(This post is a continuation of my father’s letter explaining his “reason for emigration,” which he wrote in Cuba in 1938-9. More excerpts to come…)
My sister, Alice, tried to convince us, on her many trips to Paris, to sell everything and hurriedly leave Hitler-Germany. At that time, one could still leave and transfer the wealth abroad, counting on receiving about 50% of one’s capital, or wealth, but my dearest mother was immovable. Reasons? Here goes:
- The thought of my dear father, Emil
- She thought she could not live abroad on the transferred money
- The business was still going WELL
And so that is how 1936 went along: Earnings were still at the same level as the last year, however here and again noticeable successes were made, as the ongoing exactly executed anti-Semitic smear campaigns were employed in different economic organizations, as well as from our “dear” competitors.
Business at the end of 1936/beginning of 1937 was too good to step nearer to a change. Numerous inquiries about whether we would sell the business were mostly not answered by us or answered with a “no.”
In May of 1937, I learned by happenstance of a lady who was friends with some other friends of ours in Eisenach. Our friend, the businesswoman, Helga Crohn, knew of this lady, who was only staying in Eisenach on her way from Eppstein (Taunus).
This woman appealed to me through her secure, natural, and independent behavior, and, after long hard battles, she became my wife.
Ruth Nosseck from Posen no longer wanted to marry in Germany and spoke only of emigrating. Her brother had emigrated to Buenos Aires two years prior and she had only that one thought: to go there too. She told me at every opportunity when the conversation turned to emigration that she already had her papers finished and ready, and she was only waiting for a reply from Buenos Aires, which by the way, had not yet progressed that far.
We were engaged at the beginning of December 1937, and on March 3, 1938 our marriage took place. Our honeymoon took us over Switzerland (Lugano) to Italy and namely, we had booked a round trip on the Italian steamship “Donizetti.” The voyage began in Venice and went over Averne, Berne, Taomina, Palermo and Naples, where we were reached by a phone call to end the trip immediately and return home to see a bureaucrat of the Economy Group of the Department of Timber Wholesale, who was there demanding to see all of our business books.
Upon being told by my mother that her son was on his honeymoon and would not return for another 14 days, the bureaucrat became rough and rude and demanded to see the books immediately.