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Item   Title MB Now at Next bid Bids New bid Max bid  
76   Eleanor Roosevelt  $200 Unopened $200 0 You must login to place a bid.

#76 - Eleanor Roosevelt

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With no definitive answer, Roosevelt offers advice to a Polish exchange student threatened with deportation in 1946
Description                           Estimate: $800+          

TLS, one page, 8 x 10.5, United States Delegation to the General Assembly of the United Nations letterhead, December 14, 1946. Letter to Jan Stanczyk of the United Nations Secretariat, in full: “I deeply regret that my inquiries about staying deportation of Miss Gibel have produced no tangible suggestions. No private organizations can assist because hers is strictly a governmental problem. The State Department in Washington informed me that it is out of their control since her student’s visa has expired. The Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization of the Department of Justice here in New York provided no assistance with their statement that the Polish quota has been overscribed for five years. My only suggestion is that Miss Gibel explore the possibilities of establishing temporary residence in Canada where living conditions are more pleasant than in devastated Europe—and she would be next door to the United States in the event that the Polish quota situation is altered or our immigration laws are relaxed. I am returning the letter Miss Gibel addressed to you.” Ink notations in a secretarial hand in the lower left, “Copy handed to Miss Gibel 6 January 1947.” The referenced Gibel letter is stapled to the upper left corner. In fine condition. Accompanied by an unsigned photograph.

Roosevelt’s letter is in response to the plea of Fela Gibel, a Polish exchange student at Columbia University whose applications for visa extension and immigration renewal were denied, and her deportation proceedings opened. In her attached letter, Gibel explains her past and current helpless situation, “I have lost my entire family in Poland during this war and I have no home, nor relatives to return to.” Her family, including brothers Yussel (1912–1942) and Salek (1918–1942), and mother Hannah Zweikaft (1887–1942), were Polish Jews from Warsaw who were killed in the Holocaust; Fela was the lone survivor. Although measures such as President Roosevelt’s establishment of the War Refugee Board and the passing of numerous immigration acts resulted in the entrance of thousands of Poles following World War II, others affected by the war, including those already stateside such as Gibel, were often left with little recourse but to return to Europe with the expiration of their temporary visas. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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