Friday, May 30, 2014

July 6, 1939: What about Jan?


Mr. Phil Myers,
1722 E. Gordon,
McPherson, Kansas.

Dear Mr. Myers:

      The other day Miss Marion Frenyear of the Fellowship of Reconciliation was in the office and inquired about Jan Rosenbach.

     I wondered if you had been able to come to any decisions about your refugee scholarship. Please let me know when you do because it will undoubtedly be difficult to get any foreign student over here.

    I have just come from the International Relations at which the Student Peace Service Volunteers are being trained. There I saw Dan Wilson, Maxim Ring and many other Kansas students. They are set for a wonderful summer.

Sincerely yours,
Charlotte S. Salmon,
Placement Worker,
Refugee Service.

We mentioned earlier in the blogs that we were going to follow Jan Rosenbach’s American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) files a little bit as they intersect with Opa’s in interesting ways. In this letter, Charlotte Salmon is proactive (always!) in reaching out and checking on the status of McPherson’s final decision for extending a scholarship. She emphasizes the difficulty of getting foreign students to the US, and politely requests to be informed of a decision as soon as possible.

Charlotte does a good job of politely lighting the fire under these discerning committees. They likely have little idea about how each day counts to these refugees. Even Charlotte seems to be omniscient as she can’t possibly realize how close Europe’s borders are to completely shutting down once the Nazi invasion really kicks in. If you didn’t memorize your WW2 battle dates like I didn’t before this project- then it is helpful to remember that the Nazis invaded and conquered Holland (where Opa is living at the time of this letter) in May of 1940. That is only 10 months from Charlotte’s letter here. Time is not on their side.

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