The Nazi invasion of Poland in the month of Elul, 5699 (1939), catapulted the international Lubavitch community into urgent activity. The Previous Rebbe (the Rebbe Rayatz), was staying in Warsaw at the time and his very life was in danger. Immediately, efforts were undertaken to rescue him from the battle-scarred city and enable his emigration to the U.S.
At the outset, the Rebbe served as the intermediary between the Previous Rebbe and the chassidic community in New York, relaying information and urging the chassidim to intensify their efforts. Afterwards, the connection between Warsaw and Paris ceased and the Rebbe had no direct source of information concerning the Previous Rebbe.
At this time, the Rebbe also applied for immigration to the U.S. on his own behalf. Nevertheless, there were certain details that created difficulties, e.g., from the time the Rebbe and the Rebbitzin left Russia, neither of them had carried a passport from another country. For this reason, the committee dealing with these matters decided to concentrate on receiving a visa for the Previous Rebbe first and only later to focus on obtaining one for the Rebbe.
The Previous Rebbe received his immigration visa on 4 Adar I, 5700 (1940). He set sail for the U.S. 20 days later. One of the last things he did before he departed was to arrange for matzos to be sent to the Rebbe in Paris. Upon his arrival in America on  Adar II, together with the endeavors he undertook to save as many Jews as possible from Europe, he began an intensive campaign to enable his son-in-law, the Rebbe, to immigrate to America as soon as possible.
- (Back to text) See Ibid., Vol. I, Letters. No. 16-19.
- (Back to text) As told by R. Chesed Halberstam (Kfar Chabad, Issue 322).