Visa Recipients

  • SPITZER, Leo P A
    Age 44
    Age 31

About the Family

The SPITZER couple resided in Curia, Portugal in the summer of 1940, presumably after having received visas from Aristides de Sousa Mendes.

They sailed to Brazil on the vessel Serpa Pinto in August 1940. From there they traveled to the United States on the vessel Argentina in November of the same year.

  • Photos
  • Artifacts
July 18, 1940 Lali's short letter about safe arrival in Lisbon

July 18, 1940 Maria Theresa SMOLENSKI letter about safe arrival in Lisbon, recto

Version 2

July 18, 1940 Maria Theresa SMOLENSKI letter about safe arrival in Lisbon, verso

Dear mother and my dear child, Our journey was quite strenuous but we managed to deal with it OK and have now arrived safely. I was so happy to find your telegram and letters. I will write to you properly tomorrow. Today just that we are well, and that we find the country, the people and the city very nice. There is an abundance of everything. We will now try to get our transit visas for the USA and tickets for the Clipper.* The first ticket we can get for a ship is on the 30th [of July] and that is on a Greek vessel [Nea Hellas]. The Clipper would be much more comfortable and safe. We ran into Jirca* straight away. Grete,* Magda* and Hugo* got held up in Toulouse. We will inform Susi* and Laschi,* as they are nearby. A big hug to both of you. I’m writing in a hurry but a more extensive letter will follow shortly. Your Lali (PS) I am so pleased that you are both well. Notes: *Lali dates her letter 18-VI-1940, but from the context it is clear that she means July, not June. *Clipper = Pan American seaplane. *Jirca = Dr. Georg Hitschmann, Lali’s cousin and ultimately a fellow passenger on the Quanza. *Grete and Magda = Markéta and Magdalena Landsberger, textile artists from Vienna, Austria, cousins of Lali. *Hugo = Hugo Müller, husband of Markéta Landsberger. * Susi and Laschi = visa recipients Zuzi and Leo Spitzer; Zuzi is yet another cousin of Lali.

July 20, 1940 Lali's postcard from Lisbon

July 20, 1940 Maria Theresa SMOLENSKI postcard from Lisbon, recto

Version 2

July 20, 1940 Maria Theresa SMOLENSKI postcard from Lisbon, verso

My dear child, I still haven’t had time to write the long letter I promised. I’m going to do it tomorrow. Lisbon is a lovely city but nevertheless we will be very happy to leave. We still need to get the transit visas for the USA and also tickets for a ship. Maybe it will be easier to travel via Brazil. Susi and Laschi* are planning to do that. We will see them here next week. They are now somewhere on the coast, 250 km from Lisbon. We are well, happy to have a bathroom and a kitchen, nearly as good as the one at Beaurivage.* Kisses to you and grandmother, Mother. *Susi and Laschi = Zuzi and Leo Spitzer. *Beaurivage = hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland where Lali’s mother Marianne Landsberger stayed part of WW II.