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  In 1934, on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah, Hans Neumaier was given a Leica camera by his parents. Between 1934 and 1939, using his new camera, he charmingly explored his environment, and recorded family and friends.

On March 25, 1939, Hans was able to leave Germany for England where he worked on a farm for 14 months while waiting for his United States immigration quota number to come up, and for passage to America. On May 8, 1940, just a few days before his U.S. Immigration Entry Permit would have expired, and with only a few hours notice, he was able to set sail from Southampton to New York, on the Holland-America ocean liner Pennland. Two days later the Nazis invaded Holland. Although the ship was nearly ordered to turn back from the dangerous wartime crossing, he arrived in Hoboken on May 16, 1940.

While John (as Hans came to be called in England) had to leave some luggage behind in England, fortunately he carried his photo albums, his negatives, and his Leica with him to America. In the 1970s, John gave his daughter Diane the negatives from his teen-age years in Germany. You see some of them here, newly printed for the exhibition A VOICE SILENCED.
Leonore Schwarz Neumaier with son Hans (John) in San Remo, Italy, March 1938