Die Welt von Gestern

“In my wanderings from agency to agency, imagining myself working in the various businesses, I had also gained an insight into the country’s wonderful freedom.  No one asked about my nationality, my religion, my origin, and what was more – an amazing thing to imagine in our modern world of fingerprints, visas and police permits – I had travelled without a passport.  But there was work waiting for people to do it, and that was all that counted.”

Stefan Zweig on America in the early 20th century. From his memoir The World of Yesterday (page 212, Pushkin Press), originally published in 1942.

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