Cape Town, July 1900

To my dearest wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, to my sons David and Noah, and daughters Leah and Freda. Be well and live in happiness, and, may they be well and live in wealth and satisfaction.


My dearest wife, this week I have not yet received a letter because the mail from London has not arrived yet, and while one waits every minute for a letter one cannot write until one has received and read your letter. But this cannot happen today – so I am writing even though I have not received your letter. I can tell you of my health that I am TG very well and PG that I may hear the same from you and the children.


With regard to business, it is somedays more, sometimes less, at least it is not as it was before in Africa and we have to hope that it will be better after everything settles down after the war, because everyone will have a better chance to do things and how to do it and not be pressed as herrings in a barrel and each one looking at the other one to see what he is doing and on top of it they are still coming more and more griene from Russia. Everyone wants to and must make a living, and they must await what the times will bring. And further I have no more news to write to you. When I receive your letter, maybe I’ll have more time to write. At the moment, I am asking you to excuse my brief writing. I know as well what the taste of a short letter is. After a long spell of waiting. So I ask once again to excuse me. I certainly don’t intend to cause you worry but while I have nothing to write – stay well and be happy – as it wishes you, Your ever loving husband who waits with a longing heart to see you in happiness, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear parents, brothers, sisters, I wish good luck and happiness from the bottom of my hearts. My dear parents, I am waiting for your letter with impatience – with me it is the greatest pleasure to receive a letter. Please excuse my writing, which is sometimes short, because one cannot write at length every time. Be well, as it is the wish of your devoted son, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially and friendly my dear mother-in-law Neche and my brother-in-law Moishe Schochet and his wife, my sister Sarah, and the children, zollen lebben, be well. And to my dear sister-in-law, Chana Reza, and my brother-in-law, Aaron Morris, I wish you all much good fortune and happiness. From me, your son, brother-in-law, son-in-law, and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar

I also greet friendly my dear grandfather, Schneier Zalman Rubin, and to his son-in-law and his wife and children. I have received a letter and I am trying to fulfil his wish – may God grant you long life and happiness. From your sons and grandchildren, from me who wishes you all the best, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar