A letter from Julian Tuwim

A letter sent from Julain Tuwim to Hillel Yaffe in 1940, tells the story of the escape of one of Poland's greatest writers from the Nazi regime
Julian Tuwim (1894, Lodz – 1953, Zakopane), is considered one of the greatest Polish writers of the 20th century. Tuwim, a Polish Jew, dealt in many of his works with the tension and duality arising from the two components of his identity – the Polish and the Jewish one. For him, while he saw himself first and foremost as Polish, his Jewishness always loomed large, influencing his perception of his Polish homeland and his place within it.
Tuwin began writing in 1913. During the thirties he became critical towards the Polish government, especially towards its capitalist inclinations and its treatment of the lower echelons of society. In the late thirties he spoke out against the Nazi regime.  Among his main works are "We, the Jews of Poland", "Words in Blood", and "The Ball at the Opera". 
During World War II, Tuwim escaped from Poland to South America and later to the USA. The letter presented here was written by Tuwim and sent to Hillel Yaffe after the writer  had already left Poland, but was still in Europe. Tuwim tells Yaffe of the hardships, mainly the financial ones, on the way to a safe haven in the United States.  After the War, Tuwim returned to Poland, which he continued to see as his only true home, despite the Holocaust.
Portugal, 6.26.1940
Dear friend! As you can see, we are in Portugal; we've been refugees for about a year. I won't begin to describe to you all that we've been through in the past month, all the hardships and misery. Thank God, we are alive and well. We will meet in New York, as there is no other choice. We hope to acquire visas to Lisbon; we'll arrive there in a few days. Many are already there, and it is with great sorrow that I must inform you – we have entirely run out of money. What are we to do, dear Yaffe? I'm sure that in America I'll find work and pay, but where are we to find the money for the tickets? I know that you don't have this kind of money, otherwise I would turn to you and I have no doubt you wouldn't have refused to help. But now I must look for other sources. Please ask Emanuel Tuwim and all our friends to collect the money we need. The sum, of course, is quite significant, but, as they say, if every rich man donates  only  a single thread, a poor man will have an entire shirt. And we are poor, very poor.  Anything you can collect, please send as soon as possible by telegraph to the following address:
The Polish consulate in Lisbon, addressed to me.
Salonimsky and Gridzevsky left for England, Vitalin was in Biarritz a week ago, and I believe he'll manage to get here.
Don't forget us and do everything you can to save us. Warm wishes from Stepha.
                                                                                                            Yours – Julian Tuwim
 Letter from Julian Tuwim to Hillel Yaffe