Tuesday, May 19, 2015

November 3-5, 1939: Opa Makes the Papers

 Article in the Spectator (McPherson Newspaper) November 3, 1939

British Delay Doeppner By Blockade
Student Refugee Has Difficulty Getting Passage to U.S.A.
    According to a letter received by Phil Myers, chairman of the committee to aid McPherson's student refugee, Thomas Doeppner has been delayed by the British blockade on ships. The letter was received from the Refugee Section of the American Friends Service Committee, through which the local committee has been working. 
    The New York office reports that it knows nothing about the whereabout of Doeppner, and stated that a letter from him required a whole month to cross the Atlantic.
     The Vollendam of the Holland-American Line, on which Doeppner booked voyage left Antwerp for a previous voyage  on September 9, and arrived in New York on October 23, and is expected in Rotterdam on November 7 or 8. The British will probably stop the ship and hold it in custody for some time. Apparently much time is lost on each trip because the Dutch boats are delayed by the British blockade." states the letter.
     It goes on to say, "It seems to us that we surely will have some word directly from Thomas Doeppner soon. It must be the difficulty of transportation that is holding him up."
Article in the Hutchinson News Herald (Local Area Newspaper) November 3, 1939

Zoom in on the article from above newspaper

Student Missing
McPherson - There's a campus mystery at McPherson college. What has become of Thomas Doeppner? He is the non-Aryan refugee student from Berlin who was supposed to have sailed from Holland on the Valendam Oct. 7. He was scheduled to enroll at the college here in the middle of October. But he has not appeared.
     Moreover, the Volendam, due to arrive in New York Oct. 14, hasn't reported, either. 

Let me say one more time how much I love the Spectator. This college newspaper is excellent. They report the news accurately and with primary sources. They even quoted Charlotte Salmon’s words and cited her.  Excellent work.

The Hutchinson News-Herald on the other hand, not the most accurate presentation of the information. Their short little blurb makes it sound like Opa’s delay is the most peculiar and unfathomable thing. They play up the mystery, and the fact that Opa is a refugee student seems like an afterthought. It’s all fluff and no actual news. What on earth were people supposed to do after they read that article? And as the Spectator article reports, it isn’t a mystery what happened to the Volendam.

Ay de mi. On the bright side, Kansas is invested in Opa and they really do care about where he is and if he’s OK and if he’ll make it across the Atlantic.

So now we sit and wait and wonder, what is he up to? Where is Opa and how is he going to get to the USA with the ship delayed?

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