Malmesbury, 5 August, 1902

My dear and beloved wife, Taube Kretzmar, and to my dear children, sons David and Noah, and to my daughters, Leah and Freda – may they all live well and grow up in comfort and pleasure, amen.


My dear wife – last week I had no letters from you, and this week I don’t know whether I should wait for your letter, because I also have not written to you and so I can’t expect an answer. The reason for it we need not ask, because nothing very important is happening, except for the weather and the cold, and so our correspondence is weak and the same is happening at your end. Perhaps I wrote something too strict – one must endure everything and keep quiet until it will get better, and then we will be able to talk about it on a happier occasion.


About Afrikaner gesheften (business), I don’t know what to write. Everybody has his own calculations. Until now, I have not made any big business – although I know of people who have done very well. A few months ago they were in the same position as I, and now they are doing very much better. When luck turns everything changes and whatever one does is good. And one is blessed by God. I am glad that others are doing well, and I am hopeful that my luck will also change; you shouldn’t have long to wait for letters and money. It would save the trouble of writing letters. But until the time comes, one must be patient and don’t get cross with me. I can’t help it, and so let us ask God to have pity and to send everybody more business.

Further about Afrikaner business, it is currently very poor, because nobody is in one place. There are some who go to Johannesburg, and others who would like to go, but wait for better times. Meanwhile, it is a destroyed world here. I am also thinking of going to Johannesburg, if I get a permit. And if I go, I will surely write to you. I hope to have better luck there. Until now, the business has been very poor, but nobody knows what the times will bring. I hope it will get better.


I’m closing my writing – I cordially greet my parents, sisters and brothers and mother-in-law and brother-in-law and family and my sister-in-law and all good friends. If I have patience I will write to everybody and may you all live happily and in good spirits, as is the wish of your son, brother, brother-in-law and son-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar