Anna Lorencova's permit for immigration to China

Anna Lorencova's permit for immigration to China

This certificate allowed me to enter China but it was too late. My dad sent it for the whole family from China but we were not allowed to leave the country any more.

After the Munich Pact, when Germans occupied the border regions, we moved to Prague, where we lived in a small apartment on Hermanova Street. Dad was trying to arrange for us to emigrate to America.

On the same street, a bit further down, on the second floor in a normal residential apartment, was a Jewish prayer hall where we would go sometimes.

As children, we didn't find all the anti-Jewish measures and restrictions as difficult as adults did, for we just adapted to things.

When we were no longer allowed to travel by tram, we went to the Hagibor sports grounds by foot, although it was pretty far from where we were living.

My dad was no longer looking for employment in Prague. He was doing what he could to be able to emigrate to America, but it didn't work out for him.

It was extremely difficult, for it required a lot of money, we weren't from the area and he didn't know anyone here. Dad wasn't familiar with the local conditions and probably didn't have the right nature for this kind of thing, as he was actually a shy person.

In short, our family didn't manage to emigrate. In the end, there were some people, perhaps acquaintances, who left for America. America required an affidavit, which meant some kind of surety.

Either you had to deposit a certain amount of money somewhere, or somebody had to accept liability for you. We didn't have anyone in America to help us, so our parents gave the relevant people nearly all their savings so that they would put down an affidavit for us.

And those people then sent word that they had lost the money. After that, there was no money and no possibilities left. Only Shanghai was still an option for Jewish immigrants. Dad managed to get there, traveling by train across the Soviet Union.

It took several months before he could arrange the necessary permits for us. He sent each of us the appropriate document, but by the time we got it, we weren't able to leave.

In Shanghai my dad worked as a doctor.

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