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Letter #


Raizel Garncarz




First letter after war. Dearest newly found little sister. Describes how the letter came to her, words cannot describe emotions.

Full Translation

Dearest newly found little sister, My hands are trembling. I am jumping around, going crazy: I am delirious. I don’t know where to begin. So my intuition concerning you was correct, after all, and you are alive for us! My mind is frantic, confused. December 6th, 1945 will be a memorable, festive one for us, for today I received a letter from you, my dearest one. I can’t believe my eyes; it happened just as I was feeling abandoned and resigned. Id did not doubt that you were alive, but that you who knows how to manage in life, would not send any news about yourself? Why doesn’t she let us hear from her, I thought to myself. Forgive me Sala for writing so haphazardly. Oh God, what goes on in my mind now! Well, my dear, I read your letter ten times. My tears covered up your words, so others had to help me read them. Regina Drelich read it to me, when I quieted down. I sent you cherished letter to Blima immediately, as we are not together, but she visits me from time to time. By sheer coincidence, we were able to learn of our great joy, that you exist! It so happened that a transport from our sanitorium left for the camp for healthy people. In that transport was a certain Jadzia Landau from Neusalz and, can you imagine, the transport arrived at the same camp where Itka Ginter was staying. As soon as Itka found out from Jadzia that I am here, she immediately sent a letter telling me that you are in Bergen Belson, that she has had a letter from you for two weeks, but kept it, because she did not know where to look for us. A lucky coincidence. Itka, the noble soul that she s, rushed the good news to us immediately. May nothing ever harm her in life, to compensate her for this good deed. Dearest one. As I write, I am already anxious to know when our first letter will reach you. I am happy that you are well, and that you did not wander around. We, on the other hand, lived through a great deal but in spite of everything, we survived somehow. Now I have to double my effort to get well quickly, so that when I am healthy and strong, I could see you, looking well too. Finally, after all our suffering and horrible ordeal, after six years of horror and separation, we should be able to hug you tight, close to our heart. Sala, I do not wish to, and will not write to you about our experiences, because no matter how much I write, it would not measure up to the reality of it all. I want to talk to you, face to face, about everything? When will that be, Sala? Right now, I am sending a request for your passage to Sweden, though I heard that one needs to pursue the matter in Belsen. The first transport, which left already, and the second, which is also supposed to leave soon, are due to arrive here. Speed it up, as much as you can. Don’t delay! I am doing the same. May God help us achieve our great goal. Do not worry about us, the worst is over. I, personally, suffered a lot on account of my health. Now, within the next few weeks, I will leave the hospital as a “convalescent.” I feel well, as does our Blima. Oh, how my mind agitates and how it does not let me rest, as I wonder whether, God forbid, you are hungry. How can we get you over here??? And why did you leave Bergen Belsen. Please remember to write about everything, for it will now be our only consolation. Even while we had no news about you, I kept staring at the door as if I knew for certain that you are here. What is there to say now when we know that we really have you? Everything minute is going to be an eternity. We keep on talking about you all the time. I used to pour out all my suffering and my bitterness in my letters to my girlfriends. I talked about you Sala dear, time and time again. The last letter from Blima was filled with bitterness, but also with consolation. In the letter she wrote that she dreamt about uncle Alter, aunt Edula (?), and their children, and that whenever she dreams about them, she gets good news. And so I hope, writes Blima, something new and good will happen now. Indeed, there was mail from Palestine, a letter from our cousins the Wellners, who also sent us some money, a life saver. I still don’t have cousin Laja Dina’s address, and we get very little mail from the cousins. I don’t know why we always write to themn, but we do. Please do the same. Their address is: Josek Wellner, Tel Aviv, Palestine, Bilu St. 6; Chaim Wellner, Tel Aviv, Jawne St. 29, Palestine. Their brother (Jankiel) Jakub lives at the same address. Also, Mojsze Chaim Garncarz, with his entire family from Italy, is there. He is our cousin and they said that everyone is sending us mail. We are still waiting, and will notify them about you as soon as we get it. W would like to help you, and we must find out if it is possible to send you a package. We do, after all, have some money. What a pity that you are not here. I do believe, that in time we will be together together, because we did find each other. Sala, since I am filing out a petition, I have to supply some personal data. I am writing, so that you know, your date of birth as March 5, 1924, if I remember it correctly. As far as Gucia Gutman is concerned, I don’t know where she is. She took me to the train station before I left for Sweden. She found her brother in Bergen Belsen and apparently remained there. Sala Czarka is also in Sweden, and I will try to find her so I could ask the whereabouts of her Pola. Our Moszek David was in the same camp with her, so maybe we could find out something definite about him through her. I keep asking about everybody. To try and find you, I wrote to Czechoslovakia, to the administration in Sosnowiec, to Stockholm, and to Warsaw, hoping your name were listed somewhere. All to no avail. Then, suddenly, there was news that people are being heard from the Sudenten. My heart pained that there was no trace of you. And here you appeared again on earth’s surface! Hold to it fast, fast, so you could recapture at least a bit of your lost young life. And now Sala….. What are you doing at Frymka R? She had it very well in camp, but didn’t remember that your sisters were there too. But never mind, Salusia. If someone is destined to live, he will extricate himself from the worst situation. And so it is. I will not write any more now, and will end by taking leave of you, dearest, and kiss you 1000 times; your sister, who longs from the depth of her heart to see you and to embrace you. There are also our Blimka’s wishes. I do not want to put off my writing, and that’s why I am doing it right away. I am awaiting an answer from Blimka, to see what she has to say about our good luck. We shall never again lost contact with each other, never! And now Salus, I want to write for you an excerpt of a composition I wrote: Rosh Hoshana! At the mere mention of these words, a shiver runs down my body. It’s enough to look around to hear one’s sighs. Oh New Year, how differently we celebrate you now, than we did in years gone by. Oh cup of bitterness, when will you finally be empty so that you could no longer pour out your bitterness for us? 6 years of pain, suffering and torment, hunger, cold, and heavy labor with no respite. 6 years of struggle between life and death. In the end, we survived. Yes! We survived by some miracle, because the tyrant’s goal was to exterminate us all. This mighty oppressor and cannibal was almost totally successful in his evil undertaking. How many of us were left. We are only a fraction of that great mass of humanity which fell victim to this barbarism. Even the fraction which did remain is not whole, for it is scattered through all the cities of the land. Exhausted from overwork, we find ourselves in hospitals, sanatoriums, and other health facilities. We are all sick. We have no strength left, having lost it suffering under that horrible Satan and his henchmen….. We witnessed the deaths of our loved ones. We wanted to save them, to help them, to hold back the calamity which was approaching with lightning speed. But we were helpless. They were torn from us, half alive, to end their days in the so called hell of the crematoria. That was simply horrible, such unnatural deaths. Now, just at this moment, when they could have lived to enjoy freedom which was granted to us after so much suffering, they are no longer here. We were separated from each other by brutal force. We miss them. We are alone, all alone in this big world. Oh, how deeply wounded we are! Our hearts have scars that will never heal. The trail Hitler left behind through his awful deeds can never be obliterated. Pain, bitterness and sadness which took hold of us, poison our lives. We feel bad and ever so sad. We cannot find a resting place. Today is Bosh Hashana, a day on which a strange inner fear and foreboding envelops us. A day on which even little children feel His greatness. How many memories it awakens in us! There was a harmony in those days, when we were at home. An idyll. The blessings of our parents, our dear ones. But Where are they? Nobody and nothing will ever take their place. Emptiness. Emptiness everywhere. We, who are gathered together from all different cities, lands and nations, united only by our suffering, feel deeply the absence of our dear ones. We do not hear the Kiddush of our fathers who were our pride. We do not see our mothers busily going about providing for our needs. Instead, strangers take care of us, pitying us. Can they provide what we lack? No!!! Even people who feel compassion at our distress, who try to understand us, cannot have a true understanding, because they did not experience our suffering. Only our mothers, who unfortunately left us in such tragic circumstances, could have understood us. Therefore today, on this solemn day, we beg God to restore our destroyed homes, even if only in miniature, for those of us who remained alive, so that we can find each other and thereby relieve our deep pain. Thanks to the untiring work of our “benefactors” I deeply believe that Sweden will succeed in its effort to bring us good results. When all Kindred Souls are united, we will celebrate the memory of Those We Lost. May Their memory be blessed!!!! Our treasure! The end. This is only a fraction of the many thoughts, which came to me as the holidays were approaching. One more thing, Salus. You need to have our correct address, so you could submit it to indicate where we are. Blimka is at: Bagasunds sag Boras vagen TJlricchaum 1916 r. I am at: Beredskaps-Igukruset, Karistad 1322 ur. I don’t know if you need to submit the date of our birth. I am sending out the petition right now, and my eyes are turned toward heaven, hoping that we will succeed in being reunited. Do whatever you can and we shall do the same. I am not really writing with ink, but with my tears. Be vigilant. A transport is to leave Bergen Belsen, be sure to be included, and then we can be together, together. Maybe you should see the Rabbi and he might help you. If I knew his address in Belsen I would write to him. Even if he were a stone I would move him; you will just have to take care of it personally. Surely, he will listen to you. We send you loads of kisses and we await anxiously further news about you. Give our regards to all our acquaintances. I am writing a few words to Zusi, separately. Salus, I am distracted just now, so I will send you our pictures next time. I can hardly wait for an answer from you. In order to read this writing, please place a plain white paper under this letter. I wrote this letter on regular paper at first, but I had to rewrite it so it could travel faster, and that is why the writing is so compressed. Good bye Salus. Live!!!

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