Malmesbury, 12 November, 1901

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


My dear wife, I have received your letter after waiting a long time, because the letters don’t arrive regularly every week as they used to, and so my letters are also not regular every week. I have no news what to write about.


Business has not improved. It is almost a burden to write every week, and so it does not matter if it takes longer for a letter to arrive. First and foremost I can tell you that I am TG well and in good spirits. May God grant that my letter should meet you in the same condition and that you should be able to write to me about your good health and that of the children and the family. Further, what can I write you, my dear wife? The whole African world is sighing about the war. Everyone in his own way. But I think that we should complain about the bitter mazel that we have that so far we have not had anything good yet. Either before the war, or now. And I don’t see any great prospects for the future, for whom it is beshert – good – even if there had been ten wars it would not have affected him. And just in the middle of all these troubles, he is lucky. But we must not lose hope and we must not forget that God’s help can arrive in a twinkling of an eye, Amen.


This is seen many times in Africa. When God wants to help somebody, it is really in a matter of minutes. One can be here a long time and try everything without success, and suddenly the time arrives to be elevated. Then one doesn’t know himself wherefrom all the good luck has arrived, and he goes home in great rejoycing. Therefore one must hope that God will have mercy on us and improve our lot, as it is written in the posek‘every man has his turn’, and I am strengthened by this thought and hope that God will improve everybody’s situation in general and mine in particular. And we will be comforted. And we will be, with God’s help, together, to be able to educate our children in a Jewish way. Further, you should not worry – I hope that God will not forsake us because He feeds and looks after the whole world – so He will provide also for us and everything will come right.


I greet heartily my dear parents, I wish them the best of luck, and they should have much pleasure from all their children and to see them all happy so that we should not be separated and spread all over the world. Please write to me about everything that goes on with you. How is business? How is Benzion Waynik? What is he going to do? Will he continue to deal in eggs, or will he become a wholesaler in Yostervitch? Please write to me about everything.


I heartily greet my dear mother-in-law and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and his wife and the family. I wish you all the best and much happiness. Keep well. My greetings to all relatives and friends, and to everybody who is asking about me. From me, your faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar