Saturday, April 12, 2014

May 30, 1939: Pushing Jan

 Letter to Luther Harshbarger of McPherson College from Marion Frenyear of Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)


Dear Mr. Harshbarger,
At the suggestion of Charlotte Salmon of the Refugee Service of the American Friends Service Committee I am sending you this enclosed information about Jan Rosenbach, whom she believes may be a suitable refugee student for your campus.
As you will see from the correspondence, Jan has been highly recommended to us by a leader in the Czech Fellowship of Reconciliation. Both his father, who was a Jew, and his mother were members of the F.O.R. He heard of him through Enrico Molner, one of this group who is now in the U.S. For the refugee committee of the American F.O.R. I have been trying to place him. One of our members is signing an affidavit for him to help him emigrate to this country.
We hope you will consider him as a candidate for your refugee scholarship. If there is any way in which we can help you in reaching a decision about this, please let us know. 

Sincerely yours,
Marion G. Frenyear

Letter from Marion Frenyear of FOR to Charlotte Salmon of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

Dear Charlotte:
Enclosed is a copy of my letter to Luther Harshbarger, McPherson College. At Harold Fey's suggestion I also sent such a carbon to Donald Smucker, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. I have not sent Jan's papers to the other colleges you mentioned but will do so.
I am also enclosing a copy of Jan's school report and of his letter to me of May 15th. I believe you have copies of the rest of the correspondence i.e.

1. Enrico Molnar's letter of April 24th
2. Jan Rosenbach's letter to the Director of Carnegie Tech
3. The answer to that dated May 3rd
4. Premyal Pitter's letter of April 13th.
If you have not any of these please let me know.

Last Friday Robert Berquist was here. We had a talk with Robert Spivack and Robert Berquist decided to go right ahead with the affidavit for Jan Rosenbach.

Thank you for the additional information about Morgentham. I sent an item for "Fellowship" about him and Beule.

With thanks for your help and all good wishes from

Marion Frenyear

These two letters may throw you off a bit because they have nothing to do with Opa- but as Opa is “waiting and seeing” about Oberlin, things are still moving with McPherson, and we wanted to follow some of Jan’s story as his and Opa’s sort of intersect a few times. Charlotte has moved forward with getting Jan Rosenbach’s information to McPherson College. I imagine she also sent Opa’s information, but with things looking good at Oberlin, Jan seems to be getting the spotlight at McPherson.

Luther Harshbarger at McPherson gets a letter from Marion Frenyear, who seems to be a placement worker for refugees with the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). This group seems to be an international group that is working in cooperation with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). I wonder how that cooperation and sharing of information happened? There must have been quite a professional sharing for people to recommend candidates found through other venues. I’m impressed!

One last thing- in his letter to Charlotte, Marion mentions that he will go ahead with the affidavit for Jan Rosenbach. This is a new step in the student visa process for me. Does Opa need an affidavit as well?! I have done some research on visas and immigration into the USA during this time period. An affidavit in this context is a sworn statement that someone will be (primarily) financially responsible for the refugee. This was sort of a method to keep out perceived “moochers” from immigrating into the US and then becoming a financial burden on society. I’ll talk more about this later, but an affidavit was kind of a big deal, and could be challenging to find a solid one.

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