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Herman Osnos correspondence

Document | Accession Number: 1995.A.0610

The Herman Osnos correspondence contains letters and telegrams written and received by Herman in his quest to assist Jewish refugees between 1936 and 1947. The majority of the collection documents his communication with the Stark family of Munich, Germany, specifically, the eldest son Walter (1919-), who was attending school in England, and Hermann, the father and a clothing business owner. Letters between Herman and the Stark family cover a period of nearly two years and is a fairly complete set, documenting their first introductions to their arrival in the United States and plans to meet each other at the docks in New York City. In increasingly urgent letters, Walter pleads for assistance leaving Germany while also telling Herman about his family, studies, and hobbies. Herman is successful in securing affidavits of sponsorship for the Stark brothers and later, the whole family. Included among the correspondence are letters written by Herman to various business associates, including a colleague at the Ford Motor Company seeking work for Walter and Werner (1921-1995). Also included are photographs of the boys so that Herman would know who to look for as he met their ship, the RMS Queen Mary, at the docks. The majority of the correspondence is written by Walter and Herman, but letters from other family members, Albert Schmidt, their initial point of contact, and Herman’s lawyer, Marcus Benjamin are also present, among others.

The Herman Osnos correspondence also includes a series of letters from other German and Austrian Jews seeking assistance in traveling to the United States immediately before the outbreak of war and immediately after. Nearly all of the persons requesting help from Mr. Osnos had never met him, and had only heard through friends or colleagues that he was willing and able to supply affidavits of support. The fate of the majority of the requesters is unknown. In one such case, Herman issued an affidavit of support to a Mr. Otto Wolff, only to have the Consulate General deny his application for reasons of disability. Otto was later incarcerated in a concentration camp and his cousin wrote to Herman again seeking another affidavit. Included among this series of letters are affidavits from Herman’s bank and colleagues attesting to his good character and financial standing.

inclusive:  1936-1947
18 folders
Record last modified: 2021-11-10 13:00:54
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