I didn’t know LBJ rescued Jews from the Holocaust.
Unwilling to stand by idly while Nazi henchmen murdered the “People of the Book,” Johnson met with Jewish leaders and said simply, “We [must] do something to get Jews out of Europe.”16
Straightaway, the congressman enlarged the scope of “Operation Texas.” Using methods sometimes legal, sometimes illegal, and cash supplied by men like Jim Novy, Johnson smuggled hundreds of Jews into Texas, using Galveston as the entry port. Enough money could buy false passports and fake visas in Cuba, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. After getting to such places, Jews would then make Galveston Island their only port of call.
Johnson smuggled boatloads and planeloads of Jews into Texas. He hid them in the Texas National Youth Administration [NYA], a task made easier because LBJâ€™s longtime friend Jesse Kellum was the Texas State Director of the NYA. Although it was illegal to harbor and train noncitizens in the NYA programs, the refugees were nevertheless temporarily housed in various sites scattered around the Lone Star State.
Novy bankrolled the effort, reimbursing the NYA for all expenses, including room and board. He also covered the cost of classes for those who did not speak English and classes to retrain the Jews so that they could meld into American life. Johnson funneled many men into NYA welding schools because welders were in high demand both during the war-preparedness campaign of 1940-1941 and during the war itself. Johnson saved at least four or five hundred Jews, possibly more.17
Worth reading in full, and kol hakavod to Lyndon Baines Johnson, and his family that taught him so well. Via Lenny Ben-David.