January 1941 (?)1


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


Mathilde/Manzie E. Eckstein

Kreindel/Karla E. Jellinek (daughter of ME) (see Karl Jellinek's bio)
                         [New York City]
Mathilde/Manzie, having just learned of the death of her infant grandson/her daughter, Kreindel/Karla’s son, expresses her deep sympathy, empathy, love and compassion, as well as motherly urging for her daughter to remain courageous and strong. Regarding her own escape from the Nazis and reunification in the US, Mathilde reveals only her intense, but patient hope and longing, along with her impatience with learning English. Finally, Mathilde reports on key family members’ changed living arrangements.

                                                                                                                   (View German transcription)

Dear Karla,

Only now was I informed of the terrible news about the child; my sympathy and pain knows no bounds. Yet, dear Karla and dear Karl, do it for me and for yourselves in the time to come [lit.: in your further life]: have courage and bravely bear your fate.


This is not the first time this happened; I also experienced something similar and I know the pain, but God gives the strength and mankind has the strength to overcome such a test. – You two need to make life happy for each other and find consolation and joy in the precious child Michi,2 and God will help. Yes, I cry because I can’t console you personally. Everything in life is destined; I was glad – Klara will represent me, [albeit] unfortunately. I beg you, dear Karla, be courageous; you always were; I was always courageous too; only in this way can one stay healthy. You have great obligations as a mother to your child and to your faithful husband. You can’t imagine my dear ones, how much I would like to help you; for now, we have to wait until we can be united.


I am healthy, thank God. I am learning a bit of English, although I don’t have much patience. If I only knew that both of you are healthy [and] brave, I believe work provides distraction, and also with Miki […?]3




[next page]




[...?]4 Poldi live with me, which is [very ?] pleasant; the parents are going to be in a home,5 but in separate apartments. Poldi wants to live alone. The parents will probably live well enough [?] in the city when they arrive at the home. Then, both Ehrlichs should be cheerful and well-off, thank God. [I] have sent the papers to my [or “our” ?] cousin. Nothing new otherwise, except that I kiss all of you lovingly, and please take care of yourselves.






This postcard has an imprinted “Deutsches Reich” [The German

Empire] postage stamp, as well as parts of two round cancellation

stamps and an airmail [LUFTPOST] sticker. The word “WIEN”

[Vienna] can be made out in the round cancellation stamp in the

upper right corner of the address section.


The postcard is addressed to:


Mrs. Carla Jellinek

580 W. 161 Street


New York

Nord - Amerika [North America]


The Absender [sender] is:


[Mutti?] Sara Brauer6

Wien II [Vienna, District II],

Czerning. 9/27 [9 Czerning Street, apartment 27]

Translated by Anne L. Fox, edited by Brian Buuck.


1. The estimated date for this postcard is January 1941. We estimate January 1941 because of the following content:
a.) Bernhard Jellinek died in September 1940 in New York City.
b.) Mathilde writes that Siegmund and Berta S. Jellinek are going to enter an [Old-Age] Home, which we know from Gisela Jellinek Schlesinger’s statement in the estimated early June 1941 letter, occurred in the first days of February 1941.
c.) Mathilde writes that Poldi (and Gisela, see footnote 4) are living with her, and we know from official Vienna residence registrations that Poldi and Gisela moved in with Mathilde near the end of December 1940.

2. “Michi” and “Miki”, as the nickname is spelled at the bottom of this page, both refer to Michaela, who was Karl and Karla’s first child, born in Vienna in August 1937.

3. Original paper torn off here in end of lowest line in lower right corner of page.

4. Same tear off of the paper renders the first words of the first four lines on this side of the postcard partially or wholly missing. However, we can assume that Mathilde began this side of the postcard with “Gisela and Poldi live with me...“ [italics added], because we know from Gisela Jellinek Schlesinger and her husband, Leopold (nicknamed “Poldi”) Schlesinger’s official Meldezettels [Viennese residence registrations] that the couple moved into Mathilde Eckstein’s Vienna apartment on December 20, 1940. Gisela J. S.’s  statement about living with Mathilde in the June 1941 letter to her niece, Gisella Nadja Jellinek, confirms this joint living arrangement.

5. Old-Age Home.

6. The extant letters next to this torn-off upper corner of the postcard appear to be “tti,” the final letters of “Muttti” [Momma]. Additional evidence for the incomplete word being “Mutti” is that Mathilde’s handwriting would have allowed her to physically fit “Mu,” the first letters of “Mutti,” into the small space of this torn-off corner. The Nazi regime mandated the use of “Sara” to replace or add to each Jewish woman’s first name, especially if the original given name did not sound “sufficiently Jewish.” Mathilde may have written the last name of “Brauer” here in order to disguise her identity, and/or perhaps a “Mrs. Brauer” owned the building in which Mathilde’s apartment was located.

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