Home Shtetl Life Holocaust Landsmanshaftn History Photos Videos Yizkor Book
Maps Trips Surnames Researchers Links Guest Book Contact  

Kayman Letter 01: By Ze'ev/Wolf Kayman

Written to Eliezer and family in Paris

June 7, 1937

Postcard with Polish stamp and postmark
Sent to: L. Kayman, Hotel de Russie, 84 Rue Saint Antoine, Paris


My dear refugee children

I received your letter this week, Eliezer, and read it with many tears and joy - tears that you were compelled to leave, and joy that you are all well.

May the dear God bless you and guard you on your way. May we receive only good letters from you.

Were I sure that it would reach you in Paris I would borrow some money and send it to you because I'm anxious that you may not have enough. But don't worry. The whole world is envious of you that you managed to leave our neighbours behind.

An orchardist not far from here met a terrible fate. He was on his way in his cart along the river to catch some fish and Christian people whom he knew since childhood grabbed his son, tied him to a stick and threw him in the water in the presence of his father. But don't be afraid.

The price of produce is constantly increasing here due to poor rains.

For the time being we are all well and we keep you constantly in our consciousness and miss the pleasure of kissing the children.


Dear Zelda,

We wish you to use the new candlesticks in good health. Make sure that you light the [Shabbat/Sabbath] candles.

Shitek has promised to give back the potatoes. Food is available to buy in the villages.

Yesterday Rabbi Moshe from Grayevo [Grajewo] visited us to elicit help, poor man. Ester [the rabbi's wife] is sick - she needs an operation. They have no bread or clothes to wear. Regrettably he came in vain. I had a few zlotys on me so I gave them to him, which he first refused to take.

Nison [Eliezer's younger brother] is away. We have nowhere to visit. Write to us when you are leaving Paris and let us know how long the voyage will take. I have sent a postcard to you at Litman's daughter's address.

No more news. Remain well and continue your passage in good health and give us the pleasure of receiving good letters from you. Warm greetings to you dear Zelda and the dear flowers [children]. Kiss them for us.

Mother sends her greetings. Tevche, Nechemia and Moshe also send their regards. Don't worry about anything. Just make sure that you arrive at your destination in good health. Sarah Kayman wishes you well.

From your father and mother, father and mother-in-law, grandpa and grandma,

Ze'ev [Wolf] Kayman


[THE FOLLOWING ADDENDUM WAS WRITTEN ON THE FRONT OF THE POSTCARD. IT WAS PROBABLY WRITTEN BY WOLF'S WIFE, REISA]

What food are you being served on board the ship? Did Nechemia's appetite improve? The price of cattle is down and the price of meat is as before, as there are few killings. Chickens are very cheap to compare with last year's prices. You can buy everything.


Letters contributed by Selina Kayman.

Translation from Yiddish to English by Israel Kipen.
Edited by: Selina Kayman and Jose Gutstein.
Editor's notes are entered in [brackets].

Copyright 2004 by Jewish Holocaust Museum & Research Centre in Australia, Selina Kayman and Jose Gutstein.
All rights reserved to the original letter and the translation.

   Return to Shtetl Life