Kladovo 14 May [June] 8 Sivan  ב"ה
My sweet dear Feigale תחי' עמ"ש, also dear sweet Surale תחי' and beloved Tully נ"י עמ"ש!
I received your dear letter of 29 May yesterday. I received the letter from Surale תחי' of the 3rd of June two days earlier, because it was airmail. This time I am writing to you together, so that you have more to read, and it doesn’t cost more. I count every para. Right now, I don’t need any money. I still have some. With the 2 pounds that you sent to Mariemcie I bought Zwi נ"י trousers and shoes. Since it has become warm, I also had to get myself a lightweight dress. I bought 4 meters of black and white material. A woman sewed it for me. It is very nice. I also had to buy myself shoes. If it hadn’t been so urgent, I would not have had anything new made for myself during the year of mourning. People are still talking about travelling onwards. Given how the political situation looks, we assume that they will only move us on from here, one says to Turkey, another to Greece, others maintain only to Bosnia. It will be decided in a few days. If we were to remain here for longer, then I could need some money, but in the way that Mr. Kupferman sent to his brother and to his aunt, namely he gave someone half a kilogram and someone here gave ג' מאות ד' . Which of you works near Kupferman? Mrs. Kupferman wrote to her aunt. Whether that still works now is questionable. In any case, please wait until I write where we are. Yesterday I received post from Tel-Aviv from Aunt Hinde ‘ת and also from my niece. My things have arrived there safely. They are in storage with a shipper. My niece writes to me that I should write to Uncle Piniu נ"י, he is an influential person, so that he should think about organising a certificate for me. Although I don’t think very much of that idea, it can’t hurt. You should write to him dear Feigale ת' saying that he should do something for your mother. Some people have already received certificates: I understand that the young people between 10-17 that are here are now getting them.
You cannot imagine this uncertainty. Are we staying? Are we travelling? Where to? Everyone says something else. The unrest among the people is indescribable. And I, if I am to be honest, it leaves me quite cold. I am ready for anything. It’s all the same to me. Let השי"ת do whatever He wants with us. The main thing is that help should already come to the Jewish people quickly.
I have news ב"ה from my brothers שיחי' in Poland, praised be G-d for that. The general situation there is not the best, but they, personally, do not complain. Does Aunt Ita תחי' write to you? How do things look where you are? Who knows how everything will turn out, it cannot be foreseen. Is Rosel Reis תחי' still in your area? What does she hear from her mother? Simcha Reis, a cousin of hers from Berlin, is in our transport.
You want me to write something about this place. It’s really nothing special. We eat and we sleep. Whoever wants to worries, and whoever doesn’t worry also manages the same as everyone. We get together 3 times a day in the dining room, and people tell each other what they’ve heard about politics, about travelling and so on. Then we go home. The population are very nice to us. Serbian is spoken. Many of us know it very well by now. The people speak Romanian among themselves, because we are on the Romanian border. Do you see any purpose in Naftali’s נ"י work? Is it not possible to find some appropriate trade for him that is also good for Eretz? I have indeed already asked you in my previous letter to write to me specifically about him. He only writes a few lines to me. Who are his friends? How are things going with all our Viennese acquaintances? Are they making a living? Is Berl נ"י making a living? How does Aunt Surale ת' look? Do you go there sometimes? How is Yisrolik נ"י doing, is he making a living? Have Mrs. Mansohn and her children ש' already travelled onwards? I don’t have anything else to write. I kiss you all, my sweet little lambs. May I still have the merit to see you all. That is my only wish.
Many heartfelt greetings to all our dear relations.
I very much request that perhaps Yisroel נ"י can be so good as to get in touch with Dr. Shapira from Vienna. His aunt, Mrs. Jetsches, is here with our transport. Unfortunately, her husband died here on the boat. She is a good woman, childless. She asks her nephew, Dr. David Shapira from the Prater, to speak with a certain Rosenblut, who has some say over refugee certificates, so that one should be arranged for her. A certain Dr. Genser who is here with us is well acquainted with him and asks him to do this. In case there is any truth in this about these certificates, I ask that this Rosenblut is also spoken to about a certificate for me, although I no longer believe in anything.
I have let this letter wait until today, Monday, because a decision is about to be made as to whether we will travel and where to? But it has not been agreed. The money for our onward journey is supposedly now available, as well as a seagoing ship, but the danger is now very great. Despite that, we understand that we will know the decision in a few days. If we are not able to go, we will probably go to Dalmatia, because for many reasons we cannot stay here. Here it is very hot. How is it where you are?
If an onward journey becomes necessary for you ח"ו , I beg each of you also to have Naftali נ"י in mind. We didn’t expect that there would be such an upheaval. Who knows what will become of Eretz Yisroel7. Here things are quiet now, but one doesn’t know what tomorrow will bring. It is a terrible feeling to be so far away from one’s dear children שיחי' during such a time, the only thing that one still has in the world. My state of mind cannot be described, although I am quite indifferent to everything, but several times a day I ask myself will I ever see my children שיחי' again? This tears apart my already as it is torn heart even more. If Tully נ"י has another picture, he should send it to me. Also Sara תחי'. Write also to Esterl תחי' that she should send me a picture, because I don’t have the photographs with me here. I restore myself with the picture of you, my dear Feigale תחי', several times a day.
You should write to me at the same address for now. If we travel further, it will be forwarded. Does Tully ני' get together with Rammler’s boy? His parents are also here. What did Yuri’s boy have? I heard that he unfortunately died. Rammler’s boy wrote. He’s some kind of important person in an office there.
I send all of you again sincere regards and kisses, from your Mama. Please inform the other children soon of this letter. Write to me also in Yiddish. Why in German?
Dr. Shapira’s address: Dr. David Shapira
3 Grangecourt Road
London N 16
When you see Aunt Surale תחי' pass on many regards from me. Also to Recha and Guggy תחי' and the dear children ש'.
[Written in English]
Dear Surale תח'
Thank you very much for your English letter. I have very well understood all the English words. I learn two lessons in a week with a very good teacher. We are six men and fo[u]r ladies and two boys, but I have not patience.
Please the dear Feige ת' schall also write an English letter. Zwi נ"י like to read Englisch he can more than I. I am old. Does Recha and aunt Surale ת' also learn Englisch?
[Written in German]
I don’t as yet know how to write. I go once to the lesson and then three times I don’t go. Where is my patience for that now?
In Hebrew I have indeed learned something but also not much. When I will merit to be in the country, I will certainly learn it well.
Your letter had a few mistakes. Zwi נ"י detected them right away.
Again, with hearty kisses, I embrace you,
You can continue to write “Car Nikola”.
[Written in English]
Dear little sisters and brother! עמ"ש
I was very glad to read your few English words. I learn here English with a boy, who was in London and speaks very good English. I understood your letter and you need not translate the next letter. I’m ב"ה very well. We live here in a small house, which is in a small village named “Kladovo”. This village is a little larger than Kobersdorf. I suppose we shall move on next week, but I don’t know where we shall ride. Please give my love to all the family שליט"א.
[Written in Hebrew]
To my brother the young man Naftali נ"י
First I ask you to forgive me for my long silence, as I could not write you, because my mother תח' does not leave me space. I would ask that you tell me if and what you are learning now. Do you still have time to learn? I am ב"ה in completely good health. I hope to get a certificate to go to Eretz Yisroel. Do you have friends with whom to learn there? I also learn here with Ephraim Breuer נ"י.
Your brother who greets you with heart and soul and who awaits your reply,
“May” is an error, as is evident from the first line of the letter.
A small Serbian coin.
See note to letter of 3 November 1939.
Three hundred dinars.
The original Yiddish is “a ganzer macher”.
Hashem yisborach – G-d, may he be blessed.
Yitta Horowitz, sister of R Dovid.
Eretz Yisroel – the land of Israel.
The wife of a brother of Surele, wife of R Zvi Weinstock (brother of R Dovid Weinstock). She had been arrested but was released with the assistance of documents from England.
Chas vesholom – G-d forbid.
This word is in Zvi’s handwriting.
The boat Czar Nikolai that she was on.
The land of Israel.