Authors

Object ID

2021.1.21

Object Name

Postcard

Date

1942

Files

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Description

Signed and dated typed postcard with portable post office truck on front.

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:

Bad Schauenburg was the site of a labor camp for Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. The postcard is postmarked 2/4/1942 in Montreux, Switzerland. It is typed and signed by Joseph Heidingsfeld, a teacher, and himself a Jewish refugee in Switzerland who taught children in the refugee camps and hospitals in the Montreux area. Many thousands of Jews made their way to neutral Switzerland fleeing Nazi persecution. The Swiss government attempted to place limits on the number of Jewish refugees they permitted, ultimately collaborating with the Germans by getting them to affix the letter ‘J’ on their passports. This measure, initiated by Dr. Heinrich Rothmond of the Siss Ministry of Justice, would create the need for illegal means of entry.

Placing Jews in labor camps was perhaps an attempt by the “neutral” Swiss government to appease Germany on whose economy and good will they were dependent. Thousands of Jewish refugees admitted to Switzerland were placed in labor camps with unheated barracks and straw beds and required to work in factories making equipment for sale to the German army. Women cleaned the homes of Swiss officials: all in an apparent effort to discourage “non-Aryans” from entering Switzerland. On the other hand, Jewish refugees confined to these Swiss camps could be released if they could arrange for refugee status in other countries like neutral Portugal or South America. While it is known that ordinary Swiss citizens would lend support to Jewish immigrants, for many Jewish refugees at the end of their tether fleeing Nazi wrath, luck ran out at the border and too many were turnd back.

Dimensions

6 x 4"

Keywords

Bad-Schauenburg, Walter Simons

Subcollection

Labor

Postcard from Jewish Intern in Bad-Schauenburg

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