Dedication | Introduction | History | The Voices | The Correspondence | Conclusion

May 20, 1940
Vilna, Poland [now Vilnius, Lithuania]

Dear Sasha:

Today we received letters from April 22nd and April 28th, and also from May 5th. On May 18th we sent you the eleventh package. You have written that you received the eighth parcel. Hopefully, you will get them all, and you will like them. However, they don't permit us to send tobacco anymore. We are working now on your citizenship. Papa has already gotten his. Now Mother, Doba and you will be getting your citizenships.

Mother is working to get you released. Almost every day she goes to the offices about your case. I think that next week your citizenship papers will be ready at the Foreign Ministry in Kovno. So, we hope that the time will come soon when you will come home. You should just be healthy and happy. Work because "Arbeit macht das leben suess" ["Work makes life sweet" German expression ironically similar to "Arbeit Macht Frei" "Work leads to Freedom" which was displayed at Auschwitz, Dachau and other concentration camps]. And I hope that everything will be fine, and we will drink a schnapps together.

Dear Sasha, with you there is an Isaak Schmidt from Lida. Once upon a time he had written a letter to a friend named Golowaty. His parents live in our house. That friend is in a Russian prisoner of war camp. His parents are poor people, so your mother and I took the initiative and we sent a package to Schmidt. Tomorrow, we will send him another package. Already, his mother has everything ready, and we will send it. We will try to keep him in mind and to send him packages in the future. I think you probably know Schmidt. He is in your camp Number 45452.

About Rachel, you know she had a daughter. We have written you about it. Yes, dear Sasha, it is true what you are writing, that your mother gave you a good upbringing both physically and mentally. But it is good that you acknowledge it and that you cherish it. Your mother is very happy hearing about it. Also, your Father anxiously waits to receive your letters, and the happiness that it gives them, your letters and your good humor.

Dear Sasha, please answer my letters, and write me specifically about whether you received the letter which I sent without stamps. You are writing that our letters will be a keepsake for you. They will be interesting to read again when you come home. What should I write you more about? I would like to write you a lot so that you would have things to read. It doesn't matter if what I write is interesting or not. But there is nothing to write about. And I don't have any patience anymore to write such long letters. Lately, I have had stomach pains, and they don't give me a moment's peace. In general, there is no news in Vilna, and nothing interesting. The weather is good. It is warm, and the city is springlike. Hopefully, it won't be long and you will see everything for yourself. Your parents and the whole family send their love.

Be well. Your cousin, Meier.