Gerda Philipsborn to Lady Reading,
February 27, 1941

A supplement to the article “A Physicist’s Lost Love: Leo Szilard and Gerda Philipsborn,” by Gene Dannen. Copyright © 2015 Gene Dannen.
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Gerda Philipsborn (in India) handwritten letter to Lady Reading (London), February 27, 1941, OIOC records, L/P&J/8/68 (part 6), British Library.

Purandhar Parole Camp, Fort                             27.II.41
Poona Distr.

My dear Lady Reading,

I sincerely hope these lines will find you & your family in good

So many thanks for your dear letter which reached me here in the
end of December. Since middle of October we had been waiting for
the Advisory Committee about which Mr. Amery wrote to you then.
They came in the middle of December & again the 2nd January.
They said their report would show that most of the people here
were harmless & should be recommended for release. I was
told that my case was standing reasonably well, the former Chief
Commissioner of Delhi, Mr. Jenkins, & the Educational
Commissioner to the Govt., Mr. John Sargent, having supported
my application.

But by now, it is end of February already - only 6 people have
left the Camp: one who had turned Catholic & some Bishop in
London had guaranteed for him; 1 boy of 17, to go back to
school; & 2 doctors & their wives for whom also some
people from London guaranteed.

We are all feeling rather desperate & hopeless because
nobody seems to care what happens to us. About half of the
Refugees in India are still free - only we people from Northern
India & some from the South have been all interned about 8
months ago. People outside begin to ask what we have done &
it will be very difficult to make them believe that our only
fault is to be Refugees, having fled from Germany. As far as I
know there hasn’t been a single case of a Jew here who has
been proved to be politically unreliable.

I know perfectly well that our personal fate is absolutely
unimportant at present, that we have no reason to grumble, we
who are here safe, well fed, & looked after remarkably well
all the time. With all strength of my imagination I probably
cannot imagine the ordeal you all have to undergo since many
months - days & nights -, & the near future may be more
difficult still. I need not tell you how deeply I admire you all
for standing it so bravely - but I also envy you that you are
allowed to face it. It is so terribly bitter to be not only
excluded from helping, but also being suspected. I never
imagined that something could be so hurting!

I trust that you will do all in your power to help us out here
to get free as soon as possible & speed up the matter which
moves so terribly slowly.

My very best wishes for you & your family.

Yours very sincerely,
Gerda Philipsborn

P.S. My best regards to Wilfrid Israel. It is a very long time
since I heard from him. Is he alright?