Anne Frank's father sought U.S. visas

Feb. 15, 2007 at 9:27 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Before Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in Holland, her father tried to get visas for the United States, documents released in New York show.

"I would not ask if conditions here would not force me to do all I can in time to be able to avoid worse," Otto Frank wrote in April 1941 to Nathan Straus Jr., a college friend, son of the founder of Macy's department store and head of the U.S. Housing Authority.

But even Strauss' money and influence didn't help Frank, who also tried to obtain Cuban visas. "National security fears overrode humanitarian concerns," the executive director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Carl Rheins, told The New York Sun. YIVO released the documents related to the Frank family on Wednesday.

YIVO received 350 cabinets of refugee material in 1974 and a grant to organize it in 2005. That summer, volunteer Estelle Guzine noted a file jacket was missing a date of birth and opened it and saw the children's names Anne and Margot Frank and said, "Oh my God, this is the Anne Frank file," Rheins told The New York Times.

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