ABSTRACT

Driven from their homelands by the bleak winds of a Second World War, countless uprooted Europeans escaped to America, Not since the French Revolution had so many talented, prosperous, and well-educated refugees gathered in New York at the same moment in history. Together they managed to reproduce a civilization in microcosm as artists, aristocrats, teachers, bankers, businessmen, and other representatives of a disrupted society reconvened in a foreign land where friendly natives welcomed them with warmth. Their presence contributed greatly to the status of New York, establishing the city once and for all as the cultural capital of a disjointed world, yet at the same time, the refugees' arrival stirred some ambivalent feelings—how long could Washington keep us out of this war, how long could the English stand alone?