Discharge Certificate : Paper : Printed, Typed, Handwritten : Ink : Beige, Black, Purple ; Ht: 5,75 in. x W: 8,25 in.
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December 1, 1938-December 02, 1938
1 page, double-sided. Folded once horizontally and once vertically. Document printed on letterhead of Commandant of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. States that the prisoner in protective custody (Schutzhäftling) Karl Cahn, imprisoned since November 11, 1938, will be released as arranged by the Gestapo on [illegible date] in Mainz. On verso, it is written that he must report immediately to the State Police in Mainz. Beneath this appears a signed attestation from the Mainz police that Mr. Cahn reported there on December 2, 1938. Narrative: Karl Friedrich Cahn was the father of the donor, Frank (Franz) Cahn. The Cahn family (Frank, his 2 brothers, his parents and maternal grandmother) obtained visas and fled to Canada, arriving in Halifax on March 5, 1939. The visas had been requested by William M. BIrks as a personal favor from then-Prime Minister William Mackenzie King. William M. Birks, a prominent Montreal businessman, had purchased goods from the Cahn jewelery factory before the war, and knew Frank's grandparents. As the situation for Jews in Germany grew increasingly desperate, his grandmother wrote to Mr. Birks and asked him for help. Karl had been sent to Buchenwald during Kristallnacht, and the entry visa to Canada enabled his release from the concentration camp.