Helping Jews Emigrate

(1934)


...The middle of March saw an increase in the number of persons who applied to our Central Office and our Committees in the Reich for advice and assistance in connection with emigration. The first great influx took place on March 29; during the ensuing months three hundred and more called every day asking for counsel. It was impossible to deal with them all at our office at No. 91 Martin Luther Street, and we therefore opened a special advisory department at No. 31 Oranienburger Street. In addition to applicants from Berlin we had daily callers from the various towns of the Reich. Letters asking for information in matters of emigration arrived in vastly increasing numbers, and in many months their numbers amounted to more than three thousand....

Constant communication is being kept up with no less than a hundred and eight organizations within the Reich; they are supplied with information of all kinds, and the Hilfsverein works together with them in cases where advice seems necessary....

The Hilfsverein recognized from the start that, having regard to the crisis reigning in all countries both in Europe and overseas, and in view of the many prohibitions against immigration and labor, the movement of larger groups of German Jews to countries abroad would meet with the greatest possible difficulties. The extent of the problem is shown by the fact that in recent years a considerable return of emigrants from overseas to Europe has taken place....

Events took place at such speed that the various assistance depots were absolutely unable to give to the impatient masses who were anxious to emigrate the required information to anything like the extent which would have been necessary. Having regard to the callings exercised by German Jews and to the economic conditions abroad, there is often a lack of the primary requisites for the reconstruction of a new life in those countries. Very often they are ignorant of foreign languages, agricultural and manual workers are relatively scarce, and for the numerous commercial employees and intellectuals there are hardly any openings abroad. Further, in the majority of cases the power of adaptability which is absolutely necessary for work in unaccustomed surroundings, especially overseas, is entirely wanting. Many rejoice in the childlike faith that accommodation can be found for an emigrant in any country, "somewhere abroad," without any special preparation being necessary....

Report of the Hilfsverein der Deutschen juden on its Activities during 1933, Berlin, 1934.


Source: Yad Vashem