Migration, Memory & Memorial


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friday december 27, 1912


The Yorkshire Evening post gives the views of several leading men in the religious and civic life of Leeds on the recommendations of the Divorce Commission. The Jewish view was given by the Rev. M. Abrahams, B.A., who said that he welcomed the extension of the grounds of divorce suggested by the Majority Report. He expressed the view, however, that an important omission had been made, from the Jewish point of view, which was that the true object of divorce was to secure marital happiness. “Where it is absolutely certain that there is incompatibility of temper between man and wife that should also be sufficient grounds for divorce,” he declared. It ought not to be necessary that man and wife should afflict and attack each other in order to secure a divorce. The same thought applied to the present divorce laws, which, he maintained, were conducive to adultery. “We think,” Mr. Abrahams said, “that the law as it stands is a great hardship, not only in regard to the inequality of the sexes, but in confining the grounds of divorce to adultery.” He thought the institution of district courts, as suggested, would prove of much value; but in all cases should be made difficult of acquirement. Particularly should this apply to a case in which the husband was the petitioner, for, according to the constitution of modern society, a woman cast adrift had a much sterner struggle for existence than a man in similar circumstances.



In view of the coming conference in London between representatives of the powers in the interests of peace between Turkey and the Balkan States, this letter was sent yesterday to Philander C. Knox, Secretary of State:

Federation of Jewish Organisations,
New York, Dec. 8, 1912.

Hon. Philander C. Knox, Secretary of State, Washington, D. C.
Dear Sir: Our country has many interests in the Orient and there is no doubt that at the forthcoming conference in London, which will treat on the question of peace between Turkey and the Balkan States, our Ambassador will take an active part.

It is our earnest hope, that, as representative of the freest and most tolerant country, our Ambassador will insist on securing the various races and denominations living in the Balkan Peninsular, equal rights and privileges.

There is nothing to be said against Turkey, Servia, and Bulgaria, all of which practice tolerance. It is only Rumania, which, in spite of the formal pledge in the Treaty of Berlin, has not only denied to the Jews the rights of citizenship, but has systematically been persecuting them.

Thanking you for your consideration, I am,

Very truly yours,

NISSIM BEHAR, Managing Director.



Photograph Of Novelist’s Daughter Evokes Criticism In London.

Special Cable To The New York Times.

LONDON, Dec. 21. – Mrs. Elinor Glyn’s daughter is having a moment of celebrity. She has been photographed as the “Madonna Annunciata,” and the picture is on view in an establishment in Bond Street.

Quite a little controversy is raging as to the decorum off the photograph, and in some quarters it is attacked as a startling example of what young girls in society are coming to.


24th January 1912, Paris

To the Rachel’s family in New York from Abraham. Written in Yiddish.

Dear Brother-in-law and also my much-loved Father-in-law and Mother-in-law,

We have received your letter, and we are very happy to hear that you are in excellent health. That is the most important thing in life.

You, dear brother-in-law, berate me for not writing to you very much and sending you a postcard instead of a letter when I do write. My father-in-law and mother-in-law also find little to read in my letters. I am pleased about this, because it shows that you want to receive letters from me and want to talk to me. When I send you a post card instead of a letter, it is not because I do not want to talk to you and want to get the business of writing to you over as quickly as possible, as you complain, but because I have little time for letter-writing and also little to write about.

I am certain that the most important thing about us that can interest you, father-in-law and mother-in-law, is to know where we go, and that we are well and making a living, as well as a few details about our everyday life. Well, that is what I tell you about every time I write to you. The only thing is, that it is easy to put it all onto a postcard, and our life, like other kinds of life, is arranged in such a way that it never changes. You go to work in the morning, work all day, come home at night, have a meal, read a little if you are not tired, and then go to bed. In the morning, you get up and the same routine as yesterday starts all over again. Day follows day, and week follows week, without any change at all in our lives. That is why I cannot find anything to write to you about, because I do not find it necessary to write and tell you the same as I told you in the previous card. You are right when you say that it is always possible to find something to write about. We do not have to write about ourselves all the time; we can also write about others, and there is always more to write about them than about ourselves because, if we do not want to write something about ourselves, we write it about them. But this raises another question—who else can be of interest to you, so that my letters do not bore you? It happens sometimes that you are talking about somebody, and the person you are talking to says: “Why are you bothering me with all this? What interest is he to me?” I am quite sure that, if I were to tell my mother-in-law about Paul Lafargue it would not interest her very much, and she would be quite happy if I stopped and began telling her about Chaike, about Sorke, about Moishe, about Baruch instead—people she knows—while you, dear father-in-law, would prefer it if I talked about Lafargue rather than all the others.

Post stamped 6th September 1912, North Kensington

To Abraham from Perel. Written in English.

Dear Brother,

We are all quite well hoping you are all the same. We have no news to write you about ourselves but we will tell you about Jack. We are pleased to say his wife is confined with a sweet little girl. Let us know if you are all quite well and how is business. We all send you many wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year. Mother sends her very best wishes and wishes you all good luck for the New Year. Now dear uncle I am writing to you to let you know that I have sent you my photo with my fiancé. You will receive it almost immediately after this. We send our very best love and happy New Year.

10th September 1912

To Abraham from Annie S. nee Annie L. Written in English.

106 Lolesworth Bldg’s
Commercial Street
London E.

Dear Abraham,

No doubt you will be surprised to hear from me after so long a time and I cannot express to you how delighted I am to have this great pleasure of writing to you. I can now inform you that I saw your photos at your nieces place and I think you all look very nice, as for dear Jack I think he has grown a beautiful boy and hope I will have the pleasure of seeing him in person. He will always have a welcome in my house when he can come to London. Dear Abraham, how are you getting on in our health and also how is trade in Paris and what is Jack doing. Does he still go to school? He looks a very clever boy in the photos and I suppose he is one. I hope he will write all about himself. Dear Abraham, I will be greatly obliged to you if you would send me your photo as I would like to have them very much.

Now from myself I can tell you that I am married to a very nice fellow. He is an English man and he has got very nice people in London. He is a cabinet maker by trade this year it has been very bad because they have been striking in his trade. I have a very nice home. We have been married close on two years but we have not got any little ones yet. I am very happy. I would send you a photo of my husband and myself but I don’t know if you would care to have it. I would also send you Lizzie’s photo. She is has grown a very beautiful girl and is also very clever at school. I have no other news particular to write to you only that my mother does not live in the Buildings. She has got a shop and my sister Golda has left school now and goes out to work and she gets nicer every day. I have only just home from my holidays from Eastbourne and had a very nice time there. I must conclude now with fondest love to dear Jack and yourself in which my mother, husband and sister join. Hoping you are all in the best of good health as it leaves us at present time. With kindest regards to your wife.

Answer at once.

Wishing you and your family a very happy and prosperous New Year.

I am your, Annie L., Annie S.

20th September 1912, Paris

To Annie S. from Abraham. Written in English.

Dear Anny

I was realy surprised in receiving a letter from you. I thought you will never write to me again because it was me how wrote to you the last letter and you never answerd me. Now you say you hav a great pleasure of writing to me. I believe you, but who is it who deprived you of writing to me before. I would always answer you. I am not so foolish to fined you guilty in what has happend to me. Now I am very glad that you made up your mined to write to me. I am very very glad you mey believe me to hear that you are married and you are happy in your family life that you have got a nice husband of which you are satisfied. This is the most important thing in a family life. It is not only money how makes the life happy. Of course it helps to it, but the real happines in a family is when we love each other and agree with each other. When we have not in our house that ugly and dreadful thing which makes our heart burning which makes us suffering which makes our dreams awful. That is jealousy. Avoid it! Avoid the cause which brings that terrible malady which brings destruction in the family life and go in always to please each other and you will be happy for ever. I thank you very much for the few words you wrote to me about Liza my dear little Liza! Not for a moment she comes out of my mined. Every little girl in her I meet in the street playing, dansing, jumping, as she used to do makes me think of her, and I feel something inside of my body tuches me and it pains me. How I am longing to see her, and I hope to see her.

Now you ask me about me how I am going on. I thank you very much for your attention about me. I must tell you that I am very well now and am quite happy. I am working always and earn enough to make a nice living. When I come home I fined a son of which I have much pleasure. He is a very respectable a very intilligent boy. He has finished the school two years ago but I put him in another school a commercial school where he learned book keeping, short hand and the german and english languiges now he has finished the school with the first prise and a silver medal. He got also a bank book of 20 francs as recompense and a diploma of book keeping. He can go in in every house as book keeper.

He was invited already in a great house as book keeper, but I wanted to let him have his ‘vacances’ before and I did not sent him yeat. When I come home from work I fined also a wife full of goodness of love and faithfulness. When I speak of her I must tell you whithout doing it purposly that rarely you can fined a woman whith such a good caracter, such industrious and lovely. It was she who saved me. She came to me just in time when I was in the most critical situation. When I looked for the death as a delivery of my sufferings I thought my house broken for ever but she restored it again. Jackey found in her a good-hearted mother. She cared for him, she washed him, she cleaned him as he was a baby of 2 years, and even till now she washes his head, his feet, she cleans his tooth she adores him, never a mother has adored more her own child. I must repet it to you I am very happy in my family life!

Now I think it is time to finish my letter because I am already tired of writting and you will be tired of reading. You can guess that the two photos I send you is one of my son Jackey and one of myself and my wife. I don’t think you find it immodestey of my part to send you the photo of my wife I have not got one of mine separately I hope you will respect her if you respect me. Now in exchange I would like to have the photo of yourself and your husband. I would like very much to see how you look now. And the photo of Liza? I hope you will keep your promise and you will send it to me directly because I am impatient to have it. I would send his photo to Dora in exchange of Liza’s but I don’t know her adress.


14th October 1912

To Abraham from Annie S. Written in English.

106 Lolesworth Buldings ,
Commercial Street,
Thrawl St.
London E.

Dear Abraham,

Many thanks for your very nice letter and also for photos with which I was more than delighted with. I really cannot write enough about them. How you all look so very nice and I am very pleased with them.

Dear Abraham, You must excuse me not answering at once but to tell you the truth I had to have my photos taken to send to you that is the reason for keeping you waiting so you must forgive me. Dear Abraham, I am also enclosing your Lizzie photo which was taken about eight months ago but you can see what a pretty girl she is.


Dear Abraham, I don’t think it at all dishonest on your part to send me your wife’s photo and of course I shall respect it, was very glad to read that she is so very good to Jacky. I thank her for it. We are also pleased to hear that you are making a nice living.

Dear Abraham I was also pleased to read that perhaps you might send Jacky to London for Easter, we shall all be more than pleased to see him and he shall have a very nice welcome at my house whenever he cares to come, or yourself. Will you ask him to please write me a few lines. It will give me much pleasure to hear from him. I have no other news in particular to write you only that my mother was overjoyed to see Jacky photo and she hopes to see him soon. My mother will send you a photo of Golda and herself very soon. Mother and Golda send their fondest regards to you all. My husband also sends his best regards to you all and wishes you all good luck. I myself send my best love to Jacky and kiss him from far. I also send my very best regards to your wife and yourself and thank her for her regards to me. Wishing you all that you wish yourself and will you please answer at once.

I am yours sincerely,

Annie S.

Undated [Probably end 1912]

To Abraham from Dora. Written in Yiddish.


When you see that this is a letter of mine, it may well be that you will not want to read it at all, so I tell you that if you do not you will have regret, in exactly the same way as with many other things which have led to a lot of pain for you and others. I had already firmly made up my mind not to write to you anymore, although I had heard that you were doing well and were very happy with your second wife, something which makes me glad with all my heart. I think that, for that alone, I am already entitled to a letter from Jacques but, knowing you, I also know that, with you, two eyes are better than one eye with somebody else. I would not have written to you anymore but, at this very moment, I have a very serious reason for doing so. This is not for my sake, but for Lisa’s sake. Were it not for her sake, you would certainly never have heard my name again. After all, you were the innocent victim, weren’t you, poor thing? And you have remained the one who is in the right, haven’t you? Everything is over between the two of us, but we must not harm the children. Perhaps one will need the other in life precisely in this way.

And the reason is really this! This is the end of my good life with you. You should not think that I blame you too much, because it did not happen by itself. It is precisely the sad truth that, as the result of so much suffering, I stored up such an illness for myself that I am now in a very bad, way. Everything is lost. When I came out of hospital, I felt that I did not have long. This posed the question, with whom should I put up Lisa? Obviously, was not thinking about the material aspect of the question, because she would perhaps be better provided for than with you, but if there is no question that you would lose all your rights. It is up to you to show some action. I am not asking you now for anything other than that you should let Jack write to me. If he writes to me that he does not want to know anything about me and does not want to correspond with me, it will not matter to me that you have put such hatred into his heart. The situation will be hopeless; you will have won. And I promise you that Lisa will write to you as often as you wish. She is already a child who understands. You may still think that she should acknowledge you as her father but, for this, you must not tell Jack what to write. Let him write whatever he likes. Do not make a gramophone out of him. Another thing, I want to have her photograph taken in four days’ time and, if I receive a reply to my letter, I will send you her photos. On the other hand, if I do not, then you will lose her, too, in the same way as you lost me, but the difference is this—a man can find a second wife, but a child is unique and cannot be replaced by another child. I think that you also understand that you have extinguished all feeling for his mother in Jacque, which he had to sacrifice for his father, because I did not want to take away from his father that which he held dear, although I could have done so as easily as I took Lisa. If it will not cause Jacques pain, you can tell him the truth about my health. If you do not tell him, then let him be unaware. He will have plenty of time to find out. I will not write to him at all unless he himself writes to me. If he does not write, it will also not matter to me, because I will not suffer as much as I have suffered in the past, in any case. For you, though, it may well be an important matter, and it will already be too late to put it right.


This is my address:
Mrs F.
1341 Brook Avenue
The Bronx
New York

Undated [probably 1912]

To Abraham from Annie S. Written in English.

Dear Abraham,

I received your card and also a letter from Dora. She writes that she has been very ill and has just come out of the hospital and is still very weak. She is now living at
1015 Grote Street, Bronx, N .York.

Dear Abraham write and let us know how you are all getting on and I would like to no if you are going to send Jacky to London for Easter, as I am longing to see him and will have a great welcome if he does come. I am taking a shop at 11 Abbey Street, Bermondsey, London on the 6 March. Hoping you are all quite well as it leaves us all at present. My fondest regards to you all in which they all join at home.

Yours sincerely,

Annie S.

11th November 1912, Paris

From Abraham to Dora. Written in Yiddish.


I have received your letter, and you can believe me when I tell you that I was extremely upset when I read about your state of health. I wrote to you in my last letter that only two things could save you from me: either I would never have the opportunity to see you again, or else I would forget what happened and begin to think other thoughts. At that time, I really sought your misfortune, but now I don’t anymore. I have forgotten what happened, and I wish you good health and happiness with all my heart. I consider the past to be like a frightful nightmare which is already over, and if there were not still a few reasons for remembering the said past, I would have forgotten it completely. I can compare my former torment to rheumatism. When good weather comes and the pain stops, you seem to be completely cured, but when the weather becomes bad again and affects the nervous system, the pain returns, you realise that you are not cured and have not got rid of the rheumatism.

Your latest letter affected me in the same place as I used to feel pain, although less than before. Nevertheless, it still affected me enough to make me suffer. You write that the upshot of your good life with me has been illness and bad health. It seems that you want to blame me for everything that has happened to you. Things will soon reach a stage where, if you are out walking in the street and get bitten by a dog, you will say that I am to blame. Actually, of course, if you had not had me for a husband, you would not have had to leave for America and then the dog would not have bitten you.

I am not going to answer you, because I do not want to scratch my wound and make it even more painful. If it begins to hurt me, I shall have to do with this letter exactly what I have already done with several letters I have written to you in the past, tear them up and throw them into the dustbin. I must only tell you that I believe that you are certainly suffering from a confinement and your state of health has nothing to do with the life you led several years ago.

I must also tell you that you are greatly mistaken if you think that I have imbued Jacques with hatred for you. I swear to you that I have never said a bad word about you, and I have either read him or given him to read himself, every letter that has come since you went away. If there has been no reply, it is because I was still labouring under the dreadful feeling of hatred and revenge. I have also read the present letter to him, and if he replies to you, you can be certain that I shall not even read what he writes. He can write you whatever he likes. I shall certainly not tell him what to write. With regard to Jacques, I can also tell you that he has become a big young man. He is already taller than I am and is very good-looking. He finished school two years ago, but I enrolled him in a bigger school, where he was taught English, German and bookkeeping. He finished that school, too, a few months ago, and gained a certificate in commercial studies, a silver medal and a bank book with 20 francs in it. I have put him into a big accounting firm. He is not earning much yet 40 francs a month but the hope is that he will mature into a decent person there. I sent his photograph to Annie and I believe that she sent it on to you, so there is no need for me to send you another one, and I shall send Anna a different one.

Now the question of Lisa arises. You have not written anything about her in your letter. Your heart would not let you write and tell me what she is doing. Annie sent me her photograph. She is pretty and has also grown, and she looks refined. Let her write to me herself and, if you have had her photograph taken, please send me one. I do not want to believe that you are so terrible.

Undated [probably 1912]

To Dora from Jacques. Written in French.

Dear Mother,

I learned from my father that you are sick and was very sad to hear it. You are my mother, after all. You see, you think that I feel some kind of hatred towards you. To hate someone, one must have a reason, I don’t have any. At first, I suffered a lot from being abandoned by you but I didn’t hate you, because I never understood the reason that led you to leave us. Then, (your absence) stopped being painful and, naturally, I had even less reasons to hate you. If I did not reply to the letter you wrote me earlier, it is because I did not want to cause my father any more pain. The letters really upset him. Now, I have the pleasure to inform you that I already finished school and this year, I passed my certificat d’études commerciales and received a silver medal as well as a 20 francs savings account. I learnt English and German in addition to accounting. I write and read both quite well as you can see from the specimens I added to this letter. Read them. Now I have a job as an assistant accountant in a house. I don’t earn a lot of money but I intend to succeed. I am also very happy to tell you that I am still in good health. I am treated well and am not in need of anything. I would like you, dear mother, to write me how you are doing, what type of illness you suffer from and I hope that you are feeling better now. Wishing you a quick recovery, I remain your son.

Jacques B.

Possibly 1912

To Elise from Jacques. Written in French.

To my dear little sister Elise

Always think about your brother who does not forget you

I hope you are well. I kiss you

Your brother


11th December 1912

I hereby certify that Monsieur Jacques B. worked in my house as a warehouse worker employee from October 14th to November 30th 1912 and that he finished this work and is now free of all engagements.

I wish to declare that, while he was an employee, I was always satisfied with his work and his behaviour.

G. Lamieussens

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