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Kayman Letter 09: By Roshke Bergsztejn and Bertha

Written to Zelda, Eliezer and family in Australia


Letter with no envelope

Dear Zelda, Eliezer and family,

You will surely forgive me for my silence until now. The mind is continuously overburdened, so there is no patience to write. We are grateful that our silence hasn't stopped you writing to us. Please believe us that despite our silence, our hearts remain as close as ever.

Whenever I pass by your window a surge of emotions overcomes me, and I remember our very good friends who lived here. We miss you, but there is nothing for it! We are so happy for you we can't tell you how happy we are that you managed to leave. I find it hard to imagine what your situation would be now, were you still here. You left this hell just in the nick of time and must be mighty grateful to those who helped you. In contrast, my own brothers are unwilling to do the same for us, which is making us desperate.

I'm sending you a Mazal Tov [congratulations] for Nechemia's wedding may they live happily. How are you and have you adjusted to the new country and language? How are the children? I would gladly have liked to see a recent photo of you, hopefully without the distorted faces, as when in Szczuczyn.

Regrettably we have walked into your shoes here [financially, we're in as bad a situation as you were before you left], but there is nothing we can do but hope for the best. I'm glad to know that you have a home with all the conveniences unattainable where we are. If it pleases God, maybe one day we too will live in similar circumstances. But for the time being, we can only do what the Kozak does: [when he has no vodka] he talks about vodka.

Last week Chaim Sawitski [Sawicki] left for Australia. You will surely catch up with him. There is no other news from here. Szczuczyn is a living cemetery populated by living dead. Be well. Our best wishes for the Jewish New Year.

From your devoted friend,


Luba and her children send their regards. Her bundle of misfortune seems to get bigger. Bashke and family are happy to hear about you and also send their regards. Write often, irrespective of our tardiness.

Very dear friends,

Sorry for not writing but as you must have heard we have lived through quite a bit.... I read your letter and am happy that you have settled in well. So, I'm wishing you good luck and health.

Your friend,


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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