TYPE: Post Cards
NOTES: Scarce cover from Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw, Poland.
ITEM ID: 4604
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Postcard From Warsaw Ghetto to HICEM Portugal

DATE
Year: 1941
Decade: 1940s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)
Notes: Postmarked July 15, 1941

From Warsaw Ghetto, (German Cover), to Jewish HICEM in Portugal.

Addressed to Jewish Immigration Association HICEM in Lisbon, Portugal. HICEM is established in 1927, with the goal to help European Jews emigrate. HICEM was formed with the merger of three Jewish migration associations: Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which was based in New York; Jewish Colonization Association, which was based in Paris but registered as a British charitable society; and Emigdirect, a migration organization based in Berlin. By the time the Second World War broke out in 1939-09, HICEM had offices all over Europe, South and Central America, and the Far East. Its employees advised and prepared European refugees for emigration, including helping them along during their departure and arrival.

After Germany invaded and conquered France in mid-1940, HICEM decided to close its Paris offices and move them to Lisbon, Portugal. Portugal, a neutral country, was friendly with the Allies and had an officially recognized Jewish community. Thus, HICEM simply functioned as the immigration section of the Jewish community council. In addition, because Lisbon was a neutral port, by 1940-47 it became the foremost route for Jews to escape Europe for North and South America. From 1940 on, HICEM’s activities were partly supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. In all, some 90,000 Jews managed to escape Europe during the Holocaust with HICEM’s assistance.