Migration, Memory & Memorial

migration memory memorial


2nd May 1914, Paris

To Abraham from Suzanne Be. Postcard written in French.


Front of Postcard: I am waiting to hear from you with news—S. Be.

Back of Postcard: Just a word to thank you for your postcard. I thought I had been forgotten, this would have surprised me. What are you going to do? Are you coming back? I almost would have wanted that just to see my little Jacques. I think that the work can only be done in Paris now. I work very little too for the moment but it is the same thing every year. What’s the weather like at your place, here it is wonderful and I can assure you that everyone is happy here. All my friendship to both of you and give a kiss for me to Jacques. My sister says hello. S. Be.

25th August 1914

To Abraham and Jacques from Elise. Written in English.

1015 Grote Street, Bronx, New York,

Loving father and brother,

I see that you and Jacques don’t care to know about me. It is about one year that I sent a letter and no one answered. I am very anxious to know about you and Jacques. I guess you will have a hard time in London. Answer immediately and tell me how are you getting on. I would like to know how Jacques is and if he is working. I would like very much to have you and Jacques come to New York. I think you would be better here than in London. Jacques would find a very nice place and make money. If you and Jacques really love me then answer immediately and send me your photo of you and Jack, My best regards and many millions of kisses to both. I hope we shall soon see each other.

I remain you loving daughter and sister


2nd October 1914, Paris.

To Abraham from Herman M. Written in Yiddish.

M. Herman, 5 Company, Reuilly Barracks, Paris

Mr. B., Cornwall Road, Notting Hill, London W1.

Dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law,

Please be informed that we are not angry with you. On the contrary, we thank you for writing to America and we have received three dollars. I do not have any time to write. I am in Paris. I am a soldier in the Reuilly Barracks. We greet and kiss you very lovingly. From us, send a card or a letter to America…

My address is the barracks.


16th October 1914, New York.

To Abraham from Elise. Written in English.

1015 Grote St,
Bronx N. Y.

Loving Father

You can’t imagine how anxious I was to receive a letter from you. I am surprised to hear that you said you sent me several letters. When you really send it I get it. I am glad to hear that you are in good health. I am very sorry that you suffer so much but I am glad you are not in France. It would be better in America. Everything is all right here. Everyone is busy and works. To tell you about myself. I am a big and good girl. I am a good scholar and I skipped a grade.

Everyone likes me. I have no particular news to tell you. I am very sorry that you didn’t send me your photo. I remember you quiet well but I want to have one to see how you are. I didn’t get any at all.

With thousands of kisses.

I remain your loving daughter.

16th October 1914, New York.

To Jacques from Elise. Written in English

1015 Grote St,
Bronx N. Y.

Loving brother,

If you would know how happy you made me with your letter. How anxious I was to know about you. Then you wouldn’t keep me waiting for an answer. You say that you sent me letters but I didn’t receive any. Every time you really send me and I get it. I hope that you will send me more letters that you do and not one in a year. It is a year since I had your last letter.

Dear Brother, you asked me if I still remember you and everything. I remember everything quite well and my brother that use to love his mother and now I can see in your letter that you don’t care a bit for our dear mother. You don’t know what a good mother we have. She gives me everything I want and how she loves you. She always speaks of you and worries about you. I was surprised that you didn’t even send her one word. Mother is sick. The doctors say that she needs an operation. They say it is cancer. It nearly breaks my heart to hear that you didn’t want to come to America. I don’t see why. It is a nice country. I reckon never to go to London. I intend to stay with mother always. It is better to be in America than London and France. I can’t tell you much about myself. I am going to school and skipped a grade. I am nice and everyone likes me. I haven’t any particular news to tell you. We are all interested in the war. We hope France and London will be the victor. You shouldn’t have any bad impression about mother. She leaves me to write and she doesn’t interfere with me and doesn’t care. She always speaks the best about you and our father. I am sorry you couldn’t get your photo. I would be very much pleased to have got one of you and papa. I haven’t any new one. As soon as I will get it I will send it to you. Dear Jacques, you will find enclosed one of our pictures which we took when we were little in France. Mother made a big one of it and it looks very cute. I hope this time that you wouldn’t keep me waiting for an answer.

I hope that you shouldn’t suffer so much and in case you need help ask mother. She is always ready to help you.

I send you many thousands of kisses.


30th November 1914, London

To Dora from Jacques. Written in English.

232 Cornwall Road,
Notting Hill, W

Dear Mother

Eliza writes you are ill. It made me feel very sorrow. I hope it is not so dangerous and that you won’t need an operation. On the last photo you sent you looked very beautiful and young, younger than when I knew you. I was pleased of it and thought you were cured of the illness you spoke of, about fifteen months ago. I was pleased to have your photo. It was the first time I saw you after such a long time. I recognised you at first.

I am quite well, working, earning money. I will soon be seventeen. I hope to send you my photo. You will see what I look like. I don’t think you will recognise me. I have had such a change in these 6 years. I am nearly a man now and was only a small boy of 11 at that time.

Send me your photo, I shall always be glad to have it. I still love you, for you are my mother still. I wish you are better now. Sometimes the doctors make errors and take serious what is only an unimportant illness. I hope that in the answer to this letter you will tell me you are out of danger. It is what I truly hope.

I thank you for your offer but happily I don’t need so very much now and I trust I shall never have to ask you. I am working now, although not busy. No one is now. I am sorry I can’t come to New York, but don’t you think it is wiser if I don’t come?

I am used to London, to the English language and the English life but the first two or three months were very hard. I didn’t know anything and I had no place. I hope now it will be all right and I shall be lucky. I think that when the War is over I shall find many good positions open to me. By the way does the war make much difference to you. Here it has overturned everything and nearly everyone has to suffer, for nearly everyone has someone dear in the firing line. It is rather lucky the war broke out so soon, for it would have been next year I should have had to go.

I expect you won’t let this letter without answer and send you many kisses and best wishes of recovery.

Your son

Jacques B.

30th November 1914, London

To Elise from Jacques. Written in English.

232 Cornwall Road,
Notting Hill, W.

My dear sister

I am very glad with your letter. I can see you don’t forget me. It is good. Be sure for my part that you are always in my mind. I feel often sad not to have you with me. I still hope to see you some day and wish it would be soon. Of course, I can’t come to New York and for the present you can’t come over in London. But, you know, things change and perhaps what you can’t do now you might do after.

I hope you are quite well and doing good. I am pleased to see you are a good scholar. Learn the more you can. It is always good and useful. Myself, I was also the first at school and I had 6 medals and a lot of prizes. I wish I could send you my photo. I shall try for Christmas. Do try also and send me yours. I shall make a big one of it. I am working and in the best of health. It is very slack here. The war has stopped the business. I wish it will soon be over, for it is a very hard time. But I am afraid it will take a long time, Germany is a too mighty enemy to be crushed out so easily. If only Russia would win in her side it would help us a great deal. I should like to know what is the public opinion in the States about the War. Could you manage to send me a newspaper over here? I should be grateful if you would.

I thank you for the photo you sent. But I had it already. Do you remember when and where it was taken? Perhaps you don’t. It was too long ago. I think you were only 4 years old at the time and I eight. Is it right? I remember you were very proud of the little basket you had and you used to do all commissions only to have the pleasure of using it. It is a pity we are now so far away from each other.

I know mother doesn’t interfere with your letter, but two or three years ago, you were too young to write alone and therefore your letters were not of your free mind. But now you are older, I expect many letters from you, to which I shall always be happy to answer.

Happily we don’t need money so much in the present, so that we have not to accept your offer. I thank you very much of it and am grateful for your letter.

I send you thousands of kisses.

Jacques B.

Father is going to write you another letter very shortly. Best regards and kisses from him.

PS. I expect you will give me a prompt reply. JB.

December 1914, Paris

To Abraham, Rachel and Jacques from Suzanne F.

With warm wishes
S. Bernard
Many kisses

24th December 1914, New York

To Abraham from Elise.


From your loving daughter, Elisa

24th December 1914, New York

To Jacques from Elise.


From your loving sister

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