organization called HICEM was founded in 1927 to assist
Jewish emigration. The name combined the acronyms of three
Jewish migration agencies -- HIAS (Hebrew Sheltering and
Immigrant Aid Society) of New York, ICA (Jewish Colonization
Association) of Paris, and Emigdirect of Berlin. Work of
this group expanded greatly after the Nazi triumph in
Germany, but Emigdirect was forced to withdraw in 1934. With
the onset of war, ICA, which had registered as a British
philanthropy despite its base in France, was forbidden to
operate outside the Sterling currency community. Those
events left the burden of assisting Jews who needed rescue
to HIAS in the United States and its European affiliates.
Because HIAS evaded and flouted currency regulations, it was
able to help 90,000 Jews escape the Holocaust. In Poland,
all Jewish emigration assistance and relief organizations
joined forces in 1920 under the coordination and direction
of the Central Jewish Emigration Association (JEAS).
Warsaw, Poland, sent this envelope to HIAS in Washington,
D.C., on August 30, 1937. HIAS sometimes sent letters to
offices in third countries for forwarding onward as a
maneuver to avoid surveillance by hostile governments; the
orange coupon is a remnant of that program.