Site Meter

Monday, November 16, 2020

Resolutions 1922, Herman Bernstein


This is the day of new resolutions. I promise myself to jot down a few lines in this book daily. Impressions, incidents, thoughts.


I have just returned from Europe to Sheffield. Europe- the madhouse of slaughter a few years ago- is now a madhouse of speculation and profiteering. Everybody is speculating there- old and young, rich and poor – from abject minister to cook – irrespective of race or creed.


The visa for America is the most coveted thing in Europe. People struggle and starve for it – people fight and lie – and sometimes die for it. “Self determination of nations” has created the need for a multitude of visas to the traveler in Europe.  People stand in line for days – paying high prices, maintaining large staffs of visa officials – people are happy when they get the stamp upon their passports – and then they are searched and scrutinized at the frontiers – they are roused at night, examined and cross-examined. But the experienced traveller quickly discovers that the whole affair is but a new source of graft for the underpaid petty officials, for conductor and frontier guards. Children often are heard crying that they and their parents can’t get visas. All Europe is visa-ridden. To return home- to Sheffield- to the peaceful, beautiful Berkshires now covered with snow- the golden sunbeams playing upon the bluish white mountains- what a joy! What a relief! Away from the turmoil of the profiteers from the plunders of the statesmen – from the artificial glamor of the “antics” and eruption of the conference, “movements” or reforms, and the clap-trap of world saviors.