(This post is a continuation of my father’s letter explaining his “reason for emigration,” which he wrote in Cuba in 1938-9. This is part 7 of 10.)
We had sent our application for emigration to the US embassy in Berlin on August 23, 1938. A few days later–on August 29–we received our registration and a questionnaire to fill out. And now we needed to completely change our stance and acquisitions for the trip to the United States.
The newly acquired Bosch refrigerator for Argentina was sold at a loss of 100 Reichsmark shortly after we had purchased it. Our furniture and couches were sold to some of our clients who were in arrears in their accounts with us, and we secretly put in our order to continue acquisitions for clothing and suits and so forth.
Cuba: Due to the fact that we no longer wished to endure the waiting period to the United States, there was only once choice: to find an interim country, or transition. The choices were very small, and a certain individual from the Peruvian consulate, residing in Eisenach, couldn’t make anything work, apparently. He seemed only to understand how to get himself and us to go on diverse trips, at our cost, to Berlin to Leipzig and Hamburg, which turned up only negative results each time.
Even a joint car trip to Hamburg, to the American consulate, ended with no success. Only ONE land, one country, was left to travel to with all our siblings: Herbert, Ilse, Günther, and Mendel. There was only one country we all wanted to travel to: Cuba.
When Ruth came home from Berlin at the end of September 1938 with this suggestion, we decided to put everything into finishing up the process as quickly as possible. My mother, Ida, was to wait out her waiting period to the U.S. with her daughter, Alice, in Paris. The necessary steps had already been put into place, or had been taken some months prior, so that it appeared that Mother could leave Germany about the same time as we did.
On September 30th, we met with our Mendel siblings in Hamburg to find out about passage by ship to Cuba and to make inquiries at the consulate of Cuba. At the consulate, we received the information that we would not need a visa for entry into Cuba, however, we did need to pay a $500 per person deposit to the referenced shipping line.