Volume 2  –  document 298

On 19 June 1939 Felice Schragenheim writes a poem about forced emigration1Jewish Museum Berlin, Sammlung Wust-Schragenheim, donated by Elisabeth Wust (2006/37/193); published in Erica Fischer, Aimée & Jaguar: A Love Story, Berlin 1943, trans. Edna McCown (New York: HarperCollins, 1995 [German edn, 1994]), p. 68. This poem has been retranslated from the original German.

Poem ‘Times Are Changing’ by Felice Schragenheim, dated 19 June 1939 (typescript)

Times are changing – – –
We used to dream of travels,
Of deep blue seas, fringed with palms.
Today our view is quite different:
We no longer travel, at best we are wanderers.

Whoever once allowed themselves the occasional voyage,
Wishes now he could but stay
Without lists and packing cases and learning languages,
And should he venture forth – then only following Baedecker stars.2Travel guide named after its founder, Karl Baedeker (1801–1859).

Trunks that once sailed to Biarritz,
Now go on quite different routes
To countries barely discovered
And therefore unsullied
By gilded courtesy,
Not elegant, but far away.

To seek the promised land,
One firstly has to book ahead.
And one travels, that is the end of the story,
On luxury liners into exile. –

This document is part of:
German Reich 1938–August 1939 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2019)