Austrian-Jewish refugees disembarking from the Conte Verde after their arrival in Shanghai, China on 14 December 1938. Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

The theme of emigration features prominently in the already published volumes of the edition.  Diary entries and letters shed light on the hopes and often thwarted plans of individual Jews concerning the possibility of emigration to other countries in continental Europe, to Britain, the USA, to Palestine, and further afield. 

The volumes document Jewish community efforts to prepare young Jews for emigration and the efforts made by Jewish aid organizations abroad to support immigrants in the countries in which they had taken refuge. They also highlight the practical obstacles to Jewish emigration put in place by the Nazi regime: the regime’s efforts to deprive Jews of their property before they emigrated, and the pursuit of a policy of forced emigration that would be paid for by the Jews themselves.

Sample documents
Volume 2  –  document 7
Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt, 30 January 1938: article in which the Relief Association of German Jews promotes the emigration of women
‘More emigration of women!’
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Volume 2  –  document 243
On 24 January 1939 Hermann Göring orders the founding of the Reich Central Agency for Jewish Emigration
‘The emigration of the Jews from Germany must be advanced by all possible means.’
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Volume 3  –  document 12
On 16 September 1939 the Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan hosts a meeting in Berlin to discuss the emigration of the Jews and their deployment as forced labourers
‘The political departments argued that further Jewish emigration is desirable, regardless of whether the destination is neutral or hostile countries.’
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Volume 3  –  document 29
On 2 November 1939 the Emigration Advice Service of the Jewish Economic Aid Association in Dresden asks the American Joint Distribution Committee to speed up the issuing of visas by the US consulate general in Berlin
‘The American consulate general in Berlin creates such difficulties that emigration from here will become illusory.’
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Volume 3  –  document 92
On 3 July 1940 Franz Rademacher makes proposals at the Reich Foreign Office for settling all the European Jews on the island of Madagascar
‘France must make the island of Madagascar available for the solution of the Jewish question.’
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Volume 3  –  document 233
The Reich Association of Jews in Germany produces a summary of the emigration of Jews from the Old Reich between 1933 and 1941
‘Since 1933, a total of 352,294 Jews have emigrated from the Old Reich.’
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Volume 5  –  document 70
On 18 April 1941 Commissioner General for Security Hanns Albin Rauter orders the establishment of a Central Office for Jewish Emigration
‘Reich Minister Dr Seyss-Inquart has ordered the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, SS-Gruppenfuhrer Heydrich, to establish a Central Office for Jewish Emigration in the occupied Dutch territories, which is to serve as a model for the solution to the Jewish question in all European countries.’
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Volume 5  –  document 216
On 10 October 1941 Gisela Kahn explains her emigration plans and asks to be exempted from the announced deportation to Łodź
‘My parents’ state of health does not allow them to emigrate on their own, and it would only be possible if we could depart from here together.’
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Volume 5  –  document 286
On 23 October 1941 the Reich Security Main Office forbids the emigration of Jews to third countries
‘The Reichsfuhrer SS and Chief of the German Police has ordered that the emigration of Jews is to be prevented with immediate effect.’
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