Cape Town, 1 August, 1900

My dearest wife, Taube Kretzmar, may you live in much happiness, and to my dear children, my sons David and Noah, and my daughters, Leah and Freda, may they live and grow up in wealth and comfort.


My dear and loving wife, first of all I want to tell you that I am in good health, TG for that. May God grant us health and success and may I hear the same news from you and the children.

Your letter of last week I have not yet received, just as it was three weeks ago and I had no letter then – and after that I received two letters at once, numbers thirteen and fourteen, and the previous week again I got no letters. I reckon that maybe this week I will again receive two letters. In any case, whatever happens I am not counting my letters. Maybe my letters arrived late in London, after the boat left here. I can tell you that I am very sorry about the only pleasure that I have, but alas it is all that is left of our fantasia of previous days. All the pain and tsoris. I think I don’t need to tell of the value of a letter as you yourself know already and it is unnecessary to repeat it. Therefore I ask you to see that these things are normalised, to write as much as possible and to send the letters early so that they arrive in time.


Business is as usual, if God would provide more it would be better, but I don’t know if one could expect more in Cape Town. One arrived and one cannot travel any further, so all remain in Cape Town. And everybody is looking for something to do. And they want to imitate the bigger business people, but this cannot be done. So we have to stick to the small business, where there are more sellers and buyers.


So we have to be calm and patient, until God in his mercy will improve all our times. In the meantime, I thank God for whatever I make and hope that God will help, so that I can arrive at the goal quicker than in Russia – like when I was at home, without money and without a business and I could not achieve any more! And especially now I must be calm and patient until the better times will arrive. It is lonely but there is no way out. I can tell you now that while I was writing this letter the post arrived, and I am happy now. Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar