Escape from Europe

Elly Ringel obtained a Polish passport based on her late husband's Galitzianer ancestry

Actually, we know that Elly and Betty were somehow able to communicate through intermediaries more than once during the next 18 months while Elly and Helga lived as stateless Jews in Nice in the south of France. Against all odds, Betty was able to transfer a sum of money to Elly in May 1940, after Germany had conquered Paris. These were the funds that provided the means for Elly and Helga to escape from France to Portugal and eventually reach America.

Remember that 1906 “certificate of belonging” that Hermann Ringel obtained from the city of Rzeszów. Before leaving Nice, Elly paid for a certified French translation of that document. A month later—after a frantic rush to Lyon, then Marseilles, then Bordeaux—she presented the documents at a Polish consulate in Toulouse. The document proved that her late husband “belonged to” the city of Rzeszów, and on that basis she qualified to receive a Polish passport.