Malmesbury, (Chol Hamoed Pesach), 15 April, 1903

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


My dearest wife, I have not yet received any letters in the week before Pesach, so I suppose it’s got to be like this. I, on my side, am trying to write more, and although I’m alone in the business and the boss and the labourer and the missus, who is cooking and serving and washing up, in spite of that I have to write letters in time, otherwise there is an alarm in heaven.

So when Pesach comes, PG that we may be all together again, in a good way, so that we should not have to wait and think about letters and greetings. I can tell you that I am well and in good spirits, may God grant that you should be the same and that I should hear good news from you.


The first days of Yomtov I invited my cousin, Meyer Katzaner, and we enjoyed ourselves. We were invited for a brocha just as in Russia and we had a good time. I was very happy about it, because I saw that a man who is educated is respected everywhere. Further, I can tell you bobbemeises – I sat at the seder like a king – except that there was no queen nearby. I hope that next year, with God’s will, the king and the queen will be happy together. I have no further news to tell you. I am still waiting for an answer about the money that I sent you, and then I’ll send you more. And so I finish my writing – adieu– keep well and happy, as is the wish of your ever faithful husband, who wishes you everything of the best, Tuvye Kretzmar

To my dear parents, my father Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my chaste and modest mother, Beile, and my brothers, Yaacov and Shmuel Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana, may they all live well.


My dearest parents, I am enclosing here a permit for my brother Shmuel Kretzmar, if he intends going – let him go and God will help him. He must not have many expenses. He can take six shirts, twelve pairs of socks, a pair of boots and a pillow, and a coat not too expensive, and no more. Everything is obtainable here and cheaper than in Russia, and further, the permit is a contract in which I undertake to Shmuel Kretzmar £10 per month as wages, and this he must not show in Russia but in London. I want him to write immediately to me, if he is coming, and especially he must write from London the name of the boat in which he will travel, so that I will be able to await him.

And you, my brother Shmuel, you have nothing to be afraid of. If you want to work and live economically, you can make a living and even, to a certain extent, help your parents. Further you are not a greener – you will fit in. With God’s help you will leave home and arrive here. Keep well as is the wish of your dear son, who wishes you everything of the best, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet cordially my dear mother-in-law, Neche, and my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet and his wife, my sister Sarah, and their children, may they all be blessed. My dear brother-in-law, Menachem Mendel Morris, and my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, may you all live happily. Please write me how you are getting on in all ways, I wish you the best of luck, from me, your friend, son-in-law, brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar