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April 28, 1989 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-04-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

My Dear Children,
So much has happened. All of our
belongings have disappeared . . . our
jewelry is gone . . . mother had money
sewn into her coat, which the Nazis
also found and grabbed. Yesterday, my
landlord asked me for a 20 percent in-
crease in my rent. I hear that your un-
cle is said to have made it over to
America. Please ask him to possibly
send over a package . . . a cake, or a
sausage that would not spoil . . .
possibly some canned goods.

An envelope that contained a letter from Paul Cohen to
his American relatives.

possibility of this? Would the State
Dept. turn us down?
Won't you please try to do
something for us? All of these requests
must be getting you down, but for my
husband's sake alone, we must keep
trying . . . if he at least knows that we
are continuing to fight for this, he will
have the courage to continue. It's just
that we are beginning to feel that
everything we touch turns to dust.
And the answers:
All of us see little hope in the situa-
tion and the State Dept. is not in a
position to get a welfare report on your
parents unless they voluntarily appear
at the consultate.
From the American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee, New York:
We have your letters and wish to
advise you that we know of nothing,
further in which you can do at the pre-
sent moment in regards to your
parents' immigration to this country.
To Washington, another angle of
hope:
We understand that there may be
a special visitor's visa, which permits
industrialists, scientists, and others,
who might have a special reason to
fear further Nazi encroachments, to
enter the United States with a view to
a permanent visa. I should like to ar-
range this for my father, and any other
possible assistance for my mother.
Thank you in advance for anything
you may do regarding the above.
Another closed door, from
Washington:
The State Dept. has found that
practically no visitors permits are be-
ing granted now, because a person
would have to show that they had an
established home abroad to which they

expected to return. This is a difficult
thing to prove. Also under the im-
migration law, no visitors visas can be
made permanent while the alien re-
mains in the United States. We would
very much like to help, but do not see
what we can do.
Meanwhile, life for the Jews
became increasingly difficult:

I put the letters aside and sat for
a moment, trying to imagine the
families of then, sitting around their
dinner tables not unlike my own, just
hours earlier. But I see that their
faces are pale with worry, their Voices
heavy with concern. Conversations
are direct to the point. Questions are
asked: Where are our loved ones be-
ing taken? What new horrors will
tomorrow bring? Will there even be a
tomorrow? Does the outside world
know what is happening? Does
anyone care?
What were the concerns of my
own family this evening at dinner?
What flavor cake to have for dessert?
What movie to see this weekend? How
fortunate we are, I think, to have such
insignificant worries. How safe and
well and protected we are. It is easy
for us to rush out of our home each
morning, confident we will have that
very home to come back to at night;
to be able to pray openly together in

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the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah, to
celebrate Chanukah with family and
friends.
Our time is what we make it, fast
or slow. We are the keepers. Their
time was doled out in patches, extend-
ed by the grace of a Nazi soldier — or
perhaps cut off by a person's whim.
I picked up a letter to my father-
in-law from someone named Trudy, a
neighbor:
I so wished your mother Betty had
stayed with us. It would have been dif-
ficult, but I tried to talk her into it. She
was afraid, so afraid of those
criminals . . . and then, only a few
hours before her transport [boxcar] was
ready to leave I tried very hard to con-
vince her to hide here, but she did not
have the courage to go along with this
idea. I can still see it in front of me —
your mother, leaving, with the sign of
the Jewish Star sewn to her coat. I still
see her in front of me walking away
and then, when she did not come back
my little boy kept asking me, When is
Aunt Betty coming?
Your mother was taken to Litz-
mnsatdt [concentration camp]. No one
heard what happened to her or saw
her ater that.
As for us, we are doing fairly well
at this time. We were bombed six times
very heavily. In spite of that we are not
the poorest of poor, howeverour apart-
ment has no doors or windows and the
in-between walls have collapsed. Fur-
niture is badly damaged, all our

PRESIDENT

pt is STANgARIDEr altointpori„....42

. day letters is STANDARD TIME at point of origin. Time of recei

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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