January 18, 1941


Author(s) / Origin of Letter
Recipient(s) / Relationship to Author(s) / Destination of Letter


Siegfried Jellinek
                               [Lwów, Poland]
Karl Jellinek (brother of SJ)
                         [New York City, USA]
Deep sympathy and empathy for the death of Karl and Karla’s infant son, Bernhard. Information on longed-for correspondence received (or not) from family.  Entreaties re: Karl’s bringing Siegfried, and/or his wife, Martha, and their son Erich to the US.


                                                    Lwow, January 18th 1941
                  My dearly beloved, precious brother!

                 Yesterday I received dear Gisa's card of November 7th, 1940, telling me that your beloved son Berni has departed to a better place, having spent so little time on earth. I can't describe how hard this news was for me to receive, all the more so because I know with what deep fatherly love you were devoted to your youngest. I can’t help but keep looking at the small picture which was sent to me in May, in which you exude such joy, holding the sweet boy in your arms. Thus I refrain from attempting to extend consolation because words can’t express how I share your feelings. Time heals all wounds and I am convinced that you will overcome this deep sorrow intact. I also have a son, whom I love with all my soul and yet don't know whether I will ever see him again.


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During the time that our dearly beloved parents hoped to enjoy the happiness of their children, fully conscious that they would never see the same again, they had to endure the deep sorrow of parting five times -- and yet they remained strong. And so, you too, my dear Garlo1 must remain strong and accept God's deed as divine providence.

In September of last year I received the last card of July 1st and I couldn’t understand why you hadn’t written me more, although I had written you often. Now I suppose I understand your silence and can only hope that you do not forget me entirely. Gisa is the only one who writes me and even this is seldom. I also receive post now and then from dear Erich, who seems to have turned into a decent and proper young man. I haven't heard anything from dear Max since July; Hugo hasn’t


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written me since September and Anny doesn't write to me at all. If I didn’t have my dear, good woman here,2 who comforts me and to whom I owe so very very much, I don’t know what would have become of me. I thank God for having led me to her and I feel so very safe and secure with her and her family, which knows my every wish before I even speak. Thus, you mustn’t worry about me, it is just having no income nor any work at all that depresses me yet again. But this too can be resolved and my only wish [is] to be able to embrace my old parents and all of my beloved ones one more time. Did the birthday letter I sent to you via Max reach you in time? I am enclosing a small picture from which you can see that I haven’t...

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changed very much. I look good and am completely healthy. Please write me precisely what you are doing and whether it would be possible after all to have Martha and Erich come to you. It would ease a great concern of mine.* Of your Bb.3only Dr. Rechter is here, the others have left to some unknown destination.

Please give Irma and Mo, Frieda and Adolf, as well as Gustl4my warmest regards and tell them that I think of them very often. Mo's letter to my friend Hans, dated April, just arrived now, in December. Selma writes frequently to Hans.

From now on, please write to me at my woman's address:
S. J.5c/o Aks, Lwow,

Sw. Anny 8/3 and be kissed countless times by your ever faithful brother, Friedl6

I send my deepest condolence to dear Karla and I send her heartfelt kisses.

Lots of kisses for Michi!7

*Or maybe it is possible for you to bring me to you and I can request [or "support"] the other two.8 Please write me regarding this!

1 photo!

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Translated by staff of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York


1. Nickname for Karl.

2. Siegfried is probably referring to the same [unnamed] woman who cooked for him and in whose home he found shelter, along with eight comrades, from December 1939 (as Siegfried reported in his December 15, 1939 postcard, and Gisela Jellinek Schlesinger reported in her letter of January 12, 1940). This could also refer to a different woman (with last name Aks), with whom Siegfried found refuge later, but in any case, it cannot refer to Siegfried’s wife, Martha Hirschensohn Jellinek, because Martha was first deported from Vienna in January 1942.

3. Abbreviation for “Bundesbruder,” a fellow member of the Zionist student organization “Lese und-Redehalle jüdischer Hochschüler in Wien.”

4. Irma Schafer Morberger and husband Marcel Morberger, Frieda Schafer Epstein and husband Adolf Epstein, Gustav Jellinek.

5. Siegfriend Jellinek

6. Nickname for Siegfried.

7. Affectionate nickname for Michaela, Karl and Karla’s first child, b. August 1937 in Vienna.

8. Siegfried may have only been asking Karl (again?) for affidavits, with which he thought he could obtain American visas. But because Karl had already sent affidavits and Siegfried had already received those affidavits for his immediate family, in late 1939, Siegfried seems to have, at least, also been asking in a more open-ended way, whether any rescue was still somehow possible and whether there was any way that Karl could still help save his wife and only child, or save him and then he, Siegfried, could save his family.

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