“You might be absolutely knowledgeable concerning the state of affairs of all Jews in Central Europe … assist us to observe our youngsters … It’s our final and solely hope.”
The letter was despatched in early August 1939, only a few weeks earlier than World Battle II would erupt. The letter was despatched from Vienna, Austria, by a Jewish man named Alfred Berger. The missive was a determined plea to an entire stranger, an American who occurred to share his final title.
“By pure likelihood I obtained your tackle and as our names are the identical I hope that we belong to the identical household of Moravia,” he wrote.
Sixty years later, the letter was present in a trunk in a California attic and ultimately made its strategy to Faris Cassell, an investigative journalist who determined she wanted to seek out out the tip of the story.
Because the state of affairs in Europe grew extra harmful and untenable for the Jewish inhabitants, Alfred and his spouse, Hedwig, had found out a strategy to get their grown youngsters in another country, by means of a reference to their son-in-law’s aunt. However the mother and father can be left in a state of affairs that was rising extra dire by the day.
“The one risk to hitch our youngsters, the dearest now we have on this world, is the way in which to America and I urge you immediately to ship us/for me and my spouse/an affidavit.”
Did the mother and father escape and be part of their youngsters? What occurred? Cassell launched an investigation that might final over a decade and take her to Austria, Belarus, the Czech Republic and Israel, poring by means of letters and household data, and exploring archive places of work.
“The Unanswered Letter: One Holocaust Household’s Determined Plea for Assist” by Cassell (Regnery Historical past, out now) tells the true story of this determined escape try.