Here is where we get a better picture of how people talked about what was happening to the Jews in Germany. August does not know what to think. I think he struggles between a sense of urgency by what he hears and knows to be true, and a sense of security (albeit false) that those sort of things don't usually happen on a very broad scale. So he's guessing that Ella's sense of urgency has some validity to it, but he doesn't know exactly what to do about it. He promises her $200 travel money, I wonder if he follows through on it. August suggests Palestine (seen as a safe place for Jews to go) and Ella seems to be looking into every chance of getting out of Germany. Switzerland is also a possibility through a friend who might have connections.
In this flurry of activity and fear, people like the American Friends Service Committee and other helpful organizations pop up to help these people. However, so do people who are looking to make a quick buck in scams that lead people to believe that they are getting a ticket out - but really just lose their money. I have read about these scams, but the more I see the fear and reality of the people who are scrambling to find a way out of Hitler's reach, the more these scam artists are making me sick to my stomach.
Everyone agrees that Ella needs to get out- no matter where or how. August is not sure why Ella feels the urgency, but her sister (the Stiers) don't seem to feel that same urgency. I think that it is kind of unusual for August to be this frank about Ella's situation and her frantic desire to get out of Germany, especially since he says that Opa can't really do much about it where he is. However, I do think August is trying to be honest and let Opa realize just how serious the situation is- in case he can do anything.
It looks like August is familiar with the dust storms of Kansas- and Opa is now personally acquainted with them. (I wonder how that first dust storm experience went?!) August is still anxious to hear Opa's response to his letter of questions about the visa and what he is going to do next year. He's pretty much demanded that Opa spend the extra money to have the letter sent airmail rather than by the slower ship.
In the end, August wants pictures, and to know when his cottage will be ready (his on-going joke that he's going to move to America to a cottage in the woods).
I think August is a little overwhelmed and not so sure what is going to happen. He's trying to get a handle on something concrete- at least hoping that Opa stays safe in the USA. He's trying to make sense of the rumors and the news, and communicate despite unreliable letter delivery. All the while, August knows that the Nazi's are likely to invade in the spring... but when? And how will that go? April is just around the corner.