Malmesbury, August, 1902

To my dearest and precious wife, Taube Kretzmar, Zol lebben, and to my dearest and precious children, zollen lebben, sons David and Noah, and daughters Leah and Freda, may they live and grow up in wealth and comfort, amen.


My dearest wife, I have received your letter but I have derived very little pleasure from it, because you wrote it with a bitter heart, and so the letter is also bitter and to read it is even worse. But the news of your well being has exceded the bitterness, and I find comfort in the news that you are all very well. May God always grant us good health and prosperity.

I have sent you £6 in two lots of £3 each. I am sure you have received it all. I hope shortly to send some more, as much as possible, with God’s help.


About letters – they are sometimes delayed. As times are quiet one cannot always send money in time, and so one does not write in time. Although I know that I should write, but it is difficult to change oneself – if you are not in the mood for writing, there is nothing that you can do about it. About what you write, that it depends on the weather; when it gets warmer, there are more letters. I can tell you that you are making a mistake, and no cold and no weather can change me.


But God will grant us better days in business – I hope to overcome all this and to satisfy your wishes. I thank you for the news that you have written. I don’t take umbrage at the bad mood of your letter – I think that you are really right, but you could also think and not doubt my faithfulness in thinking that one can improve things by getting aggravated. The keys of everything are in the hands of Him who says ‘it’s my gold and my silver’. With Him, it doesn’t help that the wives get annoyed.

What has been, has been. And from now on I hope it will be peace PG [i]. The money will arrive in time and everything will be right, amen. I will send you more money so that you will be able to pay your debts.


I would like you to photograph yourself and the children. It would be a great present for me, until God will unite us in a good way. Please write every week and as much as possible, and with God’s help, when the times begin to improve, I will have more to write about, and I won’t be stingy with my time. I will not owe you any answers. I close my writing in the hope that things will improve. Keep well and in good spirits, as is the wish of your faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear parents, sisters and brothers. I would have liked to write more, as I know that I owe you a lot. I have no chutzpah to say more. When God will help me, then we will be able to talk more freely and to settle our accounts. I hope to God that I won’t remain your debtor. At this time, one is forced to be involved in this and that, and so the time passes and nothing is done. Now that I am free of everybody, I am doing on my own, and I hope that with God’s help I will make a living and be able to send money and I will write everything in detail. Keep well and happy, as is the wish of your dear son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


Notes:

[i] The South African War ended with the Treaty of Vereeniging on the 31 May, 1902.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar