British historian Charmian Brinson has, together with one-time German refugee to England, William Kaczinski, published a book of letters, passes, and other documents - some official and others not - written and issued in the years between 1938 and 1950. Most were to or from German and Austrian Jews who fled Nazism, often one step ahead of the authorities, in their search for places of safety.
The years directly preceding the beginning of WW2 was the time of great activity of Jews who had previously disregarded the dangers of the Nazi take-over of Germany and, after the Anchluss of 1938, Austria. Many were able to gain entry to England and the United States - despite the "quota systems" - and were sponsored in their emigration by individuals like family members and by Jewish relief and other religious organisations. Letters and other documents went back and as families were split up as some left Germany and Austria, and others were not as fortunate and eventually perished. Some 10,000 or so children were sent to the UK by relief groups in the Kindertransports of 1938 and 1939, and we're shown their documentation as well as some correspondence. Most never saw their parents again, but were at least safe in England.
Another group of letters and documents were those sent to and from detainees who were interred in Alien Camps in the UK, Canada, and Australia. Refugees from the continent, they were sent to the camps during the early days of the war when the threat of German invasion of the UK was at its highest. One of the oddest examples of mail-tag was a letter sent to a detainee who had been moved from one internment camp to another to another and the letter kept being forwarded! The authors also write about refugees in China, Japan, Chile, Cuba; any ports in the storm of the Holocaust.
"Fleeing from the Fuhrer" is not a book for the casual reader. It's a well-written look at a tiny part of the horrors of WW2 and the way that lives were often tossed to the winds. Some came to rest in safe places, while too many others ended in death.