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Town with a Jewish Past: Family Letters


Prelude to War: Postcard from Berlin, 1933
from Andrew Halmay, a native of Czernowitz




enlarged image

"This a very important card to me from Dad on a business trip to Berlin, dated February 1933. For one, it may be the only time in my life that Dad ever wrote to me. I was going to be six years old that September. After that, he probably didn't feel I needed any coddling.

In his postcard he wrote "Lieber Tibi: Dein Papi ist in einigen tagen bei Dir und wird ser schone Spielzeuge mit bringen, womit du sich freuen wirt." He wrote that he will be back in a few days and will bring me toys that I'll enjoy.

After the elections of March 5, 1933, the Nazis began a systematic takeover of the state governments throughout Germany. I don't know what it was that Dad saw that most of the world ignored, but he came back saying that Europe is doomed, that there  will be another war and that we should emigrate. He obtained an immigration visa from Australia, but all our friends kept telling him that he should stay, and we let the visa expire. Fortunately, he met a fellow who was half-Hungarian and half-Scottish who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railways colonization service, and he persuaded Dad to come to Canada. We landed in Montreal on May 4, 1930. It was a close call."





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