Guy M. Gillette (1879-1973), a three-term U.S. Senator from Iowa, was one of the most vigorous advocates in Congress for the rescue of Jewish refugees.
Gillette, a Democrat, was an active supporter of the Bergson Group’s Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, made numerous speeches on the floor of the senate urging U.S. rescue action, and chaired the group’s second emergency conference on rescue.
Gillette was the lead sponsor of the Bergson-initiated congressional resolution urging creation of a government rescue agency. “It is not a Jewish problem alone,” Gillette wrote in the preamble to the resolution. “It is a Christian problem and a problem for enlightened civilization.” After the war, he served as chairman of the Bergsonites’ American League for a Free Palestine. In a postwar interview, Bergson Group staff member Miriam Chaikin, who also worked in Gillette’s Senate office in the 1940s, said, “He was a Bible-believing Christian. He felt it was his religious duty to help the Jews.”