Visa Came Too Late"
1933 and November, 1938, about 30% of the total Jewish population
left Germany. Another 30% emigrated in the period between Kristallnacht
and the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Other Jews also
tried desperately to leave Germany, but encountered insurmountable
difficulties in obtaining visas. Elizabeth Freund, quoted here,
did eventually escape Germany for a temporary haven in Cuba. Many
others were not as lucky. Bureaucratic delays often spelled a
death sentence for those who remained trapped in Germany.
is really enough to drive one to despair. . . . We have
filed application for entry permits to Switzerland, Denmark
and Sweden. It was all in vain, though in all these countries
we had good connections. In the spring of 1939, from an
agent we obtained an entry permit for Mexico for 3,000 marks.
But we never received the visa, because the Mexican consulate
asked us to present passports that would entitle us to return
to Germany, and the German authorities did not issue such
passports to Jews. Then, in August 1939 we did actually
get the permit for England. But it came to late, only ten
days before the outbreak of war, and in this short time
we were not able to take care of all the formalities with
the German authorities.