Cape Town, April, 1900

To my dearest wife, Taube Kretzmar, Be well and live in happiness. And to my dear children, David and Noah, and Leah and Freda, be well and may you live in wealth and comfort.

Dearest wife, I have not yet received your letter this week, but I think it will still arrive because I cannot believe that you would be so bad as not to write to me. If you write and post it, it arrives. I can inform you that TG I am well, in good health, PG that I may hear the same from you and the children.


Further on, there is very little to write about in my business – it’s going quite slowly. Cape Town does not care very much about the Johannesburgers who come here and have nowhere to stay. Second-day Pesach arrived more Russians, who would like to know that they are now on the right road to success. But one has to await for better days. But in the meantime, business is yawning, and the one transaction depends on the other, so it’s no good to anybody, but no one can foresee what the Lord will bring, maybe even He may improve things, because, if not, then it’s very much worse in Africa than at home. Because at home, even if you don’t make money, one can still manage, like anybody else, and that is enough. One is at home with family. One hasn’t to worry your head about foreign languages. But as it is in Africa, if you cannot save money and you have expenses, life is bitter. So you cannot reach your goal. But this is no excuse; one has to be patient and has to wait until it gets better. I wish you a happy Pesach and a kosher one. I am sure you must have received the £4 I sent you. I hope shortly to send out more. Be well and happy, with the only wish From your ever loving husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


To my dear parents, Mr Yehuda Leib, and my mother, the modest Beile, and my dear brother, the learned Mr Yaacov Schochet, and my sister-in-law Hinda. Dearest parents, I can tell you that I find myself TG well. PG to hear the same from you. It would have been appropriate if I could have sent some money to pay for the coal and wood, and also still before Pesach it would have been very nice to send a nice present. Sadly though, this is not the time for this. One has to be satisfied with less and keep hoping for more. Be well and happy, as is the wish of your son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar. Please send me me Eliezer Salmon’s address because I cannot think that I have sinned so much that he should not write me a letter, so I am sending you his letter.


I greet cordially my mother-in-law, Mrs Neche, and also my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister, and their children, all be well in my joy. Also, my dear brother-in-law Aaron Morris, and my dear sister-in-law, Chana Reza, I wish you lots of good luck and best of happiness, and a happy and healthy Pesach, and a kosher one. From me, your son-in-law and brother-in-law, who wishes all the best, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar