Friday, August 28, 2015

March 15, 20, 22, 1940: We Got This Covered!

Letter from V.F. Schwalm (President of McPherson College) 
to Kathleen Humbly Hanstein of AFSC


Kathleen Hambly Hanstein
Refugee Section of the American Friendship    
      Service Committee
20 South 12th St.
Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Miss Hanstein:

The same committee that planned for the coming of Mr. Döppner last year is considering the possibilities for next year. We are attempting to help him find work for the summer and also planning to try to arrange so he can remain here next year. I am hopeful that it may be so arranged.

He is doing quite well and seems to be making satisfactory grades. The poor boy has had some horrid experiences the past few years and we are attempting to be helpful to him. I hope he is happy in his work here.

Very truly yours,

V.F. Schwalm

My take: President Schwalm is basically telling Ms. Hanstein: we got this. He's staying here, he's happy- there's no reason why we can't hang on to him one more year. He's nearly paternal in how he addresses my Opa. I am afraid Opa might have played the victim a little bit, but in this case, it's not the worse thing he could do. It sounds like McPherson is prepared to do what it takes to keep Opa around.

Letter from Kathleen Humbly Hanstein to President V.F. Schwalm


President V.F. Schwalm
McPerson College
McPherson, Kansas

My dear President Schwalm:

I was very glad to receive your letter in regard to Thomas Doeppner, and to see that there is apparently good chance of his being able to remain there through the summer and the coming year. As soon as your plans for him have been definitely worked out, I should appreciate hearing from you again.

Again thanking you for your kind interest in this boy, I am,

Very sincerely,

(Mrs.) Kathleen Hambly Hanstein

Mrs. Hanstein is so relieved that McPherson is ready for another round of Tom Doeppner. If you think about it- this saves her the leg work of figuring out how to get him transferred to another school or get another scholarship. Also - it gives Opa another year to settle in and adjust to American life. SO in a way- this response is a big, fat "Whew!"

Letter from Elmer Dadisman of Student Christian Movement in McPherson College 
to Kathleen Hambley Hanstein of American Friends Service Committee


Dear Mrs. Hanstein:

In response to your letter of a short while back to Dr. V.F. Schwalm, the Student Christian Movement, who sponsored the project to bring Thomas Döppner to our campus this year, has had the matter up for careful consideration, and plans are under way for his support for another year. We expect these plans to be carried on to completion with the same sort of co-operation as of last year.

Will you please get in touch with the State Department immediately for permission for him to stay for another year? We wish that all requirements might be met in due time, and feel that you are better acquainted with the situation as far as the State Department is concerned, and can better correspond with them. Will you kindly let us know how things stand from time to time so that we will have full knowledge of the status of the project?

We have at hand a copy of the sheet "Instructions to be Handed to Each Alien Applying for a Nonquota Visa Under Sec 4(e) as an Immigrant Student". Under requirement 7 concerning his working while in the country, would there be any objection to his working this summer to meet part of his expenses for next year? If his visa should be renewed, would there be any different limitation about his working here during the summer months?

Hoping that we can work together to the successful completion of this project, I am

Sincerely yours,

Elmer Dadisman,
Co-chairman of the Student Christian Movement.

Before Mrs. Hanstein can get too comfortable, she gets her marching orders for Opa's visa work. My guess was she was already on it- but this letter is so detailed, it makes me proud that the folks at McPherson were so well-versed in the visa laws for Opa's sake. I wonder if these folks told their children and grandchildren about this experience, and how convoluted the laws were about immigration. Either way, this is almost like an answer for us to August's anxiety letter: they got this!

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