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Kayman Letter 05: By Gutka (nee Rozental) Szmuklarewicz & Family

Written to Zelda (Her sister) in Australia

February 10, 1938

Letter with no envelope

Written by: Gutka Szmuklarewicz (nee Rozental), Zelda's sister, her husband Szmul
and her daughters Chaya and Nechama, Bialystok

Dear Sister and family,

Gutka Szmuklarewicz,
son Moshe and
daughters Chaya and Nechama


I received and was delighted to read your letter. I implore you to answer my letter without delay. On arrival in Melbourne please contact Tuvieh Szejnberg and Chaim Bertshein about Rebecca, Tuvieh's daughter. She is already a fully-grown young lady and they should worry about her because she has nowhere to live. I did not intend to write to you about it but I must. [Tuvieh left his daughter Rebecca behind in Szczuczyn when he came to Australia. He later brought her and her brother to Australia, but his wife
remained in Szczuczyn.]

We once had an auntie in Szczuczyn - our father's sister - but regrettably she is no more. Muki Farber of Szczuczyn visited us today and told us that his sister Zelda will leave shortly for Palestine. Yaakov Farber, our uncle, may follow her shortly. He (Muki) did not tell us anything about Rebecca, which you surely understand means that she will have to continue staying with him. I'm asking you to inform Tuvieh and Chaim Bertshein in my name.

As for ourselves, we are all well. If business were better, everything would be OK. Regrettably things are getting worse from day to day. Let us hope that time will bring a change for the better.

Our children are well. Moshe finished school already and now studies accountancy and typewriting. In time he will emigrate, though we don't know yet where, as there is no future here [Moshe studied in Vilna and then managed to migrate to England. He also lived for a time in Columbia, in Israel and in the United States]. Next year Chayale will finish school, she is now in the 7th class and does well. Our youngest daughter Nechama however is particularly gifted and excels in her studies. As to your suggestion that our children could learn to sew, you will be glad to know that they learn sewing at school and Chayale has already some small sewn articles to her credit.

No other news. Please send our regards to Lozer and the children, and to the Rosenbaum family for their kindness towards you. The Frydman family sends their regards, also our auntie Malka and the Lachover family. My mother-in-law sends her regards and thanks you for remembering her.

Your sister,



Dear Zelda,

I intended to write in our previous letter but it didn't work out so I'm adding a few words now. We are happy for you that you made the right choice and you will now start a safer and easier life. Who could have anticipated at the beginning that everything would fall into place? I'm envious that you find yourself in such a great land, and you surely understand how thirsty we are for such an atmosphere. I can't believe that little Nechemia is already at school and the little fellow is almost a little mench [person of substance]. I can't write much, kiss the children for me. I hope that in time they will be able to write themselves.

Dear Zelda,

I spent this vacation in Szczuczyn and I missed you. As you know, we always enjoyed staying with you - your food was so tasty. This time I had to stay somewhere else. On the other hand, I was happy that you are no longer in a state of need and I am pleased to hear good news from you. I hope that one day we will visit you in your comfortable home and enjoy it together. If
possible attach a picture of yourselves in your next letter. We are keen to see how you look there.

Best wishes,


Mother mentioned in her letter about sewing. I intend to learn a trade after finishing school. Everybody advises me to do it.



Maybe you are learning English. I would love to attempt to correspond with you in English and see whether or not I'm capable of doing so. Probably not in the near future, though.

WRITTEN IN THE MARGIN, IN ENGLISH: "Good night my dear."

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.

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