Malmesbury, 3 January, 1903

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


My dear wife, you must have waited for my letter, and I also wanted to send it in time, but it so happened that the letter remained unposted. So today I am writing three days earlier than usual. I can inform you that TG I am well,and wish that my letter should find you in a similar situation.


I can write this letter in the shop. I have received goods and I have made some sales. TG it was a Christmas holiday and New Year and I have done quite well. It looks as if the site will be all right. It is only three weeks since I have opened – in future I will write you more details. What I have and what I sell, so that you will be able to see how I am getting on. I am enclosing £5. I hope you use it in good health.


I’ve asked you before that you should send me photographs, but so far I have not yet received any. Apparently, you have not sent any. You are cross with your husband and you don’t want to show your husband your cross face, so I must try to appease you. I must also tell you that I think that you are very beautiful, and that you should send me some photos, and as you are so clever you will know what to do and what not to do. You do as you think best. If I have done wrong, I apologise and I won’t commit any more stupid things.


The people who brought the parcel have already arrived in Cape Town. As I hope to be in Cape Town I will try to get it, and then I’ll write about it. At present I have no more news to write. Keep well and happy, as is the wish of your devoted husband, who wants you to be happy and blessed in every way, your husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my modest mother, Beile, and my scholarly brother, Yaacov Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana. My dear parents, I have no news to write. I mentioned everything in my letter to Taube. I can tell you that the shop that I have opened I hope will be good. I hope to write good news and that everything is successful. And the final analysis is that all is well for the Jew who does not have to go to Africa and he can say that Israel and the Torah can be found everywhere (Nathan’s interpretation: It’s possible to be a good Jew wherever you are). May God redeem all those who have lost everything in Africa, and until the redemption comes, may He grant us success and blessings. I wish you all the best from me, your son and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my mother-in-law, the modest Neche, and my brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, and their children – may they all be blessed – and my dear sister, Chana Reza, and also my brother-in-law Aaron, although I don’t know where he is. Nobody has written about him. My dear relatives, I wish you luck and happiness and good business. Please write often and may God grant that I should also be able to write good news, as is the wish of your son-in-law, brother-in-law, and brother, Tuvye Kretzmar.

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar