Letter from Rabbi Yaakov Goldman to Adele and Max, written in 1938



Many blessings to you, my dear relatives, to my niece Adele and husband Matus, your dearest son [Paul] should live long and be blessed with health and happiness. I received the $25.00 and I wish you God’s blessings for long life and making a good living.


You brought great pleasure. There was no bread in the house. God should bring you happiness, health, and income in great measure with blessings and success.

I am unable to describe our condition. I do not wish to cause you suffering, as you are still young children. My heart aches knowing that you do not earn enough for a living. Perhaps I should not have taken money from you. God knows the truth that my heart aches.

You understand your uncle’s dire situation, the sickness of your aunt, and the weak children. (I am not wishing this on any other Jewish children.)

God should help you and bless your family with health; you son should grow up in good health. I wish you should not need doctors in your house, and the father should send us shortly good news.

Here news is spreading that immigration to America has eased up, and it is possible to bring relatives to America. Therefore, if it is possible to save us and to get us out from the bitter Diaspora, I am asking you to send me an affidavit. Hopefully in time the entire family should be safe.

But if it is not possible, I will not insist. It is not in my character, nor was it in Grandfather’s or Great-grandfather’s way.

God inspired me.

We hope that God will save us and grant us health, [and help us] earn a good living, and we shall see the redemption and the coming of the Messiah.

Please, dear niece, write to us soon. Blessings to you and your family.

Your uncle,

Yaakov Goldman.

Letter from unidentified aunt in Poland, written in 1938
Letter from unidentified aunt in Poland, written in 1938

Letter from unidentified aunt in Poland, written in 1938

The following is the translation of a letter from an unidentified aunt of Adele’s, perhaps the surviving sister of Adele’s father. The letter was written in 1938 after Max and Adele’s first child, Paul, was born. At first glance, the letter just seems filled with pleasantries but on closer reading, the blessings that the aunt is bestowing on the young couple underscore the hard life she is living in Poland, where Jews were unable to earn a good living. Her emphasis on the good health of children was probably because the children in her realm were poorly nourished and thus more susceptible to devastating diseases.

Dear Adele and Your Dear Husband Matus,

We received your letter and the money. God should repay you with good health and good income and your child should be well and lucky with long life. God should help us and give good health to our children and you should be well and have a good life.

I am sending you most heartfelt regards,

Your aunt, who wishes to hear good news from you, that your life has improved, and that you are earning a good living.

The letters were translated from Hebrew and Yiddish by Adele Miller of Chicago, Illinois, in November 1994. They are in the possession of Paul Gass.