Malmesbury, 8 September, 1902

To my dear wife, Taube Kretzmar, 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 wife, I duly received your letter of the 24th of July and was glad to read that God in His mercy is granting you all good health. And so hopefully He will also grant us everything that is necessary for life. On my side, I can tell you that I am in good health and in good spirits, and I hope that this letter will find you in a similar condition.


Further, what you write that shortly there will be a wedding of Miss Rubin, and as school comrades and ex-partners in business, you should be at the wedding and provide a good present. That is all one should do. I am sorry that you ask me that I should come to your assistance – I am writing on my side because it’s possible that my letter may arrive after the wedding, because you had not written about it before. Maybe you did not know the exact date, or perhaps you were busy with other things. So I’m giving you my authority to go to the wedding with the children and to give a nice wedding present. 


Something that can be useful in the house. When you are in the same place, everything comes right. I’m sorry that I am not at home on such an occasion. I would have liked to be there. If I had a horse and an interest, I would have had many small things, like ribbons, haberdashery, and such articles, and go round with it, but I find it too difficult, and when the man is at home, then to travel or to walk, everything comes right with little trouble, because I know about these things, even if they are not as important as a wedding, but with us wandering Jews, everything is of interest.


For instance, if the husband is in Africa and he sends his photograph without waiting to be asked for it, a sensible wife will know what to do to please her husband, especially after one has asked for it. Of course, money one sends as much as possible, it would be only right if the wife would send some photographs. I have been waiting for over a year and I have still not seen them. Maybe this summer, if you are not so busy, you could accomplish it. You shouldn’t strain yourself – you should do more important things first. Everything at home must be right, and after I’ve waited so long I can wait a little longer.

Please attend the wedding, and I wish you to enjoy yourself and write me all about it. I, on my side, will do everything I can to (illegible last line)… surely provide all expenses. Keep well and happy and have a good year, as is the wish of your faithful husband, Tuvye Kretzmar


I cordially greet my dear parents, sisters, and brother, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and all good friends, keep well and happy. I wish you all a happy New Year, from me, your son, brother, son-in-law, brother-in-law, Tuvye Kretzmar

© Kaplan Centre
Letters courtesy of Phil Kretzmar