To John C. Gall [Letter 293]

Item Reference Code: 128_04B_009_001

Date(s) of creation

January 29, 1947


John C. Gall


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January 29, 1947 

Mr. John C. Gall
Southern Building
Washington 5, D. C.

Dear John: 

I have another problem which I would like you to handle for me, if you find that you can help me in this matter. 

An old friend of mine, a White Russian woman who left Russia at the beginning of the revolution (in 1918), is now in Austria, in the position of a Displaced Person refugee. She lives near Salzburg and got in touch with me through the American Resident Representative of the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees in Salzburg. 

I would like very much to bring her to the United States, and would, of course, assume responsibility for her support. But I was informed that there are as yet no provisions for the admission of immigrants to this country, that only close relatives of citizens are admitted at present, and that she would have to wait until some new rules of admission are made. 

In the meantime, she is in an extremely precarious position as a Displaced Person, because her permit to remain in Austria will expire on March 31, 1947. I am very worried about her fate, because if she should be turned over to the Russians out there or forcibly deported to Russia, it would mean certain death, since she is a White Russian. I am worried also because there does not seem to be any clear legality about the whole situation in Austria—and I am afraid that the arbitrary decision of some local authority might take her out of the protection of the American authorities and turn her over to the Russians. 

If you find that this is a matter which you can handle as an attorney, here is what I would like to ask you to do:

1. Obtain a visa for her to be admitted to the United States—if there is a way to obtain it in an individual case, without waiting for a general ruling. (I suppose this would have to be obtained from the

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State Department.) I would provide the necessary affidavit of support for her. 

If this is impossible, then: 

2. Establish a personal contact with some influential person in the Army, for the purpose of enlisting the help of some important American Army official in or near Salzburg, so that he would take my friend under his personal protection and see that she is not left at the mercy of Austrian or Russian authorities. 

In either case, we must be careful to deal only with conservatives in the State Department (if there are any) and in the Army—because I do not want to attract the attention of any Reds, here or in Austria. My interest in her would be dangerous for my friend as far as the Reds are concerned. 

If you find that you can help me with this, I will send you her name, address and all the particulars. If you cannot handle this, perhaps you can tell me whether there is anything I can undertake to assist her. 

With best regards, 



Ayn Rand