Cape Town, 18 September, 1900

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, my sons, David and Noah, and my daughters, Leah and Freda, may you all be well.


My dear wife, your postcard from Riga [i] I have received. I am very glad that you went there. May God grant a good recovery because health is more important than anything and I am glad with your news that you are all well. We are so separated that we can only hear from each other by means of letters. Further, about parnosse (business), I am making a living, but I can save very little, but now that a new year is coming, I hope that it will improve in all respects. About the war – it is quiet at the moment – as if there would have been no war at all – and we don’t know if it is all politics. Nobody knows when the end of the war will come. In the meantime, the Cape Town property owners are doing well – but this makes no difference to me. I hope that in the new year my business will improve and that we should not be separated anymore. I wish to be together with you and the children. There is a merciful Father, who can do everything, and so I close the letter in the hope that the new year will be better. Keep well as is the wish, your ever faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I greet my dear parents, my father Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my mother, the modest Beile, and my brother Yaacov, and my sisters – may you all live well. To you my dear mother, I thank you that you have taken part and assisted my wife in her travels to Riga and that you helped everybody to get whatever suited them. May God grant you strength for the new year that you should have naches from all your children. I wish you all a happy new year. I greet my sisters, Hinda and Chana – I wish you all good luck. From me, your devoted son, Tuvye Kretzmar


To my dear brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet – I thank you for your letter that you wrote me this time. I enjoyed it like a glass of cold water on a hot day. I have received a letter from Riga but owing to the shortage of paper I did not know when she left and how much the doctor charged and how much the hotel expenses were. Will you please write everything to me. May God grant you everything that you wish yourself. I also greet your wife, my sister, and the children, and my sister-in-law, and brother-in-law – I wish everybody everything of the best Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear mother-in-law, the modest Neche, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for looking after my children. May God grant you for the new year good health and everything of the best, and I wish you lots of naches from your grandchildren. Your devoted son-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar


Notes:

[i] Capital of Latvia. Most of Latvia's Jews (about 24,000) were killed on 30 November and 8 December, 1941 in the Rumbula massacre.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar