|Letters from Romania|
Bettusca Kronberg Landmann of
Bucharest, Romania, writes in Romanian to her brother-in-law Joseph
Landman of Kansas City, Mo., and in English to her sister-in-law Rebecca
Gordon Landman of Kansas City, Mo., discussing holiday family visits and
plans to send her photo to them. (Translation from Romanian provided by
Yochoved Klausner, Miriam Yagur and other subscribers to the JewishGen
Special Interest Group e-mailing list.)
At the top of the first page, a note in Romanian from Bettusca's husband, Misu Landmann, says: "This letter was written in the year 1905 around the month of February, and is being sent on 19 April, 1907. Strange but true. Misu."
My dear sister in law [Rebecca Gordon Landman],
I will satisfy your witch and write you in Englisch, although I am not very perfect in the language.
Do not be angry that I did not answer your letter very [promptly?] ... but we were very disappointed for my brother in law was very ill last time and feels now only a little better.
You ask [for] my photograph. I cannot send it to you bicause I have never the chance to be well photographied and I will not you shall [don't want you to] have a bad opinion of me.
Only to make you the pleasure [to please you], I shall try to photography me again and send you one surely in two or three weeks. The bad ones that I had I have all shared them to the other relations.
Many heartly kisses from your loving
Dear Joe [Joseph Landman],
I am sorry that I don't have the pleasure to know you; perhaps I would have more to write. I don't have to repeat to you too the matter with the photograph?
You know that mother was visiting us. She stayed only three days because it was just before Purim and she wanted to be at home with father. She told us to come to them, but Misu is always so busy! Nevertheless, we will enjoy going for the Roumanian Easter to see Rosa [Landmann Rappaport, Misu's sister] in Focşani because she waited for [or was expecting] us last year as well.
With the occasion of mother being in Bucharest, we met Miloas [Misu's brother Milo Landmann] as well. We invited him to come to us, but he didn't show up.
Now what more can I tell you? We are in good health, we live well and we are satisfied.
Berel Landman of Neamt,
Romania, writes a postcard to his son Herman Landman in Kansas City, Mo.
(Translation from Yiddish and Hebrew by Michelle Kanter.)
My beloved son Tzvi [Hebrew for the Yiddish name Hirsh (Herman Landman)],
You should live and be well. I have received your letter and I want to answer promptly so that I can send you the money that you write about. My dear child, maybe it would be better if you change the ____________ that Menashe Rotkop [or Rotkats] with his ______________comings. Then I will send you his address when with your__________the money. You should write me what kind of sickness Eedla [Herman Landman's wife, Adella] has, my dear child. I would like to hear that you will come soon so I would _______God should be blessed and should help me. I should hear from you.
I send you deep heartfelt kisses and to the beloved grandchildren I send lots of ________.
Tauba "Tony" Abramovici writes from T‚rgu Neamt, Romania, to her uncle Herman Landman in Kansas City, Mo., to announce that she and her father have separated from her stepmother and to express her frustration over the difficulty of providing a sufficiently large dowry to a potential mate. (Translation from Romanian provided by Mutzi and Lucian Stor.)
Tg. Neamtz, 14 August, 1921
My dearest uncle [Herman Landman],
This is to advise you that I just returned home from Focşani. I found your letter and I am answering now. I would like to apologize than I did not write until now, because I was saddened by the circumstances related to my stepmother.
We and our father could no longer have a normal relationship with her and we had to separate. Now, thank God we are rid of her. You can imagine what we went through and our suffering. Because of her, I was forced to live with Aunt Rosa [Raisel Landmann Rappaport] for four months.
Aunt, uncle and the children are all right. The same with my family.
How are you and the rest of the family? How do you manage with the heat? People are saying that where you live [Kansas City], there are terribly hot days. Is it true?
Dear uncle, you wrote that you want to send us a picture of you and your family. I would like very much to know you, at least from a picture, if not in person. I am waiting for your pictures.
Dear uncle, about myself I can write to you that I was introduced to the young man that I wrote about. But it was to no avail because he expects a large dowry. These days it is very difficult to finalize something. The candidate is asking for 70,000 lei, and we can only offer 50,000 lei with all the help we can get from our relatives.
In addition, I have to spend for bed sheets, pillowcases, tablecloth, etc. How do you like what a fortune he is expecting to get? What can we do if we live in such times?
Please believe me that I am fed up with life and everything when you face such behavior.
Because I have nothing else to write about, I concluded here the letter. I kiss you with love, your niece who wishes you happiness.
Regards and kisses from my father and sister.
I am waiting for your answer. I thank you for writing me.
In a follow-up to the above letter, Tauba "Tony" Abramovici writes to Herman Landman that her father has divorced her stepmother and that she is worried because Herman has not written. (Compiled from translations by Yocheved Klausner and Adina Ungureanu.)
Targu Neamt, 13 October, 1921
My Dear Uncle,
Please know that we are all well. Just one thing saddens me: that I have not received a reply from you, which surprises me. Dear uncle, how are you and your whole family? Please answer me as soon as you receive this letter, because I am very worried.
With the occasion of the [Jewish] New Year, I as well as father and sister want to wish you a good and long happy life with the entire family. Amen. For my part I wish that God give you a good old age. Amen.
What else can I possibly write? As I wrote you before, father had married, but today he divorced her because she was bad [spoiled or unfaithful]. Neither father nor we found any harmony with her. So, we thank God that we got rid of her.
I include a photo of my brother, Moritz [Moshe or Mircea Abramovici], with his wife [Sophie Bernfeld Abramovici] and son [Silviu Dan Abramovici]. The sister, brother-in-law and son were with us for the holidays. They also wish you happiness for the New Year. You will receive a letter from them.
I wonder why you did not send me the promised photographs. Father is not home; he went away for the summer.
Regards from all of us. We are waiting for your reply and photographs. I will stop my pen here and kiss you with affection, your niece who loves you.
Tauba "Tony" Paiss (nee Abramovici), writing from her father's house in Romania to her uncle Herman Landman in Kansas City, expresses regret that she could not invite him to her wedding, then asks him for a wedding gift. (Compiled from translations by Miriam Yagur and Sorin Goldenberg.)
Targu Neamt, 10 November 1923
Dear Uncle Herman,
My husband went to Focşani, and when he visited Aunt Rosa [Raisel Landmann Rapaport] she gave him your address and told him that you asked about me and wondered why I havenít been writing to you. Dear Uncle, I know you are kind, and I would like to believe you are not blaming me, or if you are, you will forgive me now, as I show you the real reason I havenít written to you and havenít even invited you to my wedding.
Dear Uncle, you know very well I have kept up our correspondence for a long time, but lately I havenít got any answer from you, therefore I thought you had moved, and as I hadnít got your exact address, I havenít written to you any more, nor have I invited you to my wedding, which still causes me pain.
Describing to you, Uncle, the circumstances in which I was married is very difficult, because it is almost unbelievable that a person could suffer as much as I have. And not from any other aspect, but only from the economical one.
My luck is that I met a man who didnít expect too much, but was content with the little there was. And you have to know that we still suffer greatly, because we havenít got cash. My husband isnít a craftsman, but a merchant, which means if you canít pay for the merchandise, you arenít able to meet the payments of today.
So we havenít got it easy for the time being.
We are lucky, too, that Daddy married in Galati, so we are living in his house for a short period, till Lotica [Lutzie or Leah Abramovici], my little sister, will get married.
Please write to us how you are. How are your children? Are you all well?
I take the opportunity of my husband being away from home; since he is not here, I can ask you for some help, in the form of a wedding present, for the sake of my husband.
Waiting for your help, hugs and kisses from your niece.
Special kisses from my husband, Herman [Zvi] Paiss
Tauba "Tony" Paiss's first cousin Misu Landmann (right), son of Millo Landmann, writes from Bucharest, Romania, in English to "aunt and cousins" in Kansas City to request a monthly allowance of $4 to help with his college expenses.
Bucharest, 14 November, 1923
Dear aunt [Rebecca Gordon Landman] and cousins,
Very surprised that till now I have received no answer to my last post-bill. I try once more to inquire about us and about our relatives.
We are all in best safe health in exception of Virgil [Rappaport, son of Rose Landmann Rappaport and Misu Landmann's first cousin] whose health isn't whole/all restored. I am from this time allways in Bucharest. I wish to know if uncle Misu [Landmann] has written to you something, as he has promised to do. He has sold his great/large house who [where] he has had the store and his habitation. He has sold it with [for] 12,000,000 Lei.
Uncle Misu is a rich gentleman; that sum isn't [his only] wealth. I mean he has about 20,000,000 Lei, but what have I from him? Nothing!! He is a man who don't love his relatives on account of his wife [Bettusca Kronberg Landmann]. I have made to him ... an offer for an employ [asked for a job], and he has answered to me that he has no place for me.
I want money now because my parents have not. My father gains 0's bread/0's livelihood/ therefore I have made an offer, and only for the morning because I must learn in the afternoon at the University. I am law and letters student and so I need some money because I have no employ and so it is impossible to can frequent the University.
I propose to you the following thing but I will not make anyone a grief. I mean, if it is possible, for you or for Uncle Herman to send me Four Dollars only monthly. It perhaps can be for you near nothing, but for a Roumanian student it is a respectable sum.
How are you all? Why will you not send the aunt Rebecca photography? My brother Albert is now in the army; he has still half a year till he must finish the serving. Marie has married already? Moisilica [Moshe (Mircea) Abramowicz], Ghisela's son, has born a girl and has given to her the name of aunt Ghisela. My sister [Sylvia Landmann] sends to you in this letter two photographies (one for you, one for uncle Herman). Closing my letter I send to you all from us all relatives of Roumania our best kisses and regards.
Your nephew and cousin,
Another of Misu Landmann's cousins, Charlotte "Lotte" Abramovici, daughter of Herman Landman's sister Gitza "Ghisela" Landman Abramovici, writes from Piatra Neamt, Romania, to Herman in Kansas City, Mo., to describe the dramatic and sad situation she finds herself in as she has been shuttled from relative to relative because of her father's new wife. (Translated from Romanian by Miriam Yagur and Avishalom Klammer)
Piatra Neamtz, 30 January, 1924
Dear Uncle Herman,
First of all, let me introduce myself: I am the youngest daughter of Bercu Abramovici, sister of Tony, who I think has told you about me.
I donít know how you will receive this letter, but I write it anyway.
People in misfortune remember others who might help them in their plight; thatís how it is with me now.
But in order for you to understand fully whatís it all about, I will tell you everything. As I believe you know, Tony [Tauba] got married and she needed a trousseau, clothes and everything a bride needs. Well, Daddy didnít have money, so he had to mortgage the house for the amount of 35,000 lei, to a man in Tg. Neamtz [T‚rgu Neamt], for which the interest alone is 5,000 lei a year.
In the beginning things went quite well, the business had started to succeed, and then Daddy decided to marry.
From that day on things started to go badly for me. After staying for 3 months in Galati, Daddy marries a woman of Galati whom he didnít know himself nor did he inform himself about her as he should have done. As soon as he got married I went away to Neamtz because I had to visit the grave of my dear mother, your sister.
When I got back to Galati I was supposed to work in an office so there wouldnít be any unpleasantness. The very day I got back, Daddyís wife started yelling that she hadnít married Daddy to take care of me too, and that it wasnít possible for me to stay there. When Daddy saw [heard] this, he asked me to go to Bucharest, to stay with my brother, Moisilica [Mircea or Moshe], where I would be able to work and earn enough money for food and clothing.
He sent me from home as if I wasnít his child, as if he wasnít my father, with duties toward his children. I went to Bucharest, where I stayed 3 weeks at Moisilicaís, but in vain, because I hadnít anywhere to sleep, because Moisilica hasnít got a good apartment, so I had to come back to Galati.
Here Daddy met me and asked me with tears in his eyes not to stay, because his wife is a woman the like of which he had never met before, heartless, bad-mouthed, with whom he quarrels all day long. Since I got away [left], she quarrels with him all day long about every trifle.
Besides, he undertook [agreed] to pay her 45,000 lei in the case of divorce, so he canít divorce her unless he pays her this money.
Finally, when I saw there was no way for me to stay with my father, who is supposed to provide for my living and to make every possible sacrifice to be able to help me, I packed my things and came here to Piatra, to Luta [Lutzie or Leah], my eldest sister. I have been staying here since last autumn without paying a cent, and she, poor woman, makes every sacrifice in order to be able to help me. But as she hasnít enough even for herself, her help canít make my situation any better.
Tony, who is still in a good position, for whom things have turned out best, who has both house and money because thatís what Daddy gave her, doesnít think of me. Maybe in a week I will go to Neamtz to stay with her, because here they canít have me any more, because they donít have enough even for themselves.
So as you see I am in a position no child in the whole world is in. For what could be worse than to have a father and not to have a roof over your head, but to go from sister to brother and from brother to sister and to be driven away from everywhere like nobodyís child, like an orphan that has no right to live and has to worry about the morrow.
I am unhappy, because no one wants to help me, no one wants to give me a cent for buying something to wear. But I donít think about that anymore. I think about something more serious. For the house is in my name, the one Tony lives in; all siblings have renounced their part [in it] for me, and in 2 years and a half, when Tony moves away, it will be mine.
But I worry very much because during this time the interest has got to be paid and the mortgage of 35,000 lei, so I wonít have even that. And if I sold the house and paid the 35,000 lei mortgage and the interest, it means that I shall be without a penny and without shelter. ďAs a leaf upon water.Ē No one cares about the house, and Daddy says he isnít doing well in business and hasnít got the money to give me to pay the interest and the mortgage so if you add interest to the capital I wonít have any house, and that was my only hope.
I am writing all this to you because you are good-hearted and you helped Tony when she wasnít in such a desperate situation as I am now, when she was at Daddyís home, which means she had someone to take care of her. But I have no one, no one to help me, to save me, but only you could make my unhappy life a little happier, as no one wants to take care of me, not even my father. You, dear uncle Herman. ...
Öwould not appear hard for you to help me, but to me it would be a joy and you yourself could feel overjoyed that you have helped a wretched niece who is falling to her knees and is begging of you with tears to help her. Please do a good deed, dear uncle, and help me so that I could too, live in the world, help me so that I could reach a certain goal in life.
I beg of you with warm tears: do all possible within your power and send meÖ as you are the only one who can make me more joyous.
I beg you again, crying, help me with whatever you can, just help me. I am a wretched being, who has no table nor house nor home where to ... stay and, who is an orphan forgotten by everybody---even by father. Please be my redeemer, uncle dear and I would always be grateful to you and will never forget you.
Have pity for your youngest niece and the youngest child of your sister. If Biata, my poor mother, had lived,
I wouldnít have gotten to the state in which I am finding myself today and maybe I would have been a little bit joyful.
I am kissing you with endearment, begging you on my knees to help me, to rescue me from the state in which I am finding myself, to make me happier.
I am kissing you again,
When you reply, reply to the address of aunt Fani [Fanny], fatherís sister from Peatra Neamts, where you used to write Toniy.
Kisses from my sister Lutsa.
This undated letter is a draft of Herman Landman's response to the desperate plea above of his niece Charlotte "Lotte" Abramovici:
Dear niece Lottie,
I see from your letter your situation is sorry indeed. However, you should not give up hope. I will help you as much as possible. Therefore I advise you to Ö promptly. Not to lose Ö If you are obliged to sell it notify me at once. And find out if it is possible to fill out legal documents in my name as an American citizen in case I would like to help you pay your surety. Then you would make a surety in my name. Legal documents have to be filled out. I make this proposition only for the worst case. I Ö lest you lose the house. I think it is the same house my late father [Berel Landmann] had bought (your grandfather). I wish you health and Ö You can Ö I want to help youÖ Öespecially from me, your loyal uncle
You are supposed to get 1500 lei from the bank Ö because I have paid the commission on the draft I send you in this letter.
This is Charlotte "Lotte" Abramovici's response to the above letter from her uncle Herman Landman of Kansas City, Mo.:
Trg Neamts [T‚rgu Neamt] 30 March, 1924
Dear Uncle Herman,
I have received your letter, having become very happy that you are well. I have also received the 1500 lei that you have sent to me, thanking you very much for the kindness that you had to have sent them to us.
In regards the collateral you are writing to me about, to put in your name, I checked if it is possible and was told that it is but that it would have to cost a lot of money.
Following that, I think that itíd be a shame to pay that much. I think that to leave it as it is yet, to be able to pay the money upon maturity so that it does not get to be sold as then, as I have written to you, I would not have anything at all Ö and then, what am I to do.
Letís say that the collateral will be put in your name, the banker to whom the house has been assigned as collateral, immediately asks for the payment of the money for otherwise he would not want to prepare the documentation in someone elseís name.
Dear uncle, if you think that you could help me to reach a goal as you have given me hopes to, I intend/think that you should send however little money you wish. I will save up and when payment time comes, I will pay it off.
I am concluding and kissing you with great endearment; all thatís left for me are the hopes and you.
I am kissing you again,
Eremia (Yerme) Landmann of Bucharest writes to his brother Herman Landman, an itinerant inventor and dealer of novelties in Kansas City, to tell him of his remarriage to a "very pretty" woman and to ask for money to help him buy new clothes for his job as an "official." (Translated from French by several members of the JewishGen Special Interest Group.)
Bucharest, Roumania, Feb. 15, 1924.
My dear brother,
I am sure this letter will be a surprise to you. It has been a long time since you have heard anything of me, and, likewise, I have nothing in regard to you.
By an occasion, I have learned your address and I want to tell you that I am well and have been living in Bucharest for two years, where I am a public official [civil servant or low-level bureaucrat] and I have remarried. As yet, I have no children, but hope they will come in time. My wife is very pretty and also very good [nice or good-hearted]. You will find our picture enclosed. All the family is in good health.
I will write immediately once I have received an answer from you. Send me your picture with the whole family group.
Living is very expensive here in Roumania, and I as a state employee must must make incredible sacrifices.
Since I know you now have a better position than I, and as a brother will understand such things [this situation], I am going to ask you to please send me some money, an amount that you think convenient [or amount at your discretion]. I wish to buy some clothes with the money, for at this time I have almost none. I hope you will be able to accommodate me, and I end this letter waiting for your answer.
With love [Warm kisses] from myself and my wife, I am affectionately your brother and would like to meet you. Love to our dear sister-in-law Rebecca [Gordon Landman] and her children [Marie and Libbie Landman].
Our address is: Eremia Landman, Rue Stelia No. 15, Bucharest Roumania
Misu Landmann of Bucharest writes in English to his first-cousin Libbie Landman of Kansas City. Mo., about the travails of Jewish students in Romania in the face of anti-Semitic campus strikes by Christian students. He also asks if Kansas City's Jews might send a donation to the Jewish Students Association.
Bucharest, 17 March 1926
Dear Cousin Libby,
I have received your letter from 30th of December, but being very busy with my examination I can't answer you sooner than now. Therefore, I have said to my sister Sylvia to write to you. She has written of course in Roumanian and has also sent to you photographs.
We all are in good health and wish to hear the same from you all from Kansas City. How are you? Myself I am in the 3rd year at Bucharest University and hope to finish studies this year. But we have here the habitual strike not of the workmen but of the university. I mean the recent strike that is proclaimed from the 20th of February. The causes of it are: The University Senate hasn't resolved the questions posed by the "Christian Students" for three years ago. The question which you probably know has at principal point the "Jewish People" who is living in Romania.
The Antisemites, who are also named Cuzisti on account of their president, who is Mr. A.C. Cusa, and of these students ... are wishing to introduce a disposition that in the Romanian University the Jews must represent no more than 10%, or better said in conformity with the nation that is living in Rumania. I mean that you have heard of ... a Hungarian disposition referring to the Jewish students. Such a disposition is in their [the Chistian students'] view so that we have Strike.
We all Jewish students, in conformity with the Constitution, are Romanian citizens and now can't profit of our rights and are obliged to lose a year on account of this strike, which is unlimited. If a Christian or a Jew wishes to frequent the lecturing, he is mocked and beated or wounded. That is our actual university situation in Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj and Timişoara.
You have sent to me a clipping. I have read it and have laughed at the erroneous information. Bucharest, of course is the capital of Roumania, but the streets are not wide. On contrary, they are too narrow, especially Cala Victoria, the principal street that leads to the Royal Palace. In Bucharest we have 5 theaters. ... One is Jewish, and after that I can name the Great Roumanian Opera. Pictures [movie theaters], we have about 15. And radio and electric lights, we have numerous of course.
In general, I can pronounce that [the article] "Bucharest gets modern touch" is Roumanian propaganda, and the author of it is one of those whose imagination is very prodigious, but I can also [call it] a phantasia. We all wish to have such a capital as [described] in this article is written, but this wish can be fulfilled [in] about 30 or 40 years if not more.
In the envelop I have received three photos and I thank you therefore. My wonder was that I have received from the post the envelop opened and a mention in Roumanian ... "arrived opened" dated 16/1 1926. I think that a postman from Roumania or elsewhere has opened it, meaning that [there] are Dollars in it or generally money, which they would steal.
If you have the possibility, I beg to send me a book about the U.S.A. education.
What do you hope to frequent after finishing high school? I mean you will frequent the university.
You write to me if I was decided [You have asked me if I have decided] to come to America. I wish to come, but this is not possible sooner than in two years, because I must go military a year and after that I must have the permission from your government and all other things necessary for a voyage over the [unreadable]. It is not so easy for me now, a poor student, to come to America.
I become next year a lawyer and I also take the diploma from the Academy of High Commercial and Industrial Studies.
Referring to our relations, I inform you that family Rappaport of Focşani is in good health [except for our first cousin] Virgil [Rappaport], whose health is in the same state [as before]. His parents are very sorry. [Unreadable name] is in the 4th class of the Lyceum. Has Uncle Herman [Landman of Kansas City] recently written to them [the Rappaports].
My parents, sister and brothers are healthy. One of my brothers, namely Willi, is now soldier. Uncle Misu, with his new manufactures, is in good health with all his family. You know the names of the children [of Misu Landmann] are Richard and Carolina. Uncle Misu is [of] course very rich, but also very and too niggardly (churl). He lives with his family careless and well.
Uncle Eremia [Yerme Landmann] is in good state and is in Uncle Misu's employment.
How many Jews are you in Kansas City? Perhaps it would be possible a money collect [to take up a collection] for our Jewish Students Association of Roumania. Our students assoc. is not helped from the Roumanian government as the Roumanian (Christian) ones [are]. The Jews do not receive scholarships or other assistance. If one of you have the possibility and can speak with your Jewish community or other great situated persons, that would not be a bad deed. We all Jewish students of Roumania [would] be very full of gratitude to all of Kansas City, Mo.
What do you say to this question I also address to your sister [Marie]? An appeal to the Jews of America referring to our Jewish students' situation in Roumania was in vain? I await in this question yours and your sister's answer, and in the same time I send to you our students' house address:
[Hard to read Bucharest address provided]
Having no more to write to you I await your sooner answer and I like to think that it will not take as long in answering this letter. Closing my writing, I kiss you all. Best regards from all our relatives living in Roumania.
Your loving nephew [addressed to Misu's and Libbie's Uncle Herman Landman] and cousin.
Misu M. Landmann
P.S. You don't [unreadable] with Landmann of Roumania. The sister and your son-in-law is a right pair. I wish them a happy life.
Immediately below the letter to Libbie, Misu inserts a note for Libbie's mother, Rebecca Landman:
Dear Aunt Rebeka,
I don't know you. I only have heard of you. I am very interested to know why will you not write something to us relations [in] Roumania? I remember ... that when I was 7 or 8 years old I have seen a writing (letter) from you, and why do you not write to us?
How are you? With what are you busy? I trust you very much to be kind and to send us your photography. We have an old photograph [of you] as a bride, but now there are about 20 years [past]. ...[words missing] is a very nice present which you can do us relations of Roumania.
Thinking that these lines shall be with effect and finding echo to you, I shall receive a personal letter from you.
Your loving nephew,
Immediately below the note to Rebecca, Misu writes to Herman Landman, his and Libbie's uncle:
Dear Uncle Herman, my only uncle of America! [Libbie's father, Joseph Landman, had died 12 years earlier]
It is a long time that you haven't write to me some lines. I wish that these lines would find you [unreadable] health. We are healthy all relations of Roumania. With what are you occupied? I have heard that you are busy with the market---commerce and therefore you are often absent in Kansas, but it is not a motive of not writing to us.
From this letter, you can see that [at] the end of this year I shall be [get] a university degree, so that I finish studies.
Dear Uncle, can't you send to me your children's [Lillian Landman Ziman's and Joseph "Jack" Landman's] addresses? I wish sometimes to write them.
I have received from Libby the photos and I can say to you that you resemble very well with all the Landmanns from Roumania. You resemble very well your father [Berel Landmann] who I have known. You are identical with your brother Eremia.
I have written to Libby about a money-collect for us Jewish students of Roumania. If you can speak about this question to the local Jewish community, perhaps they can inscribe in their budget something for us. I am awaiting of your answer. [unreadable section] ... and I kiss you.
Your loving nephew,
Special regards and kisses from our relations of Roumania.
Misu Landmann's sister Silvya Landmann, age 20, writes to their uncle Herman Landmann, thanking him for sending family photos, explains the family's financial crisis and asks for a wedding present. (Compiled from translations from Romanian by Alma Barozzi and Miriam Yagur.)
November 19, 1926
Here we are all well, but we are in a financial crisis, since Father [Millo Landmann] had some money which he lost in some business dealings, including my dowry money. It just so happens that I had a good [marriage] arrangement proposed to me and I have no money. And he [her father] has been in bad terms with Uncle Misu since the war. As you know, he [Misu] is a big millionaire and he doesn't want to know [about] anybody anymore.
So, Uncle, I hope you won't forget me, just as you didn't forget the other female cousins, even though they are wealthier than me and have their own homes; you still sent them a few dollars. So, Uncle, please don't forget me either. I am 20 years old. I finished vocational school four years ago. I'm enclosing a photo of me from when I was in school.
I haven't been photographed
[recently] because I don't have much money. I don't go to work because I stay home
to take care of the household, since Mother is ill with rheumatism and
she can't walk well. So I conclude my letter.
At the same time as the above letter, Silvya Landmann writes to her cousins in Kansas City, Mo.,
19 November, 1926
And what are you studying? You write that you are 16-18 years old [These ages don't make sense: In 1926, Marie was 22, Libbie was 25, Lillian was 31.] and that you are in your third year of college. I'm curious to know how long high school is if you can be in college at your age.
I am done with school. I went
to vocational school and I am 20 years old. Now I'm home taking care of
Many kisses to you all,
Charlotte "Lotte" Abramovici writing from Galati, Romania, to her uncle Herman Landman in Kansas City, Missouri, continues her dismal tale of financial troubles and uncertainty. The letter was written in Yiddish and dated Dec. 14, 1929. (Summarized by JewishGen mailing list subscriber Ferenc Gerlits.)
Lottie has just become engaged, but she has a financial problem. Some of the money she received from selling her grandfather Berel Landmann's house has been lost on a lottery, so only 100,000 lei are left. She can get some money from other relatives, but not enough to pay the dowry of 250,000 lei. Lottie asks her uncle Herman Landman for 60,000 to 70,000 lei. Her father has no job, and his wife (Lottie's stepmother) has left him. Herman had helped Lottie five years earlier, with 1,500 lei.
Included in Lottie's four-page Yiddish letter is a shorter Romanian letter from her father, Bercu Abramovici, to his brother-in-law Herman Landman. (Translated by Serge Priffer.)
Dear Brother in Law Herman,
Everything written by my daughter Lottie is true. I cannot at this moment help because I am an old man of 61 years of age, and I cannot work, and also there is no business. I beg of you to help her, otherwise we're afraid that her engagement might be affected, and that would be a tragedy for Lottie. She has no other hope except for you.
Many kisses to you as well as to your family.
Your Brother in Law,
After World War II, Herman Landman's niece Marie Landman Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo., attempted to re-establish contact with her relatives in Romania with the help of a Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg. The response below, translated from Romanian, was from Tauba Paiss (nee Toniy or Tony Abramovici).
Targu Neamt, 23 Aug. 1947
Dear Mr. Greenberg:
When your sister received the letter in which you stated someone is looking for Landman family, she took the trouble to find me. I am the daughter of Ghizela Bercu Abramovici. My mother was born Landman and was the daughter of Berl Landman and Sura Liba Landman. Sura Liba Landman was born Yuster, and my name is Tauba Paiss. I was born Abramovici, and I live in Trg. Neamt, Strada Radu Teohari #18.
I would like the person who asked for the Landman family to write to me at the above address. I have a photograph of my folks and I would like to send same with the next letter I write. If Uncle Herman lives he will surely recognize his sister and brother-in-law. I will also send my photograph.
My mother and Tanta [aunt] Rosa whose married name was Rapaport and also Uncles Milu, Misu and Erimia are all dead. I will write a more detailed letter about their children in the next correspondence. I can't tell you how pleased and excited I was to learn that some relative is looking for me.
Mr. and Mrs. Greenberg, I want to thank you for transmitting this request to us, and I would appreciate your forwarding this information to the proper parties. Thank you very much.
Tauba si Herman Paiss
Tauba Paiss (nee Toniy or Tony Abramovici) responds to a letter from her American 1st cousin Marie Landman Bernstein (1st page below, rest of letter missing; translated from Romanian).
Targu Neamt, 8 Dec. 1947
We received the letter and the pictures from the cousin Marie Bernstein, who up to now we did not know. You can't imagine the pleasure you afforded us in the knowledge that we have living relatives in America. I thank you all who took an interest to locate us, the Landman family, especially do I thank Uncle Herman.
I received a letter from Bucuresti [Bucharest] from Adrian Berman [a second cousin of both Tauba Paiss and Marie Bernstein], and he asked us to give him all the addresses of the Landman family, which he wanted to forward to you. However, here they are with this writing.
My mother was Gazella Landman, and we are three sisters and one brother. The oldest is Lutza, who is married and living in Piatra Neamt, and is getting ready to leave for Palestine. I am the second sister, and you know my address here in Targu Neamt. The third sister lives in Bucuresti with Carol Star at Strada Logafat Taut 16. The brother lives in Bucuresti also, but at this moment I don't know his address.
Milu Landman [Millo Landmann, Tauba's uncle?] had children too, and they asked for your address to write to you. In the same envelope I am enclosing mother's and father's pictures when they were young. We are surprised that cousin Marie doesn't tell us anything about her husband and family.
And now as for my family---we have three children, two boys and a girl. The oldest [Eli Paiss] is 24 years old and is married. The second boy [Gustav Paiss] is 21 years old and left for Palestine two months ago and we haven't heard from him yet. The girl [Josephine Paiss] is 15 years old and hopes to leave in the spring for Palestine through the organization Hasamer Ateir.
We were very well off before the war, but with the evacuation and after we came back we found everything destroyed. We put forth superhuman efforts in order to get things back in a livable state. We bought a mill with two partners. The mill is called Teohar, but on account of a drought it was impossible to run the mill. We would like to sell the mill, but there are no buyers. Everything is sky high, and they re-evaluated the money, and withal it is impossible to get along. Our occupation before the war was grain, but at present we are not allowed to enter this field, and we do not know any other line of business; so you can imagine our plight.
Now, knowing our situation, and if you can send us anything without great effort on your part, we would like to receive medicines, foodstuffs and clothing. We ask that you pardon the necessity of this appeal, which is hard to make, believe me.
Please, when you answer this letter, have it typewritten because it is more easily translated.
Tauba Paiss' sister, Charlotte "Lotte" Abramovici, also writes to Marie Bernstein to introduce herself. She also complains about the Romanian communist government's seizure of her family's property. The following is based on an incomplete handwritten translation from Romanian:
My name is Lotte, daughter of Gazella [Landmann Abramovici]. My sister Tauba read your letter ask about us. Glad to hear from mother's relatives. Uncle [Herman Landman's] thrilled [us. He] looks like Yermia [Landmann, Herman's brother]. Long life to him. With New Year's wishes.
[I] Did not write sooner because of the terrible ... state had taken away our forests/wood. We were left like leaves that fell on the ground. From then till now we have sold our valuables. We have had enough till now.
[I have] three sons. One engineer, 1 year married [in] Bucharest. He was well off. [He had] one company of [unreadable], one box factory. And now he has nothing. And now he cannot work.
Second son works with [unreadable]. 26, married 18th April, lives in Bucharest. Up till now he worked with the other son. It is terrible. What they will do, I don't know. ...
Tauba Paiss (nee Toniy or Tony Abramovici) writes from Targu Neamt, Romania, to Marie Landman Bernstein and Marie's uncle Herman Landman of Kansas City, Mo. (translated from Romanian by Alma Barozzi)
Targu Neamt, 24 May 1948
Our dear uncles [aunt and uncle] and cousins,
We've written to your several times but have not yet received an answer. Your silence worries us. How are you? Please answer as soon as you get this so we won't worry. How is each of you doing? If at all possible, we'd love to receive a few lines from each of you.
We are in relatively good health, but our financial situation is difficult. We received your second package with clothes on February 28th. All the items arrived in good shape and they fit very well. We can't tell you how thankful we are for everything you've sent. Your package brought us a lot of pleasure, but we were greatly disappointed not to find a letter enclosed.
How is Uncle Herman feeling? Dear Marie, please convince Uncle Herman to try his best to write us a few lines. That would make us so happy. Did you receive my parents' pictures? What does Uncle Herman say? Does he recognize my mother, i.e. his sister Ghizela [Gitza Landman Abramovici], and his brother-in-law Berl [Bercu Abramovici]?
Dear Marie, how are you and how do you spend your time? How are your children? God willing, if we can afford to, we'll have some pictures taken and send them to you.
We thank you again with all our heart for everything you've sent us and we look forward to receiving your long-awaited reply. We send you loving kisses and we regret that we've never met.
We send you hugs from far away.
Your nephews [niece and nephew] and cousins,
Herman, Tauba and children
Tauba Paiss' daughter, Josephine, writes from Targu Neamt, Romania, to her Landman relatives in Kansas City, Mo. (translated from French by John Jaffer and Omer Vanvoorden):
When my parents write to you, I also write to you a few lines because I love you very much even though we are not with you. We have received your package and such beautiful things were for me. All the things were good for me and alone I don't have the words to thank you. But I am sad because we did not receive some news of you and we do not know anything about you for such a long time. I ask you to write us more about your situation, which interests us.
I end these few lines in kissing you and thanking you for everything you sent.
The one who loves you very much.
writes from Romania to her uncle Herman Landman and cousins in Kansas
City, Mo., about the confiscations by the communist government that have
hurt their livelihood. (Translated from Romanian by Yocheved Klausner)
Piatra Neamţ, 14 October 1948
Our dear Uncle Herman and cousins,
Here is writing to you the oldest daughter of Ghisela [Landmann Abramovici], my name is Luţa [pronounced Lutza], on the occasion that my sister Toba [Tauba] came and read to me the letter received from you where you inquire about all of us. I read the letter with special joy, learning that we too have relatives from the side of our late Mother and that they are interested to find out about the fate of us all.
You cannot imagine my excitement when I saw Uncle Herman on the photograph: I had the impression that I am seeing Uncle Irimia; they look so alike, and Uncle Herman seemed to me so familiar as if I had already seen him long ago. May God keep him alive and healthy and may he have joy from all of us. With the occasion of the New Year we wish you many good years and fulfillment of all your wishes Amen.
Now I want to apologize that I did not write to you immediately, because when Toba came to us I was very troubled: because just at that time the State took away from us the forest that we had rented from the Episcopacy St. Spiridon in Iaşi [Yassy] and left us "like a leaf upon the water."
From that time until the present we lived by selling things of value from our house, which we had accumulated during the 30 years of marriage; and we did relatively well until the present. Now I will describe my Family: We have 3 sons: The first is a Construction Engineer aged 28 years, he got married a year ago and lives in Bucharest. He was well off and so the State took from him 2 factories, one a factory of mirrors and one of cardboard files, and he, too, remained with nothing and is working now at construction, and the wealthy days are over.
The 2nd son is 26 years old and is a lathe worker and he was married on 18 April 1948. He lives in Bucharest as well and until a few weeks ago he worked together with his older brother at the engineering works, from now on the State is taking over everything and they do not give specialized work: therefore the situation of my son is endangered Ė I don't know what we will do in the future.
The 3rd son is already 4 years in Eretz Israel, he went there right after 23 August 1944 [the Russian occupation of Romania, which ended World War II there]. He wrote to me that he was in many battles in the war [in Israel] and he was injured once Ö may God watch over him and save him from harm, Amen, you can imagine the desperate state I'm in, and how much I worry for him and miss him.
We would have liked to go to Eretz Israel too, but now the emigration stopped and you can imagine our situation: winter is approaching and we are without provisions for the winter and without the necessary things for the home and without "parnuse" [a living]. My husband would be ready to take on any work, although until the present he worked only in his own plant [lit. "on his own account"], but the regime here prefers workers, not former "masters," that is, bourgeois Ė this is the real situation.
Now, in order that you get to know us a little, I have a photo of myself with my husband, that was taken 2 years ago and is not very good, but since I don't have another I am sending this so you get some idea how we look, and I am sending a picture of the engineer after he received his Diploma and one of my son in Eretz Israel. A photo of the other son I will send you later.
I hope you will write us an answer, and at the same time I would like to ask you kindly to send me photographs of our relatives, all of them, and I will send you more recent photos of our family, if we can. My husband would have written too but he is away, he went to Bucharest to our children, they called him to see what can be done.
I finish here my writing so I will not bore you too much, and I wish you all the best, I kiss you and embrace you with love, and I am impatient to receive as soon as possible good news from you all, as well as photographs, so that we will get to know you all and see how you look.
Your niece and cousin Luţa
The daughter and son of Tauba Paiss (nee Toniy or Tony Abramovici) write from Targu Neamt, Romania, to Marie Landman Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo. (translated from Romanian)
Targu Neamt, 8 Feb. 1949
I hope that this is the last letter I write from Romania. I want to identify the enclosed photograph. The girl in the picture is myself, Josephine, daughter of Tauba and Herman Paiss.
With much regret I have to quit school, and I liked school very much, but I have to think about going to our country, and even though I am only 16 years old, I go there with an open heart, ready to work. Maybe God will be good to me and I will be able to further take up my education there. With all this in mind I shall never forget those kind people who helped me in any way.
Although I miss many things, I wouldn't and shouldn't burden you with requests. Only one thing, if at all possible, will you be so kind as to send me a fountain pen. You can't get them here at all.
The folks were sick the whole winter but, thank God, they're better now. They haven't received any mail from you, and it worries them.
The picture I've sent you is an old one and not a good one. The young man is a schoolmate of mine. Before I leave for Israel, I'll take another picture and send it to you.
Best wishes and many kisses to all of you.
I, too, took time to write a few lines to you. Permit me to introduce myself by means of the enclosed picture. I am the son of Tauba Paiss. My name is Gustave and I am 25 years old.
The reason you haven't heard from me before was because I worked in another town. Due to illness, I had to come home. I am better and have found work in my hometown. Here I found your letters and hastened to write to you.
The work that I do here is not sufficient to both clothe and support me, I board and room with the folks, and to clothe myself properly, it would take two years of my salary. In view of these facts I risk being bold and understand how presumptuous you must think me, but I tell you in sincerity that I have no one to appeal to. The winter is almost over, and I didn't have a winter overcoat throughout the severe weather. However, spring approaches and I don't have a topcoat. I only have one suit of clothes, which is four years old, and it is all worn out. If it is at all possible, I would like very much to receive a suit from you.
As I reread my letter to you I realize the magnitude of my request and I beg you to forgive my boldness and try to understand the situation that prompted it. If you can fill these requests please do so from your heart. Please be assured that if I am ever able (and I hope someday I shall) to be of service to you, it would be my pleasure to do my utmost for you, in the best of circumstances.
P.S. The folks received the aspirins and thank you very much. They would like very much to hear from you inasmuch as there was no letter accompanying the package you last sent. The photo I sent was taken in 1944.
Marie Landman Bernstein writes to her cousins in Romania to tell them of the death of their uncle Herman Landman on Oct. 29, 1948, in Kansas City, Mo.:
Dear Cousins Lottie and Taube,
I am writing to both of you in one letter because of the difficulty of translation. So my dear friend who writes in the Rumanian language to you for me will have only one letter to write.
We have sad news here. Uncle Herman [Landman] died October 29  or on the 26th day of Tishri. He had been a sick man for a long time. His heart was weak, and he died after a week's illness in the hospital. His children were here at the time. He was 78 years old. He remembered you well, Lottie, and he recognized the picture you sent of your parents, Tauba. He loved you all very dearly. Among his papers I found many letters he had received from Rumania. From Virgil and a young man Misu. Where are these two cousins now?
I know I am a poor correspondent but I know not what I can write to you. Your letters fill me with such sadness, and there seems no way to help you because of the excessive duties, and we are people in moderate circumstances. Recently I heard of a company which sends packages to Rumania and duty can be paid here. Last month I sent a package addressed to Herman Paiss [Taube's husband]. It contains: 1 ladies coat, 1 girls coat, 1 mans overcoat, 1 ladies suit, 1 ladies blouse, 1 bathrobe, 1 pair boys trousers, 2 mens shirts, 2 ladies house dresses, 1 girls skirt and vest, 1 ladies slip, 4 pair ladies nylon hose.
All duty was paid by uncle Herman's daughter [Lillian Landman Ziman]. I hope you receive it. Please share it, Lottie and Taube. I will send another the same way. It costs a great deal to send it, but if you do not have to pay duty, we are willing to send again.
I hope you understand that only used clothing can be sent. Therefore, forgive us for sending used clothing. I try to send what will be most useful. Food packages cost a small fortune to send. The duty is five times the value of the food. I hoped you could use some of the clothing to exchange for food in Rumania. That is why I sent the nylon hose. But I am worried about your Passover. Even though the duty is exorbitant, I will try to send you something for Passover and pay the duty here.
Lottie, your sons' pictures made us very sad. Such handsome boys to have to be so troubled. God grant that your husbands and your children shall find a way to earn a livelihood.
I think that the best thing we can do in America is to work for Israel. We work hard here in our city. I am chairman of Jewish National Fund for Hadassah. Yesterday at our Hadassah meeting we had a woman speaker from Israel. She was there during the battle of Jerusalem. We were all moved by her speech and more determined than ever to work for Israel. God grant that you can immigrate there if you wish to go. I hope both of you have heard from your sons who are in Israel. I hope the one who was wounded is recovered. Have you heard from him? Send me his address.
My husband [Isidore Bernstein] and my children [Jerome Bernstein and Jo Ann Bernstein Stein] are well. My daughter is expecting a baby in June.
Enclosed is a picture of Uncle Herman and his two children. It was taken some time ago but it is a good likeness.
Last August I sent to you, Taube, a package of aspirin by airmail. Did you receive it?
May God give you health, strength and courage.
The Paiss family writes from Targu Neamt, Romania, to Marie Landman Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo., responding to the news about the death of their uncle Herman Landman on Oct. 29, 1948, in Kansas City, Mo. (translated from Romanian)
19 March, 1949
You must have received a letter from us; the children, too, wrote and sent a couple of photographs. Maybe you weren't pleased with that letter, because it wasn't answered in the letter you wrote to us. We received your letter after we had written to you. We were worried because months passed without hearing from you.
I can't explain how glad we were to receive mail from you because we appreciate and think it's very nice that you show an interest in our family here. With you dear folks we mourn the passing of our uncle [Herman Landman]. The fact remains that it is a normal occurrence. It's all in life, time comes when people die no matter how dear they are to us. May he rest in Heaven.
We were very glad to hear you will be grandparents; from the bottom of our hearts we wish the young mother a safe delivery in due time, and good health and much happiness to the entire family. It pleases us to think that your grandbaby will carry uncle's name.
We're well, but our situation is not changed; we struggle for existence.
Our son in Israel writes he is well and is glad that he, too, has a part to play in reclaiming the Homeland. This is his address: Ely Paiss, Kibutz Tel Mordelasi [?] Tevat Toar [?] 1511, Tel Aviv, Israel.
We didn't receive the package yet. And as to the articles you were so kind to send, we assure you that they are all useful. I can't find words to tell you how much we would enjoy having them, but it will be impossible to take them out because the [import] duty is so high.
I know you are so kind enough to help us, and I hate to ask you for coupons or a receipt to show that you have paid the duty. However, if it creates a hardship, and you can't do it, we'll understand.
Write and tell us how you all are. We would like to hear from each and every one of you, and while reading your letter, to have for a moment at least a sort of feeling that we are together.
Close my letter with many kisses, and thanks for all you do for us.
Your cousins, niece and nephew, Taube, Herman, Josephina, Velie [Gustav]
After receiving a package from Marie Landman Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo., her cousins (most likely Taube Paiss) in Romania express their appreciation for her generosity (undated, unsigned translation from Romanian):
It is very hard to express the gratitude we feel on paper for all your efforts to help us. When you made up the package, I wonder if you realize how much good it is to us and how glad we are to get it. The clothes came in good order. There is not measure for your goodwill to us. The list was in good order.
Our situation has not changed. How are you getting along? We are interested in hearing from those who care for us.
I wrote to you and also sent some photographs of the children. They were not recent ones, but we cannot afford to take more at this time.
Just now I received a letter from our son in Israel. He writes of the beautiful gesture on your part to send him money, but it wasn't necessary, because he doesn't want for a thing. The money went to the kibbutz.
I thank you, too, for sending it to him. Please write to him. The address I sent you is to write him.
Paiss family members write again to Marie Bernstein about their continuing troubles.
15 November, 1949, Targu Neamt
I don't know why it is such a lapse of time since I heard from you. We were glad to receive your letters and find out you were well. We are very anxious as to your silence. We would not have let that much time elapse without inquiring, but we have been through very hard times.
My mother who was never too well had to undergo an operation, and our situation is very poor. We did not have the necessary funds, so we had to sell some of our household goods and even some of the things that we received from you in order to save her. The operation was a hard one, and she had 2 1/2 hours on the operating table. She had a tumor on her womb, and a hernia and appendicitis. Since we did not have the necessary things to facilitate her recovery, she is very weak, and a doctor recommended Vitamin C and Vitamin D, extracte hapetice [hepatica or liverwort], a medicine for the liver. We can't buy them her because they are very expensive, and we have not anything that we can sell anymore.
I believe that you can imagine how critical this situation is, and yet we, too, are very anxious about you and hope this finds you well.
However, with all this hardship I still don't want to waste time, and so I am going to school the best way I know how with not enough necessary tablets, books, pencils, etc.
We have applied for the necessary papers, and the photograph we sent you had taken to place with the papers. It was of all of us and a relative. The photograph was taken four months ago. We are awaiting the visa and expect to get it in a few months.
We now await your answer, which we hope will come forward promptly, and I send love and kisses herewith.
Tauba, Herman, Velie and Josephine
P.S. If it is impossible to send the medicines we request, please include aspirin and polivitanurie. We hope that we are not incurring your annoyance with our requests.
My dear loving cousins:
Although I am very weak from the operation I force myself to write to you. I am a little better now.
I appeal to you and yours to send goodwill for a very large favor: all of you together to buy me two quilts because here they are not to be had, and if they were available, I wouldn't have the wherewithal to buy them because our situation is very critical. From the bottom of my heart I ask you again to do this for me. It is winter here and very cold, and we haven't anything with which to cover ourselves. I count on your goodwill. You and yours should all be well and you should be able to be of help.
If you are in a position to do so, please send me two dark red or cherry red satin-covered wool quilts, and if you can't find the wool quilts, send whatever you think is satisfactory. I would like to have them as soon as possible, because we are in great need of them. If we did not need them so we wouldn't bother to make this request.
Please excuse the annoyance we cause you, but I am very sure that you will help me. I am thanking you from the bottom of my heart for this favor.
I send affectionate regards to each and everyone.
Herman and family
I am sending you this photograph, which was taken when we didn't feel good and were worried. It was taken four months ago. I want you to have this copy so you will know us by photograph.
Kissing you affectionately,
Tauba, Herman, Velie, Josephine and a relative of ours
Undated draft of a letter from Marie Landman Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo., to her cousins in Romania may be a response to the above letter:
It is with deep regret that I learn of your hardships and your illness. I hope all will be well with you from now on. God grant that you get to Israel, but that, too, is not without hardship.
I am sending you another package, but it will probably be months before you receive it. When I have packed it, I will send you a list. I am waiting for information from the Rumanian legation so that you will not have to pay duty.
I am grateful that you were able to derive funds for your operation from the things I had sent you. Please feel free to do whatever you think best with what I send. I included the ladies nylon hose in my last package because I thought you could sell them. I am including nylon hose in this package too. Of course, no new merchandise can be sent. I am able only to send what is not new because of regulations.
Rebecca Berman Teitler of Romania introduces herself for the first time in a letter written in broken English to her second cousin Marie Landman Bernstein of Kansas City, Mo., and asks for penicillin or streptomycin for her daughter, Gertude:
25 May 1951
My dear cousin!
When you will receive my letter you will be sure surprise, while you don't know from me is the letter! I am the daughter from your cousin Perla [Pauline] Berman born Landman.
My Mama with my brothers Adrian and Florian with my sister Mariana Greif with her husband and two children have depart in [departed for] Israel.
My husband Carol Teitler with me and my daughter Gertrude are yet in Romania and I should be very glad to heart [hear] from you and your family. How I beg you that you don't be sorry, but I am [have] a big prayer to you and expressly:
My daughter Gertrude is 18 years old and finished the school in June 1951. She is in the eight class from lyceum and she make now the matura [graduation?]. Now she is very ill on the food and the doctor have prescribe her somewhat injections with oil-penicilina-nerk[?] was is not to find here, and I beg you very much to send me some penicilina or streptomicina-nerk[?] for my daughter.
My husband is a small care [?] in a office with little pay and we hope to receive the depart in Israel in short time.
I expect jour [your] answer and I thank you very much anticipate and with mutch [much] kisses for all and with much love jour [your] Rebecca Teitler
P.S. One time I have be [was] in Bucarest and I have send you a letter with a photo from my daughter. You have receive that?
Paulina Landman (Borianu) Berman writes a letter, typed in English, from Israel to her first cousin once removed Marie Bernstein in Kansas City:
Jaffa, the 5th July, 1951
Dear Cousin Mary,
I have received your letter with some months latter [later] than the date on it. Therefore, when I have visited the Rothschild Bld, as your wrote to me, I found out that she had left already the country long ago.
Mother doesn't feel so well, due to the hot climate here, but I hope she will be better with the time, when she will get used to the country's climate. [This could be an interjection from her son Florian, commenting on Paulina's condition, who dies of a heart attack some time after sending this letter.]
We send to you a photo of Franklin [Greif, Paulina's grandson], who is well and is going already to scholl [school].
I thank you very much, for interesting of his health and wellfare.
Florian [Berman/Borianu, Paulina's son] works, and his Cabinet is going well, and Adrian [Berman/Borianu, Paulina's other son] will leave soon for France and other countries in Europe to organize export business.
Mariana [Greif, Paulina's daughter], her husband [Joseph Greif] and [their daughter] Finetta are well and have work, so they are thanksfull.
We would like very much to have news from [you], but good one, and beg you to write to us as soon as possible. We are waiting with interest your answer, and wish you all the best to you and your family from all of us.
With love, your cousin, Paulina
[handwritten signature:] Paulina B. Landman
[handwritten name and address:] Florian Borianu, Gebelia Str. 174 No. 7, Tel Aviv, Israel
Mariana Berman Greif and her family, along with her brother Florian Berman, writes from Israel to Marie Bernstein in Kansas City:
Jaffa, the 31st March, 1952
Dear cousin Mary,
I would like to let you know that I have received the parcel-gift, which you sent to Finetta and Franklin [Mariana's children], and we were very moved by your jest [gesture] as we like very much to hear only good news from you. But we haven't dare to think a minute to get gifts from your part [for you].
The costumes [clothing] sent by you are on the children like on measure, and Franklin is going all the day around boasting that aunt from America loves him and has sent him a lot of nice and wonderful things.
In our great sorrow with the death of mother [Paulina Landman Berman], which [who] past [passed] away some months ago after a heart atac [attack], your sign came as a light from heaven, and have realised that our relatives, even though they don't know us, have remembered in the eve of Hannukah that we exist and showed us their simpaty [sympathy] to us.
We thanks God, [that we] have enough for a living as my husband [Joseph Greif] works and earns nice. The children are healthy and well grown-up for their ages. Finetta is 14 years and Franklin is 5 and a half. Adrian [Mariana's brother] is now in Paris and is trying to get some work in commerce---import-export, in which trade he is very well known, but has some difficulties as it is hard for foreigners to get the necessary licence for work, and he has only a short-staying visit in France, so that I am worried a little as I don't know how he will be able to manage his affairs.
His address in France is: Mr. Borianu, Adrian c/o Dr. Smilovici, 15 Rue du Landi, St. Onen (Seine), France.
I thank you once more for your nice gift, and I shall be very happy if you will think to pay a visit to Israel and to be our dear guest (HUSEV), as we have a very nice house and enough big to receive beloved guests as you will be.
We end our letter wishing you and yours all the best, health and happiness, and a KOSHERN PESACH.
Love and kisses to you and yours,
Mariana and family, and Florian
Adina and Florian Berman (wife and husband) write from Israel to thank Marie Bernstein for the blanket she sent:
25, March 1953
Our dear cousin Mary,
We received your beautiful present and you can't imagine how we enjoyed [receiving it]. The blanket is really wonderful and we was really affected. We waited for a letter [from you], but she didn't come so that I decided to make you one and to thank you very much for the present.
Dear cousin, we would like to know more about you and your family and to have some photos and also to be in correspondence with everyone, it will be a real pleasure for us.
Many tourists are coming in Israel from U.S.A. If once you will have the opportunity to come in Israel it will be nice to know you and to have our guest.
Israel is a very nice country, specially for tourists. For us the life is not easy and we must fight very hard with the life, but we are happy to be in our country.
Dear cousin, we will wait to have news from you and we will send in the next letter photos from us. Till then we thank you again from the nice present and we are wishing to you all the best wishes with luck, health and happiness.
For the rest of our family we are sending for everyone our best regards.
With love and affection,
Adina & Florian [Berman]
Mariana Berman Greif, again writing from Israel, asks Marie Bernstein to send money to her sister, Rebecca Teitler, in Romania so that she can buy medicine on the black market for her sick daughter:
Jaffa, the 7th September, 1953
First of all I would like to ask [you] to excuse myself for not writing to you [for] such a long time. The real reason is that I am all the time very upset due to the fact the daughter of my sister who is still in Roumania is sick and needs help. Unfortunately, from [for] her nothing can be send [sent], as the Roumanian commist [communist] authorities don't allow to their people to accept parcels. But I have a great request to make to you and really I have not the courage to write it to you.
People say that from the U.S.A. dollars can be send [sent] to relatives in Roumania as gifts-help, through the National Bank of R.P.R. (Roumania) and which bank changes the dollars to Roumanian currency. So if you have really the possibility and can do it, please send some money on [to] my sister's address: REBECA TEITLER, Strada Cuza Voda No. 63, ROMAN, REPUBLICA POPULARA ROMANA. Send how much you can afford as they need medicines which can be bought only at the black market there and very expensive.
I beg you very much not to be angry for asking you such a thing and excuse my request, but it seems that this is the only possibility to help them. We help with what we can, but we are here [in Israel] only three years time and our possibilities are reduced because we had to take a house to live and payd [paid] key money; and make [have] expenses with the children's education at the school. For your kindness and help, we are ready to do what you wish and are at your disposal with whatever you wish to have from Israel.
Here is all in order. The children and we are healthy, but the earnings are small, but as we have very small pretentions [expectations?], we can make ends [meet] and aren't descouraged [discouraged] with the hard economical situation.
With the occasion of the new year and Rosh Hashana holiday, we wish you all a happy and prosperous new year with all the best, health and happiness.
Mariana Greif & Florian [Berman]
Mariana Berman Greif writes in rather broken English from Israel to thank Marie Bernstein for the parcel she sent:
Jaffa, the 24th March, 1954
We have received your parcel, which you so kindly sent, and we had great pleasure [from it], everyone in part had his pleasure for that. First of all, Franklin with his guns was so proud that he didn't know what to do with them and how to run along; the same it was with the baloon-side [?], when he told everyone wanted to hear, that it is a flyier coat, and as he wants to be an engineer, an aviation one, you can only imagine what a proudness of him. But as he is yet only 7 years old, it will take a little time until he will become an aviation-engineer.
The same Finel [Finetta] with her rain-coat and the beautiful hat, and as the green colour likes her very much, you can only imagine how gay and happy she is. We, grown up people, have been also please with the stockings and other good things and with all the good things you sent. To tell you the truth, it is very pleasant when you get a parcel, unexpected, it is like when you get a gift from Nicolas, at Noel time, by the Christians.
Dear ours, we would like very much to have the possibilities to send you some gifts from Israel, as there are a lot of beautiful things here, but with great regret we tell you that we cannot afford that now as there is very great economical crisis in the country, and with great difficulties we are able to earn enough for the daily basket of food, and plus we have to keep Finel in college, which is here a great luxury now.
So I thank you very much for the pleasure you had done to us with the gifts, and can only say that the contains of the parcel show that you are people with fine taste and lovers of beauty. All was so nice and good.
There isn't so much work [here]. My husband works outside and I do my work [at] home, it is a little hard but it goes. If you want to look up, of course we feel bad, but as we look down, we realise that it is worser and we say, as it is said here "Baruch Shem" (Thanks God).
Dears, we will be only happy to get often news from you, good ones, and make us acquaintance with every member of the family as to know what realtives [relatives] we have. From your writting, we know only Mary [Marie], whom we imagine a lady, a good one, educated, a lady from whom you can be only pleased to get mail. So we await a photo from you all, as to know you as you like [what you look like].
I end this letter, awaiting good news from all of you, and wish to all of you, all the best, health and happiness.
Experienced amateur genealogist Martin Fischer is available to conduct freelance family history projects including searching online databases, creating family trees, editing memoirs and developing genealogical Web sites. For more information, go to http://www.the-efa.org/, click on find a freelancer, and type Martin Fischer in the search box, or go to http://www.apgen.org/, click on search by name, and type Fischer and Martin in the search boxes.