franksIn another footnote to the horror of the Holocaust, Otto Frank, father of Anne Frank, tried in vain to emigrate to the USA on the even of WWII, and even after the outbreak of war. In 1941, still before the final solution, before the Nazis laid waste to the bulk of European Jewry, Frank tried in vain to get his family out. If the United States had not had in place anti-Semitic and racist laws preventing them —and hundreds of thousands of others that sought refuge— Anne Frank might be a writer living in the USA today. There were nearly 300,000 names on a waiting list for an immigration visa.

NEW YORK: Anne Frank’s father sent desperate letters to friends and family in the United States pleading for financial assistance to help the family escape from the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, according to papers made public Wednesday.

“I would not ask if conditions here would not force me to do all I can in time to be able to avoid worse,” Otto Frank wrote to a college friend, Nathan Straus, in April 1941. “It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for. Our own fate is of less importance.”

from the IHT

Even with his connections in America, of course we all know that he failed. Margot Adler’s piece on NPR is actually one of the most intense things I have heard on radio in a long time.

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Rabbi Yonah


  • I suppose the only possible bright side of this is that it has made us a little better in dealing with refugees. Interesting that even money kept them out, I mean this is America.

  • It was a story repeated 1000’s of times down through the years. A tale retold by survivors, and by survivors of all the family members who were killed as they remained behind. Many, many people tried to escape. The US took in so few, Jews would be scattered around the world for the next 50 years as a result. Some of this created happy communities in places where there were none. It was the moral power of the arguments of & from this Diaspora that helped get the movement to establish the state of Israel going once again after the war. We knew our complicity in their tragic fates, and were determined to do something by it. Cheers, ‘VJ’