In mid-2015, global debate raged over an increasingly large exodus from Syria, while the terror attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 exacerbated tensions about matter of asylum seekers across the world.
Articles that were popular on social media in the wake of those attacks in Paris included some pertaining to similar events in U.S. and world history. One prominent rumor accurately held that Anne Frank was one of many Jewish children denied entry to the United States in the early stages of World War II, and as a result she (like others) died in the Holocaust. Another surprisingly relevant claim involved the sentiment of Americans toward to European refugees in 1938, with the vast majority of the former (80 percent) unmoved by their plight and disapproving of their migration to the U.S. to escape Hitler’s growing reach.
Another popular rumor was that iconic children’s author and illustrator Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) had espoused surprisingly strong positions on the isolationist political climate in the United States as World War II began. Among Seuss’ putative works was the above-reproduced cartoon, eerily applicable to the Syrian refugee crisis of 2015. In that cartoon, a self-satisfied mother wearing a sweater bearing the legend “America First” reads a book called “Adolf the Wolf” to two horrified, saucer-eyed children, telling the youngsters the story of how “the wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones … But those were Foreign Children, and it didn’t really matter”: