NEW YORK (AP) — Anne Frank’s father sent desperate letters to friends and family in the United States pleading for financial assistance to help the family escape from the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, according to papers released Wednesday.
“I would not ask if conditions here would not force me to do all I can in time to be able to avoid worse,” Otto Frank wrote to his college friend Nathan Straus in April 1941. “It is for the sake of the children mainly that we have to care for. Our own fate is of less importance.”
The letters, along with documents and records from various agencies that helped people immigrate from Europe, were released by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
The information documents how Frank tried to arrange for his family — wife Edith, daughters Margo and Anne and mother-in-law Rosa Hollander — to go to the United States or Cuba.
Frank wrote to relatives, friends and officials between April 30, 1941, and December 11, 1941, when Germany declared war on the United States. He tried to arrange U.S. visas for his family before they went into hiding, but his efforts were hampered by restrictive immigration policies designed to protect national security, Holocaust experts said.
He referred to those problems in his letters.
“I know that it will be impossible for us all to leave even if most of the money is refundable, but Edith urges me to leave alone or with the children,” he said in another letter to Straus.
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