Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Isaac Singer plea for help

My great grandfather, Isaac Singer, wrote to his son Louis in NY of the terrible situation the family was facing in Poland in 1919.  Louis was working tirelessly to get his father, mother, sister and her family (Deresiewicz) out of Poland in a very troubled time.  Louis faced a difficult bureaucratic battle with the State Department to get a visa to help the family in their time of need.  His application was denied repeatedly.  I was able to get his complete application file under the Freedom of Information act.  The State Department official I was dealing with told me that normally these files are 1 or 2 pages at most.  This one was many pages.  She told me she was very moved reading it's content and was glad to fulfill the request.  If it were not for Louis Singer's persistence, I probably would not be here today.

I particularly like (NOT) this State Department official's response.  Luckily, someone with more empathy overruled it.

Here is the link to the original and translation of Isaac Singer's plea for help. The original is in Yiddish but read the translation and translator's comments in the description.

Isaac Singer letter to his son, Louis

1 comment:

  1. Is your family related to Gela Dershowitz married to Boris Mines?aka as Gussie, Augusta on her stone. Sons Zecharyia, David, daughter Ruth, Esther, etc..She was my husbands grandmother...if so we have a missing relative, really missing, disappeared in Buffalo.....need help with that, her son David