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The American Experience
June 1940
Assistant Secretary of State Breckinridge Long outlines ways in which consulates can indefinitely postpone granting visas. "We can delay and effectively stop for a temporary period of indefinite length the number of immigrants into the United States. We could do this by simply advising our consuls to put every obstacle in the way and to require additional evidence and to resort to various administrative devices which would postpone and postpone and postpone the granting of the visas."

Walldorf August 25, 1940

Dear Children,

A few days ago, we received the following notice from the American Consulate in Stuttgart:

"Due to a change of circumstances, it is now necessary to reassess those immigration applications that had already been approved, as being insufficient. In many cases, this approval will, undoubtedly, have to be rescinded. We are therefore advising you not to make any preparations for such a trip or, if you have already made such steamship reservations, to cancel them until you hear from this consulate again. That should avoid financial losses for you or your guarantors.
American Vice Consul"

As you can see, our emigration will not go as fast as imagined and we regret you will be disappointed. In any case, the journey via Russia - Japan [which was one escape route they had considered] will no longer be possible. It is totally uncertain whether or when such a possibility will exist again. The steamship lines via Lisbon or Pyraeus are no longer open from here, inasmuch as there are no transit visas through Switzerland and Italy at the moment...


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