Malmesbury, 18 January, 1903

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


My dear wife, last week I did not receive a letter from you. I am very sorry about it, although I myself missed out to write to you. Nevertheless I think that I have better excuses than you. It often happens that there is no time – one can be busy over a very small thing, but when you are alone you have to attend to it. I have no one else to depend on, or to delegate my work. 

Sometimes there is no patience and one cannot achieve that which is wanted. Therefore you mustn’t be restless if a letter is delayed. I can inform you that TG I am in good health and spirits. I am everyday in the shop.


Sales are not bad. I hope to make a living, much better than before, and with God’s help I hope for improved times. In the meantime, I have no news to write.


I have not yet received the parcel, because Lozer’s children are not in town. Maybe I will take a trip to them, because I have to be in town, and when I get it I will write to you. Keep well and happy and don’t worry, with God’s help and patience we will overcome everything. I greet and kiss you, as is the wish of your ever faithful husband who wishes you everthing of the best, Tuvye Kretzmar


I heartily greet my dear parents, my honoured father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my chaste and modest mother, Beile, and my scholarly brother, Yaacov Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana – may they all live well. My dear parents – as much as I love God, I would also love to see you and to have a good shmooze (a natter or a chat). One is so busy and lonely that one forgets where one is in the world, and when one writes letters the wounds are opened. One thinks and talks and imagines as if one is still in Zudgala, and there is no answer. The Lord knows when it could happen that we should see each other again. But one must hope that things will improve. I find myself in very good health and I hope to hear the same from you.


Please write to me how is business, and also how is my brother Yaacov getting on. Is he being introduced to young ladies? It is already time for him to get married. Is he thinking of remaining in Zudgala forever? I don’t think it is such a good plan to remain in Zudgala, or with D Rubin – this is not the whole world. But who knows? Perhaps there is no suitable kallah for him in Russia and if so I pray that he should find a good match. Keep well and healthy and in good spirits as is the wish of your dear son who wishes you everything of the best, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar