Austrian Refugee Describes Difficulties in Entering Foreign Lands

“The frightful, nerve-shattering difficulties” which Austrian Jews are faced with in the matter of immigration are described in a letter in the Manchester Guardian.

“Until recently Colombia was in fact virtually the only country which permitted entry,” the anonymous author of the letter states. “Now this has been changed, and I am afraid that I shall never be able to get in there now. I think it may interest you to have the collected facts about the immigration difficulties. Here they are:

“United States – Affidavit. Quota. Pedantic bureaucracy. At the earliest it requires three months from the day when the affidavit is received, if this is considered satisfactory by the consulate, before emigration is possible. Medical examination. Police certificate of good conduct (this alone takes two months to obtain). The quota is ‘spread over’ only a proportion being taken each month. For anyone born outside Germany the time taken is even longer.

“Britain – In the most favorable circumstances, and with influence, visa only without working permit (except in the case of domestic service). Everything must be done from the English side. Even then endless delay through the consulate. France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland – Completely closed. Even heavily restricted transit visas very difficult to obtain. Italy – No visa. Autonomous frontier officers, who send Jews back from the frontier. Transit visas possible. Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the Balkans – Hermetically sealed.

“Scandinavia – On presentation of a definite contract with a firm there, visa granted for a restricted period. Finland said to be still open, as is Estonia, but without permit to work.

“Argentina – ‘Llamada’ (application) only by blood relations resident there. Also great difficulties and hindrances through the consulate there. Colombia – Consulate closed for two months. If a contract can be shown, the consul in hamburg or Amsterdam has power to grant the visa. A deposit of 150 American dollars must be shown and given up on landing, which can only be provided by someone abroad, as it is only possible from here to pay the fare (in marks), and even this only as far as the harbor, and not as far as Bogota. Brazil, Chile – Closed…

“This is the situation, and as far as immigration possibilities are concerned it becomes literally worse from day to day. If one had hopes even yesterday of being able to go to some country where one had distant relatives, today this possibility is also ruled out.”

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