Roosevelt House, the Hunter College Jewish Studies Center,

and the Sousa Mendes Foundation

 Invite You to a Documentary Film Screening


Nobody Wants Us


Eleanor Roosevelt and the Refugees She Helped Save

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Reception 5:45 PM

Program 6:30 PM




Roosevelt House, the Sousa Mendes Foundation, and Hunter College Jewish Studies Center invite you to a screening and discussion of the 2019 documentary film, Nobody Wants Us (directed by Laura Seltzer-Duny). 


The film explores an extraordinary event in 1940, when 83 exhausted passengers were trapped on a steamship in the port of Hampton Roads, Virginia. They were hoping to be allowed on American soil—where millions of others in distress had safely landed in previous generations. Without the intervention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, along with a Virginia Maritime Lawyer and a Portuguese Diplomat, these refugees might not have survived, much less gained access to the U.S. Times had changed and America was turning away refugees. Would these families be turned away too? Nobody Wants Us is their story. 



Blanche Wiesen Cook, leading biographer of Eleanor Roosevelt and the author of her three-volume biography.


Annette Lachmann, who was a passenger on the Quanza in 1940 and one of the only passengers still alive today.


Laura Seltzer-Duny, the documentary filmmaker and award-winning PBS producer.


Leah Garrett, award-winning author and Director of Hunter College's Jewish Studies Center. 


The relevance of this documentary goes far beyond the historical significance of the Steamship Quanza. It addresses how the United States responded to refugees fleeing war-torn Europe and encourages us to consider our reaction to refugees today. The film reinforces the concept of helping those in need when the world seems against them.




Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
47-49 East 65th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues)
New York City


  1. Attendance Selection
Tuesday December 10
5:45 PM - 8:15 PM
Film Screening
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Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
47-49 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
tel: 212.650.3174 | email: