Press Release

The Never-Ending Immigration Debate: Book Explores U.S. Response to Immigration Crisis during World War II

As Syrian refugees risk their lives to immigrate to other countries, the attempts of Jews to escape Nazi persecution in the 1930s and 1940s come to mind. In 1944, in an effort to save Jews who had not yet been murdered in the Holocaust, the U.S. government created the War Refugee Board.

Debut author Heather Voight has written Passionate Crusaders: How Members of the U.S. War Refugee Board Saved Jews and Altered American Foreign Policy during World War II, the first book ever to focus exclusively on the War Refugee Board and its accomplishments. This well-researched account will interest anyone with an opinion on immigration in the current century as well as history buffs.

The book doesn’t just tell readers that the War Refugee Board was important. Instead, it shows how the agency was created, the actions taken to save lives, and the determination of its members to combat anti-Semitic and anti-immigration attitudes. Passionate Crusaders shines a light on the agency that

  • President Franklin Roosevelt created in the midst of a State Department scandal
  • Was staffed by mostly non-Jews who risked their reputations and sometimes their lives working for the Board
  • Saved over 100,000 Jews using a combination of diplomatic and clandestine methods
  • Pressured the War Crimes Commission to change its definition of war crimes–the same definition used today

“I first read about the War Refugee Board while working on my college thesis. When I started to talk about the Board to other people, I got a lot of blank stares. Despite the number of people aided by the War Refugee Board and its lasting impact on American foreign policy, few Americans have ever heard of it. I wrote this book to tell the story of the Board’s members who tried to do so much in so little time,” said Voight.

Heather Voight is a successful freelance writer and history blogger who has been published in national and regional magazines. A Chicago native, she graduated from college with a B.A. in both History and English. Passionate Crusaders, her debut nonfiction book, has received recognition from Midwest Book Review and Dr. Leon Stein, Professor Emeritus of History, Roosevelt University and Education Director Emeritus, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

For more information, visit

TITLE: Passionate Crusaders: How Members of the U.S. War Refugee Board Saved Jews and Altered American Foreign Policy during World War II

GENRE: History


PRICE: Paperback: $10.99; E-Book: $2.99

AUTHOR: Heather Voight

ISBN: 978-0-9903052-0-0

PAGES: 198


# # #


MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Voight