I felt like an American, lived like an American, and to all practical purposes was an American. . . . I lived and worked in the United States, and since I wished to go on doing so I deemed it only fair to add myself legally to the good people of this country. My [citizenship] application was made almost four years ago. Ever since then an investigation has been going on that could not help casting doubts upon my character, gradually ruining my career, robbing me of my livelihood and, in short, changing me from a happy, busy and fairly useful member of society into a humiliated suspect. […] Personally, I am at a complete loss as to what may have prompted the investigation to take on such disastrous proportions. […] I had to witness the gradual destruction of all I had built up in more than a decade. This spectacle was all the more painful since it involved the third existence I had made for myself. Nazism drove me from my native Germany where I had been quite a success; Hitler’s growing influence in Europe caused me to leave the continent which I had been touring with my own show for more than a thousand performances; and now I find myself ruined—through no fault of my own—in a country I love and whose citizen I had hoped to become.
– Erika Mann, committed anti-fascist born on this day in 1905, describes the FBI’S harassment