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Kayman Letter 15: By Ze'ev/Wolf Kayman

Written to Eliezer and family in Australia


Letter with no envelope

To my devoted children,

I wish you happiness and health. With us, thank God, we are alive. As for our health, it is commensurate with our aging. The further we go the weaker we get, and to live is hard - very, very hard.

Furthermore, the matter has been settled [he has sold his business]. I immediately bought a quantity of rye flour for bread, a similar quantity of potatoes and a wagon full of firewood. For the time being I'm provided for. As for the future, God will help. What can we do in our circumstances? We must be satisfied with what we have.

Eliezer, you must realize that the cost of living has risen enormously and there is no way around it. It is not the same as it was in the First World War. So we must pray that God will provide you with a good living, and you will be in a position to support us. It is hard for me to be any more explicit. I have no other options left. "The waters have reached up to my soul." I'm deeply in debt, thanks to Litman [Litman Studnik] who supports me. By now, I owe him a good deal, but he has left me alone for quite a while now.

How are you and how are your affairs shaping up? How is Zelda? Moishe'le and Nechemia must be grown up by now. Can they already learn something [meaning Jewish learning]? How are my sister and brother-in-law? Wish them well for us.

"They have mouths but they can't talk."

[This is a quote taken from biblical text referring to idols of other religions. This is a clear statement of the political condition in the new social order expressed succinctly even if innocuously through the above quote. In other words, we can't afford the luxury of telling what life is now really like, due to censorship.]

This is our reality. Remain well and content. Your mother and Nison join me in sending you our best wishes.

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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