Malmesbury, 6 August, 1901

To my dearest wife, Taube Kretzmar, to live in much luck, and my sons, David and Noah, and my daughters, Leah and Freda, may they all grow up in wealth and comfort.


My dearest wife, I have received your letter of the 24th June, including the mazeltov of the birth of a daughter to my sister, and I give you my own mazeltov, from your brother’s daughter. 

May God grant them good luck and every father and mother should have prosperity so that they themselves should be able to look after the children and introduce them to a Jewish and correct way of life and to raise them in wealth and comfort and to have the comfort of seeing grandchildren who are studying Torah, amen.


I must confess my guilt that I did not answer your letter last week. I have no special reason – in one word – there was just nothing written. I cannot receive your letter earlier because the post going to Russia has not left, and you know when you wait for a letter one cannot write. So it remains so, and today I would like to improve and write a longer letter, but the truth is that today I have nothing special to write about. The only and the best news that I can tell you is that TG I am in good health and spirits. May God grant to you the same for you and the children.


About business, you can understand yourself that as much as you want to know how its getting on, I would like to know that things are improving and that the whole business was worth it. It is such a time and such a country that one should not ask questions and think too much about the future. It’s long ago that I arrived from home, and now I have no more home. I must wait and work and ask God for success that he arrange my affairs in a good way.


Further, what shall I write you about business, that you ask about in all details, and you take umbrage if I don’t give you all the details. I want to ask you – what can I write? – the main thing is that in the last instance what is important is what is left over? But this one only knows at the end and not in the middle. In the meantime, I know nothing.


One adds water and one adds flour and one bakes and one sells and you bake again in the same place every day and the results one only knows later when God will grant us success. Everything will come right. One must have patience and there are no excuses so don’t ask questions and don’t feel insulted because I myself don’t know what’s going on. With God’s help I will write you. May God grant us a lot of good things to write about and I will certainly write them all to you.


Further, about what grandfather asks about Aaron Leib, if there is a place for him in Africa and he wants to emigrate and he wants to know true advice about whether the times are very bad. We cannot get anywhere without a permit, and this is very difficult to get, and so one has to remain in Cape Town, and there are plenty more people and there is no need to talk about them and to think about them. We will see later. I close my writing, keep well and healthy and in good spirits, as is the wish of your ever faithful husband, who wishes you all the best of luck and happiness, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my parents, my brothers and sisters, may you all live well. I also greet my dear mother-in-law, my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law, I wish you all a lot of luck and pleasure. From me, your son, son-in-law and brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar