Letter from: Lilian McDonald, 14 Victoria Place, Stirling, Scotland
To: Heinrich Pfeil, Friedenau, Maybach Pl. 15, Berlin, Germany
My dear Heinrich,
I am looking forward very
eagerly to having you near us in
Glasgow living with our friend Mr. Cina.
You and your parents have been such
good friends to me, that it will be a
real joy to have you as our guest
here. Do try and come as soon as ever
you can. Our Consul in Berlin will
surely assist you with arrangements
for your journey. You will also have
an opportunity of continuing your
engineering studies. Mr. Cina will
allow you to go to his Metal Works
in the capacity of an apprentice, and
you will then be able to train as a
fully fledged engineer: so that, when the
time for re-emigrating comes, you
will be a qualified man. I have
asked our Home Office for permission
to have you here and am writing to
the British Consul in the Tiergartenstrasse
by the same post.
I'm sure you will like Glasgow,
and, when the fine weather comes, you
will enjoy going out to see the
lovely lochs and hills; not so imposing
as those in the Riesengebirge, only about
one third as high as our grand old
Schneekoppe; but very picturesque none
Goodbye just now and warmest
regards. Do come soon.
Yours ever. Lilian McDonald
End of letter. Heinrich Pfeil was issued his German passport, stamped with a red "J" for Jew and the Nazi swastika, on February 10, 1939. The visa for entry into the United Kingdom was granted February 14, 1939. Arriving in England (Harwich) March 2. The passport stamped "Leave to land at Harwich this day on condition that the holder will emigrate from the United Kingdom on completion of his training" Arrived in Glasgow, March 6,1939. On September 3, less than six month later, Britain declared war on Germany. There was no turning back.
Wednesday, May 29, 1940
First entry in Heinrich Pfeil's diary:
"This was the last day of my so-called freedom.
The Advisory Committee advises my internment. 'Sorry, don't worry' 'keep your chin up'. The night in jail. "Are you alright?" Am I? Emigrated to live freely. Here I am. Wondered whether detective still would have liked to be in my place."