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John S. Conway
The Last Letters of the Brandt-Meyer Family from Berlin
Oscar Ludwig Brandt’s family was completely assimilated; yet, it was repressed just as other non-Aryan (Jewish) families in Berlin. A series of letters written by the family has survived and they throw light on personalities who sought the help of such personages as the Evangelist leader, Prof. Friedrich Siegmund-Schultze a broadminded, anti-Nazi advocate of international friendship and relief of the persecuted. In 1933 the Nazi Party exiled Siegmund-Schultze to Switzerland and from Zurich he continued his well-intended but often-frustrating efforts to save German Jews and other non-Aryans from the Nazis. Brandt was a well known writer and theater producer, until the rise of the Nazis. In 1937 he sent his sixteen-year old son to Switzerland to complete his education and there Siegmund-Schultze took the boy under his wing and so he survived the war. Following Kristallnacht, Siegmund-Schultze contacted the Quakers in the US for their help. However, visas to the US were not forthcoming. With the outbreak of war chances of emigration dwindled. Yet the Brandts, aided by Siegmund-Schultze, continued to strive for permission to leave Germany. Eventually the Brandts and their eighty-four-year old father were transported to the East, where they perished. The correspondence between the Brandt-Meyers and Siegmund-Schultze covers fifteen months and describes mainly the difficulties and frustrations encountered in their efforts to emigrate.