A Letter From the Holocaust

Translated into English by Walter Tessman

Walter Tessman is a Mexican man of German ancestry. A Jewish friend who did not read German asked him to translate a letter that had been handed down her family. Walter found me via An Auschwitz Alphabet and asked me if I knew what Sackenhoym was. I didn't, but found it in my source materials. Sackenhoym was a slave labor camp, which was replaced by a network of labor camps attached to Auschwitz. Towards the end of the war, most of the inmates of these labor camps were murdered in Auschwitz.


My dear Hela:

You can not imagine my happiness because of your writing. You are the only one who is able to understand Erna´s suffering. She is very alone, without anyone to speak a coherent word. She lives with Chasbel and his family, you can imagine her life. Now she hopes for the bitter to stop, otherwise it would be imposible to endure. Yes, my dear, there would be so much to talk about. Why don´t you write to me if you obtained the shoes and the dress. Write to me about Mordele´s gift.

The postal service in Sackenhoym is good. All of the relatives are there. Except for Cyrel. The Gut parents are not there. How are you? How much I have missed you already. Regards I have already given to Maria.

I do not have any more patience to write. I only ask you to mantain yourself well.

You should not cry, you can rely on Erna on this. The sky, the moon and the stars are witnesses. Schmill Chasbel was with Erna and her daughter, he wanted them to go with him, but they did not want it so. He wanted to give them everything. I pity him. He is a noble man. Now be lovingly greeted and kissed. Live well, your Richt.

Liebe Hela!

You can not imagine my joy when reading your letter. You should know how much I miss you. My dear Hella write to me a lot. I will not write much to you. My dear father is in Sackenhoym. He is camp chief. Ber was just here. He greets you and wishes to see you soon. I greet you too, and send you a lot of kissses. Write everything to me.

Deine (unreadeable name)