New visa procedures delay immigration further. The
"relative rule" forces applicants with relatives still in Germany, Italy or
Russian territory to pass extremely strict security checks to obtain a visa.
Also an elaborate system of interdepartmental government committees are
established in Washington to painstakingly screen each immigrant application.
The effect of the new rules is that immigration is cut to 25% of the
Camp de Gurs 7/13/41|
Ilot [Block] I, Bar. 12
In a few days it will be 9 months since we arrived here.
My Dear Children,
This time there was a long, and involuntary pause in our correspondence which
unfortunately wasn't our fault. But, thank God, we received mail again as of
today which caused great joy all around. From Father, I received 3 letters
simultaneously and inasmuch as today, Sunday, and tomorrow are big holidays
here, we'll have to be patient until Tuesday in order to possibly count on mail
from you once again, dear Children. We are infinitely sorry that you might
have had the greatest concerns about us because of the silence, but I can
assure you that we are all in good health which Father also confirmed about
himself again today.
We were enlightened today about the new decrees and it is redundant for me to
go into lengthy detail; I presume that Father has informed you of all that's
noteworthy. Regrettably, everything has now become invalid and we are back to
aleph [square one]. You'll have to start anew in regard to our emigration. It
is even more regrettable for those people who had everything "shipshape," but
one single hope remains for us and that would be if we could get a special visa
(via Washington) that would let us get out of here more quickly. If only we
don't have to go through yet another disappointment along those lines!
Above all, I must apologize that I committed the major mistake of failing to
send timely congratulations on your birthday, dear Guenther, and I make up for
it today in the hope that you will not be cross with me; but perhaps you're not
surprised that my memory has suffered considerably. So do take my belated most
heartfelt good wishes. God willing, we'll be permitted soon to exchange our
mutual sentiments and wishes in person and I do believe that would make all of
us completely happy. Even though it may have been disappointing for you not to
have received the looked-forward-to birthday letter up to now, it is
nevertheless our hope, dear Gerdi and Guenther, that you were able to spend
nothing but pleasant hours on that day, about which we trust you'll report
Everything about you, even to the tiniest detail, will be of interest to hear
and this would never have happened to me if Father had been here. At the
moment, the worst thing is that we are compelled to be separated for such a
long time already and that I still am forced to sit here. That also means that
much of what I was able initially to be enthusiastic about is no longer of any
consequence to me. If, as Father reports, a new camp is being constructed for
wives of the men at [Camp] des Milles, near Marseilles, then the situation
ought to improve somewhat. Most of all, that would give us renewed hope for a
reunion with you...
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