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1   D. G., I am sure you have been reminded of me several times in these last days reding the papers about Austria. As you can imagine I have been, & am, greatly troubled by the events. My relatives so far as I can judge are in no sort of danger as they ˇalmost all of them are retiering & very respected people. I & My brother & sisters are, under the new laws, jews[,| (]not however their children, (as they had no jewish grandparents & baptized great-grandparents). Nevertheless, of course, the new regime
must be
hatefull to them.
Now it is
It is however mainly
about myself that I ˇreally want to write.
I have
not yet heard from home at all since the invasion, but there hasn't yet been time, & my people would always try to give me news in the mildest possible form so as not to worry me. I have written home saying that I would come any time if they needed me, but I almost assume that they have no need for me (not that they wouldn't like to see me). ¥
I am placed in a queer position. As you know I am automatically becomming a german Citizen, i.e. a german
Jew. ˇNow I must say The very thought of becoming a german Citizen is
to me, even appart from the degrading position etc., but this latter I would share with my relatives & could, I think, bring myself to bear. Though I don't know whether it
not continouously ˇbe preying on my mind. A still gr[i|a]ver consequence however is this that on visiting Austria I shall, in all likelyhood, not be let
ˇto England again. You understand of course that it is out of the question for me to
get any job there
& that
even if it were possible I could hardy face
this idea
such a possibility
). You may call this weakness but such it is) My people are wealthyisch & will probably even after all the changes [be|have] so money enough to keep me. But I needn't say what that would mean [t|f]or me. So I [h|a]m now Therefore now I have been considering th seriously the idea of acquiring Brittish citizenship. You know that I had just thought of this ˇpossibility before though never giving it any serious conside-
ration for reasons which you & I have talked about. They roughly are, that I don't wish to become a sham-englishman. The situation has however changed in my eyes now as I have to choses between a new
which deprives me of everything & one which at least gives me the opportunity of working in a country in which I have lived most & the best of my adult life have made my greatest friends & have done my best work. I wish to God that there did not adhere to brittish
nality the respectability etc. etc. which (though it does not repell me) is not what I seek. But this can't be helped. There is one enormously strorng reason which would ˇfor me could speak against acquiring a new nationality & it is this, that in all likelyhood as a brittish citizen I shall be bared ˇby the germans from re entering Austria & therefore from seeing my family, except by meeting them, say, in Switzerland. But I don't see at present that this would be worse ˇfor me or them tha[t|n] ˇmy rotting
alive in Austria or being haunted by a false position & anxiety in England.
For these reasons I am
I am therefore
seriously considering the trying to be nati acquire brittish citizenship seriously. It may of course be that before even this come about I shall be summoned home by a letter from my people ˇ(in which case I
but this I have no reason to believe this[.|;] they would never dream of calling me unless in the greatest emergency. I have [a|A]s you can imagine had held many Cabinet
meetings ˇhave been held in my mind about these matters all this, but I also wish to talk [it|them] over with you – level-headedly. I prop
should like
therefore to come to England in 12 days time i.e. on the … if you can possibly save the weakend for me. You might, just to make discussion easier, make some enquieries about the proceedings of nationalisation – un[s|l]ess, that is, you are in my case dead against it. Please let me know as soon as possible if, where &
when you can meet me. Forgive me for making you read
such a
long letter please don't throw it away & read it
once more
if you can. Whatever you may think about my problem I am
always yours


Editorial notes

1) Gesamtbriefwechsel, Letter to G. Pattison [15.3.1938].