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Kayman Letter 06: By Dawid (Yedidi) Sosnowski

Written to his brother-in-law Lozer Kajman in Australia (Lozer's wife Zelda nee Rozental was Yedidi's wife Rywka's sister)

Szczuczyn, April 24, 1938

Letter with no envelope

Dear brother-in-law Lozer,

Thank you for your letter. Please, in the future don't take any notice that I don't write and only Rywka does. As you know we are in Poland and a lazy lot and the times are such that one is not always in the mood. But Rywka never waits and answers immediately.

Contact me for full letter


Dawid (Yedidi)


We were awaiting a letter from you and finally it arrived. Thank God that since last Pesach till today you managed to extricate yourself from this 'golden state' and find there such devoted friends. I hope that in your next letter you will be able to tell us how you have settled in Melbourne with luck.

Luck is paramount and you should be happy that you made the move. Look how unlucky I am. For the last two years I have been traveling to Israel, Cuba, the States and back in Cuba and as you say it is all bluff. [He did not actually travel to these places; the intent of the writing being that he wrote to his relatives there, and they likely said they would try to enable his emigration there, but nothing came of it; hence a bluff, like the run-around.] I have lost hope to be able to tear myself away from here through them and through my father. There is no other way. I must energetically accelerate my efforts to achieve it whilst I still have the means.

This brings me to ask you dear brother-in-law whether it would be possible for someone to send me papers to emigrate to Australia. Either yourself if you are in a position to do so or you could ask Benny [Benyamin - Ben Rosenbaum] who surely remembers me. You can assure them that it will not cost them anything. I can pay for the travel expenses and if I have to prove that I possess 200 pounds I will manage to do that too. I will turn to my uncles in the States for help as I can't come empty handed. I'm fully aware that unlike yourself I have no one to come to. Granted, you are there already, but I would only expect from you advice but not material help. I'm prepared even to come on my own but what will Rywka and the children do without me so it is wiser that we come together.

[L]: Zelda (nee Rozental) and
Lozer Kajman, Szczuczyn, 1930
[R] Melbourne, Australia, 1942,
with children Norman and Morrie

Write to me what are the chances with my trade, whether I will be able to begin to earn something on my arrival? Or whether 200 pounds are sufficient to begin some business, something you should know by now. I beg of you, write to me in detail, without compunction, the full truth even if it means that the information may make me realize that this window of opportunity may be closed for me. I have written to my brother Abraham in Argentina, but regrettably for now he is not able to send me papers. However, should the immigration policies there change he would be able to help. There are only two alternatives for me, either to you or to Argentina.

Other than that there is nothing special to report. One pushes time adding another year to life. The children are growing up and one begins to consider their future but when I consider the reality of our life how can one make plans for the future here? I conclude with best wishes. Ask Zelda to write without waiting for you.

All the best,


Additional note: Yedidi owned a leather tannery business in Szczuczyn. Yedidi, his wife Rywka, and the two children they are known to have had, Masza and Nechemia, born in 1926 and 1929 respectively, were killed in Szczuczyn.

Letter 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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