Austrian Jews on board of a ship to England, 1938
Photo: Beeldbank WO2 - NIOD
Between 1933 and 1941 around 280,000 Jews flee Nazi Germany and 130,000 leave Austria which Hitler had annexed. That is half of the total Jewish population of these countries.
Many seek refuge in neighbouring countries. When it proves to be unsafe there too they try to move on somewhere else. But emigration couldn’t be taken for granted. Those who want to leave find themselves in a bureaucratic maze with countless forms for exit permits, transit permits, entrance visas, legal declarations and guarantees. The queues at relief organizations, consulates, embassies and travel agents are endless. The rules constantly change and emigration countries make high financial demands. As the measures against the Jews increase, so does the panic to get away.