Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Glimpse Into Post-WWI Turmoil

I mentioned in a previous post about how my father's first cousins recalled that we are somehow related to Simon Mitchneck.  In researching Simon and his family, I found many documents, including an application for a US passport submitted by Simon in 1920.  Enclosed in that application was the translation of a letter from his sister Dora.  This letter gives great insight into the hardships that people had at the close of World War I.  This letter was written from what is now Torczyn, Volhynia, Ukraine but which was (at the time the letter was written) part of the newly-formed Wolyn, Poland.
1919 Letter from Dora Mitchneck, Page 1

[Translation of letter received from Poland]

December 6, 1919

My Dear Brothers David, Samuel, Harry, Simon Mitchneck.
May you all fare well.

I wish to inform you that we are well, thank the L-rd.  May he grant that we hear good news from you.  Dear ones, we don't know what to think of our failure to receive any letters from you.  It is already six weeks since we received from you three letters, and no more since.  I beg of you do not spare paper and write more often.  If you only knew what joy your letters bring us, you would write every day.  But I don't know, perhaps you do write but the letters are detained on the way.  We beg of you to let us know how you are getting along, how you live, how your health is, how your businesses are going, how your wives and children are getting along--in short, please tell us about everything.  We are interested to know everything how you are and how you have been...  At all events, we think of you always.  Please, when you receive this letter, answer at once and please write about everything in detail, and write much, so we may have what to read.
1919 Letter from Dora Mitchneck, Page 2

I can inform you that next week, on Friday December 12th, Toba's wedding will take place.  And we invite you to come without fail.  We are inclosing (sic) in this letter invitations; perhaps you will still be able to get here in time.  Oh! dear ones, I shed many tears in writing this letter, when I think of how we lived before and how we are living now, and what has become of us.  Sheintza is in Odessa ill, and we do not know in what condition she is now.  We hear nothing from her.  We think of her day and night, but that avails us nothing.  And Mayer, too, is in bad health now.  There is no cure for him.  I cannot describe our plight, what we suffer on account of these two children.  We no longer are able to bear so much.  We have not had so much good as misery through which we have passed.  I regret that the years of youth are flying without joy.  But what can we do?  Everything is from G-d.

There is little other news.  Father and Joseph are working together, and thank the L-rd they earn a little.  No more to write.  Good health to you all.  We send our best regards to you all.  Best regards to your wives and children.  Best regards from our family.

Your sister Dora Mitchneck

Kindly answer at once.  The money you sent us we have not yet received.  Many people have already received money, but not we as yet.  We don't know what is the metter (sic).  When we get the money, we will answer at once.  Good luck to you.  Give the letter to Mendel Padebock.  Ask him why he doesn't write to his sisters.  In case you know where Burich Klainer lives, tell him to write to his wife Baila.  Her life is so wretched that may the L-rd forbid.  She has not yet heard anything from him.


(If you'll be at Jamboree this week, I'm speaking Thursday at 5PM.  Come listen and then say hi!)

Note:  I'm on Twitter.  Follow me (@larasgenealogy).

Want to get future blog posts emailed to you automatically?
Enter your email address:

No comments:

Post a Comment