of None is Too Many (with Irving Abella)