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Anne Frank's family denied visa to the U.S. - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Feb. 15th, 2007

09:38 am - Anne Frank's family denied visa to the U.S.

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You wanna know why I beat the drum for immigration freedom so much? This is why. Incidentally, if you're a believer of the "jews in the attic" test for government laws, I'm not sure what else would possibly prove to you that our immigration laws fail the test.

Via octal.

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-02-14T213650Z_01_N14305692_RTRUKOC_0_UK-ANNEFRANK-LETTERS.xml&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2

By Tom Hals

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The father of Anne Frank, the Jewish girl whose diaries of life hiding from the Nazis became world famous, sought money and help obtaining a U.S. visa from a wealthy New York friend in hopes of escaping Europe, according to documents released on Wednesday.

Frank asked for $5,000 from college friend Nathan Strauss Jr., whose father at the time owned Macy's department store, as he tried to escape Holland with his wife, mother-in-law and daughters Margot and Anne, according documents from the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York City.

"This is the first concrete evidence that he did actually pursue the possibility of escape from Holland," said David Engel, a New York University professor.


A YIVO volunteer discovered the correspondence among the millions of documents in its archives in mid-2005, but the institute had to resolve copyright issues before putting them on display.

The letters, telegrams and government documents date from April to December 1941 and show efforts by Otto Frank to get to the United States and Cuba before going into hiding in 1942, a period Anne Frank described in her diary before she eventually died aged 15 in a German concentration camp in 1945.

"It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for. Our own fate is of less importance," Otto Frank wrote in a letter to Strauss, who was the head of the U.S. Housing Authority. "You are the only person I know that I can ask."

Frank asked for $5,000 to cover a deposit related to getting a U.S. visa, but the money was ultimately not needed because the visa was not granted.
Strauss, who is now dead, and his wife made several appeals to government contacts, according to the documents. They also show the Franks received help from Julius Hollander, Otto Frank's brother-in-law, who was living in Boston.

If her father had sought help sooner, "Anne Frank could be a 77-year-old woman living in Boston today, a writer. That is what the YIVO's documents suggest," said Richard Breitman, a professor at American University.

However, Otto Frank decided to try to escape just as the Nazis were making it more difficult to leave and the United States was making it more difficult to enter, Breitman said.

Cuba issued Otto Frank a visa on December 1, 1941, according to the documents, but it was cancelled 10 days later when Germany declared war on the United States.

The following summer, as Jews were being sent from Amsterdam to Nazi camps, the Frank family went into hiding for two years before being discovered and sent to concentration camps. Otto Frank survived the camp but died in 1980.

Engel said one of the most striking findings for historians was the timing of his efforts to escape the Netherlands, which he didn't pursue until a year after the Nazi invasion.

He said there was evidence that Frank may have been blackmailed by a member of the Dutch Nazi Party, who approached Frank with a letter of denunciation in April 1941. Just 12 days later, Frank contacted Strauss seeking help getting to the United States.

"So circumstantially there is reason to speculate about this as a possible trigger for the events," said Engel.

Comments:

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From:ernunnos
Date:February 15th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
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1 billion repressed Chinese agree with you. They get to stay at your house.
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From:crasch
Date:February 15th, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
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Awesome! I hear those Chinese really know how to party.

I'm gonna need a bigger Kegerator.
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From:ernunnos
Date:February 15th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
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Of course, if you open the borders to Germans, then all the Nazis get to come along with Anne Frank's family. They outnumber the Jews by quite a lot, join the America First - a very powerful organization headed by Charles Lindberg, which successfully kept the U.S. out of the war for a very long time - and succeed in keeping America out of the war entirely. Britain sues for surrender, Hitler fights to a draw with the Russians, and the Holocaust goes unnoticed, because even if we allow the Jews, the Nazis aren't exactly keen on letting them leave.

Open borders is an invitation to mob rule with a global mob. Unless you think the U.S. is worse than the global population on average, that benefits exactly nobody. Not even Jews.
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From:candid
Date:February 15th, 2007 05:58 pm (UTC)
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Your "open borders" plan would have deprived 7th graders of one of their most beloved pieces of literature. No thanks!
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From:crasch
Date:February 15th, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
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Yes, a tragic loss. But had she lived, maybe she would've gone on to produce "Three's Company", only 20 years earlier. I think we can both agree that this would've been a WIN FOR US ALL.
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From:candid
Date:February 15th, 2007 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Also, I know you think I am crazy for always yelling about the importance of culture, but this article touches some of the same points.
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From:crasch
Date:February 15th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
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Ah yes, a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. I bet if we turned hiring decisions over to the government, they would weed those bad apples right out. :>

Our government could try to control the culture in a variety of ways: by restricting what we read/see /and hear, or banning unpopular religions, or planting "thought police" who disappear those with express "disloyal" opinions. Do you think it would be good idea to let the government control what we read, or which religion we practice, or disappear those who express disloyal thought?
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From:vyus
Date:February 15th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
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Don't know if you can follow this link -- it's from a research economist from my alma mater on myths and facts folks are relying on in the debate, as well as some other interesting trends:

http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewfeature&id=1375

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From:vyus
Date:February 15th, 2007 08:00 pm (UTC)
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if you can't and don't want to sign up, i can post some relevant passages.
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From:crasch
Date:February 15th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I'll check it out.
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From:mindwalker
Date:February 16th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
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FWIW, I agree with you. But you probably already knew that. However, I can easily see the other side flipping things around on us by invoking a "terrorists in the attic" test. What do you think would be the best way to counter such an argument?
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From:crasch
Date:February 16th, 2007 01:30 am (UTC)
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Here's some arguments:

a) Terrorist don't need immigration reform to get into the U.S. They can easily get in as students, tourists, truck drivers, sailors, etc.

b) Free immigration would reduce the returns to intelligent people serving terrorist-sponsoring governments. Instead of becoming government apparatchiks or terrorist leaders, the best and brightest of Iran, Syria, etc. would be in the U.S. doing research, starting businesses, etc.

c) We don't deprive people of their freedom to read, or practice their religion, or own guns even though some people write pernicious books, choose to join cults, or shoot up schoolyards.

d) Terrorist targets would have large populations of immigrants from would-be terrorists home countries. Presumably, the prospect of blowing up an immigrant son, brother, uncle, sister, etc. would decrease the likelihood of attack.

e) Open immigration would lead to more cross cultural ties. Residents of terrorist states would have more direct contact with U.S. citizens and culture, and would realize that their government's propaganda is just that.

f) Increased business ties to the U.S. would create powerful incentives in the upper classes of terrorist countries to suppress radicals, for fear that it would disrupt their businesses.
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From:phanatic
Date:February 16th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
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How do you know any of those things would continue to be the case, given open borders?

c) We don't deprive people of their freedom to read, or practice their religion, or own guns even though some people write pernicious books, choose to join cults, or shoot up schoolyards.

Much of the rest of the world does do those things. If that segment of the world is allowed to be freely immigrate, what guarantee do you offer that they would not continue to do those things here? The same kind of argument-by-assertion you're offering in the rest of this thread?
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From:phanatic
Date:February 16th, 2007 01:36 am (UTC)
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And as for f), you probably won't see a stronger incentive than the House of Saud has to suppress radicals. I mean, go and find some stronger "business ties" than exist between America and Saudi Arabia.

And yet, that's not enough.
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