MODERATOR NOTE: This topic is now closed in the Forum. Please continue
Pete Vanlaw's question - was it very unusual for Jews to legally emmigrate
from Germany during and after 1940 - has been answered. The annecdotalsidebars have been interesting and instructive. I add my thanks to
Mr. Vanlaw's for your responses, the last of which follows below. MOD1
Germany had initially beeen concerned with driving out its Jews to make
Germany Judenrein (though they were not averse to humiliating, robbing,
brutalizing, and randomly or selectively killing them).
The extermination policy, the Final Solution was implemented following the
Jan. 20, 1942, Wannsee conference, near Berlin.
Kristallnacht [in November, 1938] was implemented, in part, to 'encourage
the Jews to leave, and in fact many thousands who had been waiting for the
storms to pass or to find new homes in "cultured" countries, or an
opportunity to smuggle out their wealth or take their possessions with
them, saw the signs and fled, wherever they could, however they could.
We, ourselves, were smuggled out of Germany six weeks before Ktistallnacht
and we were at sea, crossing >from Antwerp to Harwich (England) when the
Nazi goons broke into our apartment and robbed and smashed whatever they
could. My father had been able to smuggle some money out of Germany but
dedicated it to rescuing his sister and her family, my mother's parents
and two of her siblings.
My mother's brother-in-law, a rabbi was thinking of joining us with
his family in England but decided to stay with his congregation in
Poland--where he and my mother's sister perished.
One cousin in Nurnberg had told my father, with some cynisim and too much
confidence, "I'll leave on the last train." He did. Unfortunately for
him and his family, the last train was heading for Audschwitz.
Michael Bernet, New York, mBernet@aol.com