July 30, 1939

Author(s) / Origin of Letter
Recipient(s) / Relationship to Author(s) / Destination of Letter
Hugo Jellinek
Fritzi Fränkel (see Hugo Jellinek's bio)
Anna Luchia Jellinek (Hugo’s youngest daughter)
[Brünn, Czechoslovakia]

Gisella Nadja Jellinek (daughter of HJ and sister of ALJ)
[Rishon Le Zion, British Mandate Palestine]

Hugo expresses his feelings of deep closeness with his eldest daughter Gisella Nadja, and his pride in her heroic participation in the fight for an independent Jewish state. He goes on to describe his happinesss and the reciprocal love with his soon-to-be fiancée, Fritzi Fränkel. He writes that she is wonderful in all respects, including her devotion to Judaism and Zionism, her being the descendant of a renowned Moravian Rabbi, and her compassionate and all-around, superior personal qualities and skills. Hugo also assures Gisella Nadja that Fritzi will be a “wonderful mother” to her, and that Fritzi is already acting motherly towards teenaged Berta and Anny. Anny and Fritzi ’s messages at the end of the letter, confirm Hugo’s belief that Fritzi would have been a wise and loving mother to Hugo’s three young daughters.


(View German transcription)

My deeply loved Birthday child! Brünn, July 30, 1939

You must know and certainly feel always that my soul is with you. And today, on my happiest day I press you to my yearning heart. Hopefully you are happy, healthy and content with the heavy burden that you voluntarily and heroically undertook. I am very proud of you, my ideal Zionist fighter, and if a great part of our female youth were like you, our people would not have to be afraid about their future. . . .

But not only I, alone, am proud and happy with such a wonderful and precious child, but also your future Mama. I have already mentioned that I dearly love Mrs. Fritzi Fränkel, and have found deep reciprocation. In my next letter I will tell you everything precisely, and also send a picture. Today, I would like to tell you only briefly, that I couldn’t have made a better choice. Her grandparents were the children of the well-known District Rabbis of Moravia, Markus Gansl,1 and my bride is also a genuine Jewess and Zionist. But she is also a noble, proud and intelligent Jewess; that sums it up. Apart from that, my intended is a superior, extremely capable homemaker, a first-class hostess and seamstress, stylish person, business woman, extremely diligent and despite all these virtues and many others, a modest and utterly discerning woman. This wonderful Jewess has already achieved a lot for unhappy brothers and sisters and unfortunately has also suffered a lot after her fine husband faded away and died at the prime of life. For three years she has been the poor widow, after she sacrificed day and night for a half year before, to nurse her unfortunate husband. She also lost her lovely sister at an early age. My Fritzi is also an exceptional child for her aged and

Page 2.

brave parents. You can be convinced that my wife will be a wonderful mother for all of you. Already now, my children are her children. A pity that Bertuschka is a bit fresh and undisciplined with her. But I hope that in time, she also will be sensible and realize and appreciate such unusual luck to call such a noble and unselfish person, mother. You will surely understand that, and our charming Lussinka2 also knows to appreciate it. I hope this news will make you happy and especially since your father, your true and ever-loving friend and father, has become so happy. -----Many very enduring kisses from

your Papsi!

My dear grown-up little girl! I am taking the opportunity today to wish you happy birthday [ahead of time] from the bottom of my heart, as I also approach you as your mama-to-be.” I hope that sooner or later we will have the chance to get to know each other personally. In the meantime, we have to be satisfied with your brief enclosed letters, that I read with great interest. Stay healthy, dear child; write to us soon in detail. With fervent greetings and kisses

Your Brünner Mama

P.S. I must tell you that whatever Papa said is absolutely true.3 I am completely of the same opinion. The dear Mama is a charming lady!

1000 kisses

Your sister Anny

(View German transcription)


Translation by Anne L. Fox, edited by Brian Middleton and P. Jellinek.


1. There are some questions re: the translation and meaning of this statement about Fritzi’s great-grandparents: Hugo referred to only one District Rabbi, “Markus Gansl,” however, the transcriber and translator interpreted Hugo’s writing here as “Landesrabbiners” - District Rabbis. On the other hand, if the word Hugo wrote was the singular “Landesrabbiner,” how could both of Fritzi’s grandparents have been his children?

2. One of Hugo’s affectionate nicknames for his youngest daughter, Anny Luchia.

3. Anny switched here from the German language to the Yiddish expression “תורת אמת” - “absolute truth” and she wrote it phonetically in Latin letters as “teures Emes.” These same Yiddish words, referring to the Torah, also mean “the true Law.” We do not know whether Anny learned the origin of this expression from her paternal grandfather, Siegmund Jellinek.