Malmesbury, 16 March, 1902

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


My dear wife, I sent you £4 sterling last week, it is as much as I could manage. I want to send this in time. If you have already received it, I don’t know – it can be that you will receive it with this letter, which according to the posting, you should already have received a week earlier. But because all letters are censored now, it takes longer and we don’t know when the letters would go and when you would receive them. The same applies to your letters. It is several weeks that I have not received any letters. I assume that you are writing, and that for some reason they are delayed. We can do nothing about it. But that is no reason for not writing. One must write every week as usual, in time, and it will arrive at the other end in good time.

I have no news what to write, and when I send money I am doing all I can to save up some capital – that it should be enough for returning home, with God’s help. Further, I have no news to write. I am already used to everything, nothing is new to me, so that I can say that something is different. Russia is a world with a lot of people and each one has his own fate. 


Whoever is lucky will find it there, and it is the same here. In the rush and hurry, the expenses are bigger but the income is bigger. Materialism in this world is great, and the lust for money, because it is needed. One does not come to Africa just to see it. I have already seen some of the world, but one wants to achieve something, to be able to live like a man, and a father, and a husband, and a Jew according to God’s wish. But the main point is ‘everything is as it was’. If He wants to provide you with good things, with less trouble and less tricks, or if He does not want to, then, Africa won’t help, and so we must have faith in Him alone, and pray, because everything is in His hands, wherever we are. I hope He will also improve our mazel. And when He helps one doesn’t need any chochmos. He has already shown – if He wants to give, He grants it without any plans.


Soon after severing my partnership in the bakery, I started dealing in poultry and eggs, and sending them to Cape Town, and when God wants to grant us profit, He does so. I wish to have more of it, and if not I will also be satisfied. As in the past few weeks – then we won’t be so lonely in Africa. At the moment, things are a bit quiet because produce is very cheap. As one knows that nothing is always at the same price, things go up and one can earn again. I am full of hope that God will grant us prosperity in an easy way, and one must not lose hope, and with patience everything will arrive. I close my writing. I think I’ve written enough. Keep well and in good spirits, as is the wish of your faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I heartily greet my dear friend, Benzion Wainik, and his family, live well and prosper in Russia, and you should not think to travel again and to look for mazel, as it is written in the posek ‘I will bless you with everything that you do’ (God’s blessing to Abraham), and so I wish you with the same blessing.


I cordially greet my dear parents, my honoured father, Yehuda Leib Kretzmar, and my chaste and modest mother, Beile, and my dear brother, Yaacov Kretzmar, and my sisters, Hinda and Chana, may you all live well. I greet you and wish you everything of the best. Please write how your business is getting on. Please write everything – as is the request of your son, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear mother-in-law, the chaste and modest Neche, and my honoured brother-in-law, Moishe Schochet, and his wife, my sister Sarah, and their children, may you all live well. I also greet my sister-in-law, Chana Reza, and I wish you all the best of luck and that we should all see each other again one day, as is the wish of your son-in-law and your brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar