“For a large family and with the Depression in the U.S., it was easy for the immigration authorities to use this as an excuse to deny visas. We could also have tried to go, perhaps illegally, to another country in Europe.
Again, that was not easy for a family of six with very limited funds, and my mother always said that this would be useless, since Hitler was going to take over all of Europe sooner or later. She was right, but what we probably could and maybe should have done was to leave individually, on children’s transports to England, for example. But my parents felt that the family should stay together.” Read more
THE FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATED OF AMERICA
October 2, 1940
Mr. Heinrich Wildmann, Philippsburg
In answer to your letter of September 16, 1940 the Consulate regrets to inform you that all Consulate officials responsible in your case, after impartial and just examination, feel compelled to decide, in view of the present situation, to withdraw the previously given tentative approval of your documents that are in our possession. Your name will continue to be carried on our waiting list and your case might be considered again, when those reasons, which led to the rejection of your visa, no longer exist.
Sincerely yours, For the Consul General Hugh H. Teller, American Vise Consul Read more
“On October 21, 1940, late in the afternoon, my grandfather, as head of the Jewish community, was told to inform all the Jews of Philippsburg that the next day Jews were not allowed to leave their homes. The next morning the police (it may have been the Gestapo) came to every Jewish house, to inform us that we had one hour to pack after which we would be taken away to an unknown destination.” Read more
“When the train finally came, a passenger train with third class coaches, we were relieved that it was heading south and not north towards Poland. While we didn’t know any details of what was happening in Poland, we knew that whatever it was, it wasn’t good.” Read more
“My mother and my brother were deported from Rivesaltes while I was in Grammont, in August 1942. Their last letter is dated August 20, 1942. My father was at that time in a hospital attached to the camp located in Perpignan. He was deported in November 1943. None survived.” Read more
8/20/1942 “Today I and Hugo are being shipped off… My dear and good child, take to heart everything we always told you, be well behaved and honest and do good deeds and hate whatever is base, look for good company and avoid the bad. Let us hope that we will be reunited in good health and then my most tenderly loved youngest we want to compensate you, who have had to suffer so early in life by being deprived of your loving parental home. With my whole-hearted love I kiss you a thousand times and send you many, many regards and bless you beseechingly.” Read more
April 8, 1943 “On your 13th year, you are entering the Jewish community as a full fledged member. This has always been a special event in the Jewishly minded family and the celebration of the Barmitzvah was a lovely celebration. You will best remember the Bar Mitzvah of your brother. We rejoiced then and how much would we have liked to celebrate your Bar Mitzvah in the same manner. Fate has decided otherwise. As it has for thousands of years, the wave of Jew hating has reached us, has thrown us out of our everyday life, has cast us out of our so-called homeland, has cast us out of our wonderful family life and has splintered our family.” Read more
“But despite the behavior of the Vichy Government, many Frenchmen did not cooperate with their government and helped in the hiding of Jews, particularly Jewish children. This accounts for the fact that over 70% of all the Jews in France and over 85% of the Jewish children survived the war.” Read more