Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Coming to America, 1947 (Through the Lens of HIAS)

Previously, I traced the 1946 effort to bring my grandparents and great grandmother to America as seen in HIAS records.  In 1947, things started to come together:
New York HIAS Office Request to Baltimore Office for Fees

In mid-February 1947, the relatives in Baltimore were notified that they'd need an additional $225 to cover fees related to travel and visas.

Letter Relaying Visa Receipt; February 1947
Just four days later, the Director of HIAS in Germany and Austria notified the Baltimore branch of HIAS that the Diment family had received their visas.  A telegram that was alluded to in this letter was found in the file as well:
Visa Notifying HIAS Baltimore of Visa Receipt; February 1947
Receipt of this telegram was immediately confirmed, along with a mention of the joy that the Baltimore relatives felt..
Telegram Receipt Confirmation; February 1947
Shortly after, referring to letters previously exchanged, the Europe branch of HIAS sent another telegram to the Baltimore branch to inform them that the Diamants and Shusters (sic) had departed the Munich-area DP camp to go to Bremen, from which they were to depart to America on March 10.
Telegram Confirming Sail Date, March 2015
Shortly after, the Baltimore relatives were notified that the ship was underway, and their family members should be arriving in New York on March 20.  But as I know from my grandmother, the original ship had major mechanical issues, so they had to wait for a replacement ship in England.
Notification of Ernie Pyle Embarkation, March 1947
Because of the change in ships, another letter was sent out shortly after:
Notification of swap to Marine Marline from Ernie Pyle, March 1947
The family arrived in New York on April 1, 1947.  But the HIAS documents don't end then.  In a future post, I'll cover the oversight that had to be done since HIAS was involved in sponsoring and vouching for them--which lasted at least until 1951.
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  1. Wow, this is great! How did you get to the HIAS records? I'm curious if you found hints online first...

    1. Thanks! I found them in the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Lots of good stuff can be found in places not online. :)

  2. I don't think this resource applies to my husband's ancestors, but thanks for sharing! And another good reminder that researchers have to look in plenty of non-Internet places to find treasures like this!