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Holocaust Witness, Eleanor Roosevelt’s correspondence to Minister Jan Stańczyk regarding a Polish Jewish Woman Fela Gibel


USA, 1946/1947, Paper, Photo


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A set of documents after Jan Stańczyk, the Director-General for United Nations Social Affairs Department, previously, the minister of social welfare in the governments of Władysław Sikorski and Stanisław Mikołajczyk (Polish Government-in-exile)

It consists of:

– A letter from Fela Gibel, a Polish Jewish woman who asks for help in connection with the lack of an extended visa and therefore deportation (Fela Gibel came to the USA in 1938 as part of a student exchange, as a result of the Holocaust she lost her entire family in Poland)

– a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt, the first lady of the United States, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, stating the refusal of real aid. Document personally signed by Eleanor Roosevelt.

– a photo of Jan Stańczyk and Eleanor Roosevelt

The document is an inconvenient historical source for some. It questions the wishful thinking about the history of American-Jewish relations in reconciling the narrative of the open acceptance of Jewish refugees by the United States.

In fact, the rich, famous and privileged were invited (such as Albert Einstein) The others, as the above correspondence shows, were not welcome. Moreover, even the intervention of the Polish minister in the White House itself had no impact on Fela’s situation.