CEHS Condemns Executive Order Restricting Entry to the United States

The Central European History Society (CEHS) categorically condemns President Donald J.
Trump’s Executive Order “protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United
States” of January 27, 2017. In addition to restricting immigration from seven, predominantly
Muslim, nations that have provided no evidence of sending “terrorists” to the United States, the
President’s ill-considered and counterproductive order creates hardship and heartbreak for
immigrants and refugees who already hold the necessary documents for admission into the
country. Furthermore it withdraws hope from countless refugees who seek safety and a chance at
a more decent life. As historians of Central Europe, we know only too well the consequences of
demonizing marginalized groups, especially Jews persecuted by Nazi Germany, whom the
United States government refused to admit. We are especially alarmed by the historical amnesia
evident in President Trump’s commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day (ironically the
same day he issued his executive order), which refused to acknowledge the victims of the
Holocaust by name. Using the rubric of “terrorism” to demonize Muslims, while claiming that
the restrictions are not directed against them, is not just a disingenuous sleight of hand but a
denial of justice and compassion.

Shelley Baranowski, Distinguished Professor of History Emerita, University of Akron; CEHS
President, 2018
Geoff Eley, Professor of History and German Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;
CEHS President, 2015
Atina Grossmann, Professor of History, The Cooper Union; CEHS President, 2017
David M. Luebke, Professor of History, University of Oregon; CEHS President, 2016
Benjamin Marschke, Professor of History, Humboldt State University; CEHS Executive Director
Andrew I. Port, Professor of History, Wayne State University; Editor, Central European History
Anthony J. Steinhoff, Professor of History, Université de Québéc à Montréal; CEHS Board
Nancy M. Wingfield, Professor of History, Northern Illinois University; CEHS Board Member