Otto Frank desperately sought to get his family to safety, seeking asylum

Deutsche Welle: Anne Frank’s family tried to escape to US but couldn’t overcome restrictions: study. “Bureaucracy, war and suspicion prevented Anne Frank’s family being able to emigrate to the US from their home in Holland during World War II. Similarities with the US attitude towards current immigrants have been drawn.”

“New research from the Amsterdam-based Anne Frank House has shown Anne’s father Otto Frank made numerous attempts for the family to emigrate to the United States, starting in 1938.

“I am forced to look out for emigration and as far as I can see the USA is the only country we could go to,” Otto Frank wrote in 1941 to his American friend Nathan Strauss in New York.

The only American consulate in the Netherlands issuing visas had been in Rotterdam but it was destroyed during the German bombing of May 1940. All applications for asylum then had to be resubmitted, and the Frank family’s request was never processed.

As the US closed all German consulates, the Nazi regime reciprocated and ordered all American consulates to close in occupied and collaborationist territory. Frank’s efforts to get a passage to Cuba failed and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, all transatlantic shipping was suspended.

It was then, in July 1942, that the Frank family went into hiding in the annex of his business premises on the Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam where they stayed for two years before being discovered and deported, first to a transit camp and then to Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps.”

“The Trump administration implemented this policy by choice and could end it by choice.”

The Washington Post: The facts about Trump’s policy of separating families at the border.

“The doublespeak coming from Trump and top administration officials on this issue is breathtaking, not only because of the sheer audacity of these claims but also because they keep being repeated without evidence. Immigrant families are being separated at the border not because of Democrats and not because some law forces this result, as Trump insists. They’re being separated because the Trump administration, under its zero-tolerance policy, is choosing to prosecute border-crossing adults for any offenses.

This includes illegal-entry misdemeanors, which are being prosecuted at a rate not seen in previous administrations. Because the act of crossing itself is now being treated as an offense worthy of prosecution, any family that enters the United States illegally is likely to end up separated. Nielsen may choose not to call this a “family separation policy,” but that’s precisely the effect it has.

Sessions, who otherwise owns up to what’s happening, has suggested that the Flores settlement and a court ruling are forcing his hand. They’re not. At heart, this is an issue of prosecutorial discretion: his discretion.”

NYmag Daily Intelligencer: Trump Ends Family Separations by Ordering Family Detentions.

“In effect, Trump has switched from holding children hostage to congressional action to holding entire families hostage instead.

So in the very narrowest sense Trump is complying with demands that he end family separations at the border, but only by way of creating the equally large problem of large-scale family detentions at the border, and ignoring the more obvious option of abandoning the whole “zero tolerance” posture until such time as the system can be overhauled. The president’s allies will try to sell us on his compassion for kids and his extreme flexibility in modifying his administration’s procedures without, of course, giving up its devotion to The Law. The real question is whether the sights and sounds from the border that turned the cruel Trump-Sessions policy into a political disaster will get that much better now that children are no longer suffering on their own.”

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US politics

Deutsche Welle: US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council. “The Trump administration has yet again pulled the United States out of a major global body — this time the UN Human Rights Council. The move comes a day after the UNHRC criticized Trump’s immigration policies.”

Deutsche Welle: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions claims Nazis did not deport Jews. “The Nazis “were keeping Jews from leaving the country,” Jeff Sessions has claimed. Meanwhile, US President Trump doubled-down on false claims about rising crime in Germany due to immigration.”

“The comments by Sessions came just one day after President Trump wrote on Twitter: “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition. Crime in Germany is way up. Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!”

As many have gone to lengths to point out, crime in Germany is currently at its lowest rate since 1992.

Not one to be deterred in the face of facts, Trump doubled-down on this claim on Tuesday:

While refugee crime has risen slightly with the increase in refugees, nearly all of these crimes are minor, such as not paying for a bus ticket. There is no data suggesting that people not born in Germany are more likely to commit crimes than those that are.

Rebuffing Trump’s assertion, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the official statistics that showed a 10 percent fall in crime across Germany last year “speak for themselves.””

Deutsche Welle: USA treten aus UN-Menschenrechtsrat aus. “Es hatte sich schon länger abgezeichnet – jetzt ist es offiziell: Die USA haben ihre Mitgliedschaft im Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen gekündigt. Sie sind unzufrieden mit der Arbeit des Gremiums.”

Deutsche Welle: Migrantenkinder: Druck auf Republikaner wächst. “Der Proteststurm gegen die Trennung von Migrantenfamilien an der Grenze zu Mexiko zeigt Wirkung. Die Republikaner und US-Präsident Trump suchen eine rasche Lösung des Problems. Fortschritte sind bisher nicht in Sicht.”

“Die Republikaner geraten wegen der vielen Bilder von weinenden und verzweifelten Kindern zunehmend unter Druck – was sie sich vor den wichtigen Kongresswahlen im Herbst nicht erlauben können. Sie sind daher um Schadensbegrenzung bemüht. Mehrere Vertreter der Konservativen gingen auf Distanz zu dem Präsidenten. Trump verteidigte gleichwohl seine umstrittene Politik: Sie sei notwendig, um eine “massive Krise” zu meistern. Er sagte, er werde den Kongress zu einer Lösung auffordern, mit der Einwanderer ohne Papiere gemeinsam mit ihren Kindern inhaftiert werden könnten.


Derweil kritisierten Guatemala und Mexiko die zwangsweisen Trennungen von Familien an der US-Grenze. Das Vorgehen der US-Regierung sei grausam und unmenschlich, sagte Außenminister Luis Videgaray in Mexiko-Stadt. Von den rund 2000 betroffenen Kindern sei nur ein Prozent aus Mexiko. Der Großteil der Kinder stamme aus den mittelamerikanischen Staaten Guatemala, Honduras und El Salvador. Der Minister kündigte für Freitag ein Treffen mit Behörden aus den betroffenen Ländern an.

Die Regierung Guatemala verurteilte ebenfalls das Vorgehen an der US-Grenze. Dieses zerstöre die Einheit der Familie und verletzte die Menschenrechte. Nach Angaben von Außenministerin Sandra Jovel befinden sich 465 Kinder aus Guatemala in Herbergen in Texas und Arizona. Guatemala forderte die USA auf, die Einwanderungspolitik zu überdenken. Nach Schätzungen leben in den USA rund drei Millionen Menschen aus Guatemala – der Großteil von ihnen als illegale Einwanderer.”

Candid insights on the often excruciating process of moving through and with loss

New York Times: You May Want to Marry My Husband. By Amy Krouse Rosenthal, March 3, 2017.

“I have been trying to write this for a while, but the morphine and lack of juicy cheeseburgers (what has it been now, five weeks without real food?) have drained my energy and interfered with whatever prose prowess remains. Additionally, the intermittent micronaps that keep whisking me away midsentence are clearly not propelling my work forward as quickly as I would like. But they are, admittedly, a bit of trippy fun.

Still, I have to stick with it, because I’m facing a deadline, in this case, a pressing one. I need to say this (and say it right) while I have a) your attention, and b) a pulse.

I have been married to the most extraordinary man for 26 years. I was planning on at least another 26 together.”

New York Times: Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Children’s Author and Filmmaker, Dies at 51. March 13, 2017.

New York Times: My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me. By Jason B. Rosenthal, June 15, 2018.

I am that guy.

A little over a year ago, my wife, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, published a Modern Love essay called “You May Want to Marry My Husband.” At 51, Amy was dying from ovarian cancer. She wrote her essay in the form of a personal ad. It was more like a love letter to me.

Those words would be the final ones Amy published. She died 10 days later.

Amy couldn’t have known that her essay would afford me an opportunity to fill this same column with words of my own for Father’s Day, telling you what has happened since. I don’t pretend to have Amy’s extraordinary gift with words and wordplay, but here goes. The Journey through Loss and Grief, by Jason B. Rosenthal.

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