Object ID


Object Name






Download Full Text (910 KB)


Front: Typewritten, addressed to Saly Mayer; three stamps. Back: Printed return address, 'AJDC, 19, Rue de Teheran, PARIS -8'

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Saly Mayer (1882-1950) was a retired Swiss businessman who, as a representative of the American Joint Distribution Committe in neutral Switzerland, was instrumental in saving the lives of thousands of European Jews. After the Anschluess in 1938, despite Swiss opposition to the settlement of refugees, Mayer was involved in the reception and settlement of Austrian refugees in Switzerland despite Swiss opposition. As the fate of European Jewry became more widely known, Mayer made a number of attempts to smuggle children out of Belgium and France. He was an important contact in Switzerland for the American War Refugee Board, and took part in the infamous Eichmann-inspired "Jews for trucks" negotiations. Rudolf Kastner has asked Meyer to attempt to bring about a deal with the Nazis as a Swiss private citizen since the "Joint" was an American organization. Indeed, Meyer's hands were tied in as much as he could not really provide any goods or services to the Nazis–he could only stall for time. The Nazis first released 318 Jews from Bergen-Belsen, and later another 1368 Jews who were able to find freedom in Switzerland. By February, 1945, Meyer was able to secure the release of another 1200 Jews from Theresienstadt.


4 1/2 x 5 3/4"


American Joint Distribution Committee, Switzerland, Saly Mayer, Pre-Holocaust, Pre-War


1945 - Present: Post-Holocaust Commemoration & Revitalization: Displaced Person Camps; Refugees and Emigration; Postwar Trials; Israel Statehood

Envelope from AJDC in Paris to Saly Mayer and AJDC in Switzerland