Correspondence Concerning US Affidavit and Visa for Karl Jellinek and Family

All translations by Susan Gould; comments by P. Jellinek

The four letters below of August and September 1938 concern Rubin Eckstein’s sending an affidavit and verification of his financial status to Karl Jellinek, as well as Karl Jellinek’s transmittal of these documents to the American Consulate in Vienna. Rubin Eckstein, an uncle of Karl and Karl’s wife, Kreindel/Karla, had immigrated to the US earlier in the century and settled in New York City. For more information on Rubin Eckstein and his brother, Kreindel/Karla’s father, please see Karl Jellinek’s Biography page.

An affidavit guaranteeing financial support of an immigrant and his/her family by an American citizen, and documents verifying that the American had sufficient financial assets to provide that support, were among the many documents the US State Department required before granting an entrance Visa. For a list of all these mandatory documents, and the context surrounding America’s extremely restrictive immigration policies during this time, see these articles in the US Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia : and


IN GREATER NEW YORK 8/4/38  DiCKENS 2 – 7000

Dr. Karl Jellinek


Enclosed you will find the affidavits that you requested from me;
forgive me for such a delayed reply to your letter and telegram,
but I was traveling away from home and my wife was very ill.
I hope that you are able to get your visa from the American
Consulate with the greatest speed; thus I look forward to being
able to greet you personally in the future together with your wife
and child.
I remain your uncle
Rubin Eckstein
My greetings to all the family

August 18,1938

To the
General Consulate of America
Vienna, 3rd District
Lustig-Prahangasse 9

In the enclosures, I have the honor of submitting to you the affadavit drawn up for me in duplicate by Mr. Rubin Eckstein, resident of Brooklyn.

The affidavit has been issued for me, Dr. Karl Jellinek, and in addition, for my wife, Kreindel Jellinek, née Eckstein and for my minor age child, Michaela Jellinek, all residents of Vienna, 15th District, Mariahilferstrasse 135/10.

The enclosures that are lacking, the arrival of which, I have already been notified, will be submitted as addenda in the briefest time.

I note that in May 1938, my above-mentioned family members and I were already registered on the waiting list for immigrants to the USA.

For the present, I sign, with the greatest respect,

[signature not visible on this carbon copy of the original letter]

2 enclosures

Certificates of Mailing and Postal Return Receipt forms

The Certificates of Mailing and the postal Return Receipt forms that appear on and below each of Dr. Karl Jellinek’s letters to the American Consulate in Vienna, differ significantly only regarding dates.

The thin paper strips, that are affixed to the bottom of the August 18, 1938 letter, and close to the top of the September 19,1938 letter, are Certificates of Mailing, each ascertaining that a letter was mailed to the American Consulate in Vienna’s 3rd District, at 7 pm, on each of the August and September dates, respectively. The numerals “68” and “76” “g” (abbreviation for the Austrian coin, Groschen, then equal to 1/100th of a Schilling) are entered in the postal service “Fees” column for the August and September letters, respectively. However, the author of The Demise of the Schilling in 1938 on the Austrian Philatelic Society website: [] states that by August 1, 1938, the Nazi regime had completely invalidated Austrian currency, and mandated the use of the Nazi Reichsmark currency. The “Value,” “Weight,” and “C.O.D.” columns on both Certificates of Mailing were left blank.

The larger postcard-sized forms are Postal Return Receipt forms, similar to US Return Receipt Requested forms. Each form has three places designated for post office stamps on one side. The top date/time stamp accompanying the August 18, 1938 letter, shows the post office’s confirmation of the mailing of a letter from Dr. Karl Jellinek to the American Consulate in Vienna, at 7 PM from Vienna’s 15th District P.O. on August 18, 1938.

The bottom stamp shows that the mailing was received by the US Consulate, on August 22, 1938, and that the confirmation of receipt by the Consulate, was sent back to Dr. Jellinek on August 25, at 11 AM, from Vienna’s 3rd District Post Office.

The September 19, 1938 letter is not stamped in the top or bottom circular spaces. However in the lower left space of the forms for both the August 18, and September 19, letters, the date is shown on which the letter was received by the American Consulate, August 22, and September 23, 1938, respectively. The American Consulate’s Viennese address is also shown on both forms.

The reverse side of each of these forms is headed by Postal Return Receipt and Confirmation of Payment. Under these imprinted headings, the following is hand-written on both forms: Dr. Karl Jellinek - Lawyer (Rechtsanwalt, in German, abbreviated by R.A. on the August form and written out fully on the September form). The address of Karl’s law office, Vienna 15th District, Mariahilferstrasse 135, follows on both forms. The apartment door number of 10, is included only on the September form.



Esteemed Dr. Karl Jellinek


I have received your letter, and enclosed you will find the papers that the Consulate demands from you, the taxes that I paid from the years 1935-6-7 – and also a letter from the bank that I personally have made available. I believe this will be enough. Hoping to see you soon.
Your uncle,
Rubin Eckstein

[Rubin E. did not date this letter. However, we can assume from the content of Karl J.’s subsequent letter of September 19th to the US Consulate, that Rubin E. wrote and mailed this letter between approximately August 14 and September 11, 1938.]

VIENNA, September 19, 1938
Hours: 3 - 6 PM except Saturday
[NB. this letter is shown on the left, first with the affixed, original Certificate of Mailing folded over on itself, so that it does not cover the addressee text underneath it, followed by a scan of this same letter, in which the Certificate of Mailing is unfolded, so that it is fully revealed and legible. The third scanned image shows the reverse side of the original Postal Return Receipt, that Karl affixed to the bottom of this letter copy.] To the
General Consulate of America

Vienna, 3rd District
Lustig-Prahangasse 9,

On August 18 of this year, I sent you the affidavit, issued by Rubin ECKSTEIN in New York, Brooklyn, 1697 Pitkin Avenue, valid for me, Dr. Karl Jellinek, born October 7, 1894 in Mistelbach, Austria, for my wife Kreindel Jellinek, born May 17, 1910 in Stanislau, Poland, and for my daughter Michaela, born [month & day redacted] 1937 in Vienna.

With today’s mailing, I am sending you the newly arrived supplemental documents, including a letter from the Bank of the Manhattan Co. in Brooklyn and the tax returns for the years 1935-37.

Please note also that my notated document was registered on May 25 of this year.

I hope that my affidavit will henceforth be found to be in order and request your confirmation of this.


[signature not visible on this carbon copy of the original letter]

4 enclosures