Getting Started in the United States

     My parents’ passports, or immigration Visas, were issued in Stuttgart, Germany. They left Hamburg on the S.S. Albert Ballin on November 8, 1934, and arrived in New York on November 16, 1934. The ship’s manifest shows that my father was forty-four years old and my mother was thirty years old. Since my father always wore glasses, the manifest listed him as having “defective vision”. It also lists my uncle, Fritz Ehrman, who lived at Sultzbacherst. 80 in Nürnberg, as a close relative in Germany.

     After they arrived in New York on November 16, 1934, my parents lived with my mother’s aunt and uncle, Julius and Johanna Linz, at 806 East 48th Street in Brooklyn. My father was fortunate that he emigrated early enough to have his medical degree from Germany honored in the United States. Although both of my parents had learned to speak English in Germany, I have been told that my father volunteered at the Brooklyn Jewish Hospital in order to familiarize himself with how things were done there and, at the same time, to stay active in the field of medicine.

     Immediately after his arrival in New York, my father began the paper work needed to become a U.S. citizen and to have his German license endorsed to practice medicine in New York State. On November 19, 1934, he filed his application to obtain the first papers necessary for him to become a United States citizen. My mother’s papers were sent at the same time, along with the fee of $2.50 for each application. Next, he requested the necessary forms to have his German license endorsed here. About one week later, he wrote to the Immigration and Naturalization Division of the U.S. Department of Labor requesting that his application for citizenship be expedited. At that time he also inquired if the money order he had sent with his application for citizenship had been received, since my mother already had received a receipt for her application fee. On December 21, 1934, my father received his first papers and again inquired about filing the papers to be allowed to practice medicine in New York State.  It was very important to my father that he obtain a paying position because he did not want to be dependent upon the relatives he and my mother were living with.

     In early December, he wrote to the Medical Bureau in Chicago, IL to see if they could help him in finding a paying position at the Greens Eye Hospital in San Francisco, since they had helped a friend of his. He also contacted a Dr. Sobel in Poughkeepsie, NY about the prospects for obtaining a position as a skin specialist. He told him that, after graduation from Medical School in Würtzburg, Germany, he had been an Assistant Doctor at the Dermatological Clinic at the University in Munich and that he had his own practice in Nürnberg from 1920 until October 1934. He was planning and hoping that his license to practice medicine in the United States would be approved by February 1, 1935.

     My father learned that a test in English for foreigners would be given on January 21, 1935. He took this test and on January 28 was told that he had passed.

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