(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…)
Due to these circumstances we broke off our honeymoon early and arrived home again March 30. Mother Ida had, especially during the days of our absence, undergone much and had been terrified by the price control. Because everything in our business was marked and entered in correctly and according to regulations in our books, we had never heard of any complaints filed in Kassel.
Perhaps, because nothing could be found, the battle against us needed to be waged on another front. The civil servant wrote down the names of our key suppliers and customers from our books during his control check, and with that information he summoned threats to be issued against those suppliers that they no longer supply the Emil Wanderer Holzhandlung.
The customers, however, were invited to the N.S.D.A.P. circuit leadership, where they were thoroughly denigrated for daring to buy from the Jews. This gave me immediate reason to offer my business up for sale in a variety of specialty publications. The success was minimal, extremely low: 90% responded “no” and of those that were interested, many of them did not have the needed capital or my business was too high for them to afford.
At the end of 1936, the Kiel Company of Geisa approached us with an inquiry, asking whether we planned on any changes and, if not yet at this time, could we please send them a message letting them know if and when we were ready, because they had great interest in purchasing the company. In mid-April 1938 I notified the owner of the Kiel Company a message that we could now begin business takeover negotiations. Now began the real national socialistic way and method of trade-commerce-transactions-haggling—or rather, the pushing off of the requested sum/value, and even though we received constantly reiterated promises, we were fobbed until beginning of July and could not come to a conclusion, I handed over the sale of the business to estate agent Erich Nortmann of Eisenach on July 7th.
But, on the very same day, a young man from the Firm of Strumpf and Katterfell Veneerhandlers, Eisenach, appeared in our office with the following message from his boss: It had come to his attention that we wanted to liquidate our business and that he would like to assist us in the liquidation. He would be prepared to assume the sale of the entire warehouse, including scrapwood and foreign veneers, according to regulated purchase prices.
This was of course, a big word, because the scrapwood and veneer storehouse was valued at 20.000 Reichsmark. I said that I would accept this, under the provision that I was unable to find a buyer for the entire merchandise storehouse and the property. I personally went a few hours later to the firm Strumpf and Katterfell and presented the proposal to possibly consider taking over the property as well. Both Herrn Klein and Herrn Siegert were open to the proposal and because of this we entered into further negotiations.