The Exit Visa: A Family’s Flight from Nazi Europe by Sheila Rosenberg
6th September, 1942: a middle-aged Jewish refugee stands on the Swiss side of the Franco-Swiss border above Geneva. He has been living in Switzerland since he fled Vienna in November 1938, as the Nazi persecution of the city’s Jewish population intensified. He is now waiting for the arrival of the wife he has not seen for nearly four years. Against all odds he has managed to get an entry permit for her to join him in Switzerland. She appears on the French side. They see each other. Call out. She begins to cross the few yards of no-mans-land that separate them. An official calls her back. She hesitates, turns, goes back – and is lost forever. This book tells the story of the wartime journey of Toni Schiff, as she ventured across Europe to the this fateful near-meeting at the Franco-Swiss border – and what happened next. Based on the extensive research of her daughter, Kindertransportee Hilda Schiff, and told by Sheila Rosenberg, who shared much of the later research and many of the research journeys, this book sheds light on the lives of one family – caught up in, and ultimately separated by, the tragic and tumultuous events of World War II.
Year first published: 2019