Telegram from Averell Harriman, to Stephen Wise, American Jewish Congress, New York.
Gift of Aviva F. Blumberg
Id no. 777.91, Document, English
This telegram was sent to Stephen Wise of the American Jewish Congress in response to a letter he sent to Averell Harriman inquiring about a US visa for Awiwa Finkelstein. Harriman was the US ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1943-1946. The telegram reads, ?Your letter July 5 [1945] regarding Mr. Finkelstein?s daughter sent by ordinary ocean mail reached me today am telegraphing contents to ambassador Lane in Warsaw requesting he reply to you direct.? This letter is one step in the journey that Awiwa and Chaim Finkelstein took in an effort to be reunited after years apart during the war.

Awiwa was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1931. Her father, Chaim Finkelstejn, was in Switzerland attending The World Zionist Congress when the war started in 1939, was unable to return to Poland, and ended up in USA in 1940. He immediately began to try to get visas for his family to join him. However, following the invasion of Poland, Awiwa, her older sister Esther and her mother Rivka, were sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. Before the ghetto was sealed, Rivka was occasionally able to pass into the ?Aryan? side of Warsaw, where she made contact with a non-Jewish shopkeeper by the name of Marja Rychowiecka.

Upon Rivka?s request, the shopkeeper agreed to hide Awiwa in her home. Awiwa survived the war, but her mother and sister were killed. After the war, Awiwa found an old family friend in Warsaw who contacted her father and helped her prepare for her journey to meet him.
In November 1945, after being cared for in a Jewish children?s home in Otwock, Poland, Awiwa finally set out for her journey to the U.S. She traveled to Sweden and then Oslo, Norway, from which she sailed to New York, where she finally reunited with her father.
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