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Typewritten letter in German to Saly Mayer on American Joint Distribution Committee stationery.

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:

APO 757 (Munich), November 16, 1945, request for tracing information from Saly Mayer. Blue AJDC/UNRRA handstamp at lower right.

Saly Mayer (1882-1950) was director of the Swiss office of the American Joint Distribution Committee, responsible for maintaining contact with the Jewish communities in German-occupied countries, and for distribution of funds from the AJDC. A retired Swiss businessman, he was instrumental in saving the lives of thousands of European Jews. After the Anschluss in 1938, 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 had asked Mayer to attempt to bring about a deal with the Nazis as a Swiss private citizen since the "Joint" was an American organization. However, Mayer's hands were tied inasmuch 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, Mayer was able to secure the release of another 1200 Jews from Theresienstadt.


8 1/4 x 5 3/4"


American Joint Distribution Committee, AJDC, UNRRA, Bavaria, Paris, Saly Mayer



Letter from the American Joint Distribution Committee/United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Team in Bavaria



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