Re: Jewish Refugee Admissions to the U.S. in 1940 #usa #holocaust


Melanie Godschmid was issued  QIV 14778  i.e,  Quota Immigrant Visa, probably  under the German quota. She was eligible under Section 5 of the Immigration Act of 1924 which defines a Quota Immigrant.  In  March 1940 Germany was not at war with the United States and she would not have been considered an enemy alien.   Admission for refugees who had no visa was not an issue in her case.

David Rosen
Boston, MA

On 2/15/2021 8:38 PM, Scott.leo@... wrote:
Through images of ship records, I've come across my great-grandmother's aunt, Melanie Goldschmid, who arrived on the SS Lancastria in New York on March 21, 1940. The ship is listed as having departed Liverpool, UK (with a stop, I believe, in Halifax).

I know (from the 1940 U.S. census, where she is listed) that Melanie was living in Vienna in 1935 (her family's roots were indeed there for decades prior). On December 14, 1939, she was issued by the UK government a "Female Enemy - Exemption from Internment - Refugee" card. She is listed in that card as having a UK address.

The Lancastria manifest for her arrival in New York lists her as being issued a visa or passport (it's not clear, and I assume this is a U.S. visa...) in London on December 11, 1939.

The SS Lancastria manifest if full of German/Austrian Jews, such as Melanie. My understanding was that the U.S. no longer granted admission to refugees at this time. Does anyone have further background on this particular issue in this time? I cannot seem to reconstruct the series of events that allowed her to sail from the UK to New York and be admitted to the United States in this period.

So appreciative for any thoughts.

Thank you!

Scott Leo
Washington, DC

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