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Merciless bureaucracy

All or nothing

[original] “My brother Ernest [sic] (his passport name is Elias) is perfectly healthy. I don't remember that he has ever been sick. He also can write and read, and even he has some English vocabulary. The only thing is that he didn't grow anymore since his 15th year.”

Columbus, Ohio

Otto Neubauer was worried that his efforts to facilitate his relatives’ emigration would come to naught. With the US intent on denying entry to refugees “likely to become a public charge,” he knew his developmentally disabled 34-year-old brother, Ernst, might be denied entry. He had no doubt that his father, Maximilian, a resident of Mannheim, would never leave Germany without his other son. On December 6th, 1938, Otto assured Herbert Reich, who had expressed his willingness to help the Neubauers immigrate to the US, that Ern(e)st was “harmless” and that his needs were minimal. To increase his brother’s chances to be admitted, Otto reasoned that it would be helpful to procure two affidavits.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Otto Neubauer Collection, AR 25339


Box 1, folder 3

Source available in English


on the days before