Malmesbury, 2 March, 1903

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, my sons David and Noah, and my daughters, Leah and Freda, may they live and grow up in wealth and comfort.


My dear wife, I have received your letter of 24 January, but I think you made a mistake with the date, according to my calculations it should have been the 17 January, and the post stamped it with that date, because on the 24th you must have received my draft for £5, together with a letter, and now all the feribles are over. You wouldn’t have imagined that I have stopped complaining about letters. I also stopped writing letters. When things are not too bright, one is not in a mood to write about it.


You have asked me many things and I have kept quiet about them. The reason is that either there is nothing to reply to, or I don’t want to answer and my lack of willingness to write is because there is nothing to write. You ask me how wealthy I am. You reckon out how much money you have received, and then you will know everything about it. May God grant that we should one day be able to talk about it personally, now it is perhaps better that we are not so worried. I am under a roof and with God’s help I will be able to save a few pounds also. And further about writing, I can tell you that your letter is like a bone in the throat. I have all your letters from the first till today. It is quite a big packet of paper. It is like children playing with toys, but we can do nothing about it. We have to wait until we will be able to discuss it personally. Now I can inform you that I am TG in good health, and I hope that my letter will find you in similar conditions. I am closing my writing. I expect you will already have received the £5 I sent last week. Please reply. Keep well and happy, as is the wish of your ever faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear parents, my honoured father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my chaste and modest mother, Beile, and my sisters and brothers, and my scholarly brother Yaacov Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana, may you all live well.


My dear parents, I can tell you that TG I am in good health, may God grant that my letter should find you also in good health.

Please write how is the business with the flax and the land. Please write everything in detail, and then write me how my brother Yitchak is doing in America. He has a grudge that I have not sent him a permit. The fact is that I have paid for a permit and it has not yet arrived. In the meantime, I have received a letter that he has gone to America. May he be lucky there. he should get rid of his payotso that he should be able to make a living for himself and his wife and children, and to you brother Shmuel, shalom aleichem. Are you thinking of getting married to a nice girl who should be a good wife to you? And not from the high windows (of a higher status), because you are also a ballebatisser bocher – respectable young man. One should not wait for the angel Gabriel to send down a handmaiden and one is not rich either, and so one should get a dowry and a lot of it. 


In the meantime, you have to sit and be a burden on poor father, and he must suffer because he is a father. I reckon that you have already seen the big world and you know what such a situation can lead to (moral of the story is that he should get married and fast to a rich girl)….

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar