The Jews of Key West - 92Y, New York

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The Jews of Key West

Arlo Haskell
The Jews of Key West

As American immigration laws prohibited Jews from entering the United States during the 1920s, thousands of Jewish migrants became refugees in Cuba, where authorities looked the other way as smugglers transported them to Key West by any means necessary.

Bar owners, boat captains, costume artists, counterfeiters, immigration officials, a rabbi and even a traveling carnival company joined forces to reunite Jewish families and save the lives threatened by racist American laws. Their actions inspired Ernest Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not and pitted them against powerful local officials who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan. This talk illuminates the clandestine acts and secret societies of an era that bears striking similarities to our own.

Arlo Haskell

Arlo Haskell is a historian, poet, literary organizer and publisher. Much of his work focuses on the literary and social histories of Key West, Florida.

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