Migration, Memory & Memorial

migration memory memorial


4th July 1915, Hilo Hawaii.7

To Jacques from Louis Bt. Written in English.

Dear Jacques,

I received your letter of April 30th today and I am answering immediately.

Since then I have travelled about half way round the world and it gives me pleasure to receive letters from you as you are about my age and cousin at that.

I thank you for calling me a nice looking boy, but if you have a photo of me in that cadet uniform I don’t blame you.

I wish you would write to me what you are working at in London and how you are getting along in other matters.

I believe I would know you when I’ll see you because I have seen your photo in Aunt Dora’s house where I go frequently and am much expected.

This ship that I am on is a training ship to prepare you men to become officers in the United States Merchant Marine. We stay in port for a half year and study algebra, geometry, trigonometry, navigation seamanship and other things a sailor or officer should know to pass the Board of Trades examinations, for mates or captains. The other half year we go on a cruise for sea experience.

Two years is the whole course in this school. Next cruise we might go to Europe and even stop at London. After the next cruise I will graduate and make my way in the Merchant Marine if I decide to lead a sea faring life.

I wonder what your attitude is about following the sea as a profession.

I would certainly enjoy myself much more if I would go as a passenger, but we enjoy ourselves in a way that passengers cannot.

I am not much interested in the war now and I won’t tell you whether I am pro-British or pro­-German. I wish it would stop so it won’t prevent us from visiting Europe and maybe London. You see I am entirely selfish in this account but I believe war never does any good except to invent larger guns etc. And a useless slaughter of lives.

I would like to know why you consider thinking about the war as an important occupation.

Liza is a nice girl. I think she will graduate public school in about a year and a half. She is always talking about you. I know she would love to see you.

Your little sister Raymonde is much different from Liza. She is a strong healthy child. A very nice kid and very lively. When I come on a visit and prepare to go home she would hold me by force for another few minutes.

If you want to write letters direct to me during this cruise address them to

Louis Bt.
New York State Nautical School
Training Ship Newport
c/o Postmaster N.Y. City.

When you are ready to send that photo of yourself you might send it to my home first so that my parents can look at it, and they will send it on to me. I would rather see you than those photos or letters but it might be a long time before I come to London.

I visited Kīlauea volcano 1 last Thursday traveled by automobile a distance of over 70 miles. The volcano is over 12,000 feet above sea level. It certainly dug into my cruise money to see it but that crater was worth seeing. The only way I can describe it is to say that at the bottom of the pit is a huge burning lake red hot the fire roaring and crackling like a big furnace.

Hoping you are well and no intentions of going to war,

I am,
your cousin
Louis Bt.

4th July 1915, Paris.

To Suzanne F. from Abraham. Written in French.

Dear Madame Bernard

I very much regret having neglected to reply to your letter, and I ask you to forgive me. It is not altogether my fault, because I get home from work very late and very tired, and have no desire to sit down and write, whatever it may be. The cost of living is so high and wages so low, that one has to work very hard to make a living.

I read with great emotion the passage in your letter in which you complain about being in low spirits these days. But, what do you want?! I do not know which god or devil condemned the human race to undergo the suffering we call “unhappiness”, which eats away at our hearts and poisons our lives. If only we could be content with the situation in which we find ourselves! It is so easy! One has only to think: “Things could be worse”, or “It was worse before, and now the situation is much better”, to be happy and to sing and dance for joy, like somebody who has lost a lot of money and then found it again. But we do not want to and we cannot, and it is our own fault that we suffer.

For example, how many women there are today who have been abandoned by their husbands. The break-up of their homes could last the rest of their lives. True, your case is not the same. While all these women have been abandoned by their husbands simply because their motherland has called upon them to serve her, you were abandoned by your husband in a cowardly manner simply because of unfaithfulness. But the result is the same – the same emptiness at home, the same memory of a happy past. However, Madame Bernard, I think that their position is worse than yours. Many of these women were separated from their husbands while still on honeymoon, and many others were pregnant. Many, too, as well as their husbands, have given their sons, their happiness and hope for the future. You see, they have more to complain of than you. If you think about this, perhaps your situation will not seem so hard to bear. You will be content, not because the others are more unhappy than you, but because providence has made you less unhappy than they. But I must repeat unhappily, we belong to the human race, and the human race has been condemned to suffer the misfortune of never being content from the very day of our birth.

I know that something else also plays a big part in your depression – the thought that she who was the cause of your unhappiness is herself happy. However, I have much reason to believe that you are deceiving yourself in this respect. She cannot be happy, because she is always ill. She wrote to me a long time ago, while I was still in Paris, that she was seriously ill and that her illness was the cause of all the suffering she was undergoing. I recently received a letter from Lisa, and she told me that her mother is constantly ill. The doctors think it is cancer, and she has to have an operation. So, you see, she is more unhappy than you, and I am sure that she would willingly change places with you.

Now, dear Madame, let us talk a little about other things. I have not spoken to you for a long time. You will soon be celebrating 14th of July. I used to love that holiday when I was in Paris, with its flags, its dancing, its fireworks and its free theatrical performances (especially the fact that they were free). All one had to do was queue for three or four hours at the Comédie Française,2 or for seven, eight or nine hours at the Opera, and one would get a seat in a box occupied on other occasions by a so-called grand personage, and be able to listen to the greatest artistes in France as closely as he or she. I am afraid that the holiday will not be as cheerful as usual this year. I can only wish France that she will gain a very, very great victory before then, so that the whole country can celebrate the holiday with even more gaiety than usual.

Now, dear Madame Bernard, I beg you, do not take revenge upon me for my negligence. On the contrary, please show that you are more energetic than I and write me a letter straightaway. Tell me about many things that you think will be of interest to me. Tell me how you spend your free time, that is to say, the time when you are not busy reading the love letters of years gone by, the time you are not feeling deeply depressed. Tell me whether you visit Paris often and what changes you have seen there since the beginning of the war. Are the grand boulevards as full of life as they once were? Tell me also how all the people we know are getting on, Mr Froumkin, Levin’s son and Mr Volfin. Tell me also whether you feel the war as much when you are working and what sort of work you do. Please do not forget to tell me everything.

Now, dear Madame, I am going to fall silent, because I am afraid that reading my letter will tire you, and that copying it out will do the same to my secretary, Jack. I also want to give you a chance to talk a little.

I sincerely hope, dear Madame, that my letter will find you gay and in good spirits or, at least, that it will give you the opportunity to be so.

Your very devoted
A. B.

P.S. Please, dear Madame Bernard, give my very cordial good wishes to your sister, Mme R., and let me know how she is getting on. Best wishes from my wife.

6th July 1915, New York.

To Jack from Dora. Written in English.

My dear son Jack,

You must excuse me for not answering your letter but you could be sure that I am always thinking about you. You are always with me and among us because we are constently speaking about you. Many times I start to write to you but I left off because I have too many things to ask you and tell you. I don’t know if I have to do it and left off from one time to another. Now my dear child I thank you very much for your nice letter. It gave me much pleasure to read it. I feel that you did not forget your mother. My dear Jack, you ask me about my health. I feel very fine and will send you my photo as soon as I will receive yours which I await with impatience. You ask me about the America will join the war. As far as I can judge from our press and private conversation I am positive that we will not participate. I personally find that it would be great folly that America should join the war. There was a great excitement after the Lusitania catastrophe3 but as time passed and the people are getting cooler they say that it is enough bloodshed all redy. It is of no use to drag the country into misery as it looks now the allies are hard pressed and especialy England. As it looks you are going to have conscription law and that is a thing that makes me worry. If you would lissten to my advise and like your Mother that is thinking only for your good you have to come to America at least till the war is over. You must not be afraid of that what people tell you about America. It is a very fine country and it is not so ugly. In the contrery it is very nice and it resembles very much like England with the same small private houses and the way of living our coustoms even laws are menny the same as there. Now you could see it is not so terrible and for working people there is no question that it is better. Though the working man has his own miseries all over the world but to compare it with others the American working man is better. The first thing is shorter working hours, better dwellings to live in, and all modern improvements; to tell you that the poorest man lives in an apartment with both cold and hot water and in the winter we have steam heat and even when it is the hardest cold we do not suffer as much as we do in England or France with a comperetively milde climate. You could believe me what I say because I was in all this country and I know them very good I tell you all this not to impress on you that it is the best country you should come only on account of that. I tell you that because you asked Liza about it I want you to come first of all for your own good and safty you should not be compeld to be a soldier it would kill me if you will I don’t think your father will oppose to that. I don’t think that he wants you to be a soldier. The only thing is that he would not like you to be with me but that is not for mine sake but for your own safety. I believe you will understend me what I want and that what you say in your letter that you have no money I will send you a ticket if you will. I expect an answer from you soon telling me all about you.4

6th July 1915

To Jack from Elise

1015 Grote Street
New York

My loving brother Jack,

I have received your letter with the greatest pleasure. I am not keeping you waiting this time. About a week after you receive this letter you shall receive my photo. I hope you will send me yours.

I am getting on fine in school and stand the highest in the class. By next summer I shall graduate and then I will go to high school.

Dear Jack, you stated that you shall have to join the war, If you think of all the danger you are in and all the disaster I am sure you would not go. You are so young and still you think of joining the war. If you thought of whom you were leaving behind I am sure you would not go. Even now you are in great peril for fear of a zeppelin raid and have to stay in cellars and in the dark. If you thought I am sure you would come to America. In your letter you said you did not have the money to come over. Mother would get you a ticket for you to come. Please Jack say that you will come and I shall be happy. It isn’t only for my happiness but for your sake. Do come and do not go to war.

Dear Jack I do not know the name of Louis ship but I will find out and let you know. Louis is on his course since May 4, 1915. His ship has nothing to do with the U.S. Navy. It will take a long time till you get an answer from him. Sometimes it takes two months before he gets any letters. His mother sent… [the rest of the letter is missing]

6th July 1915

To Abraham from Elise.

1015 Grote Street,
New York.

Loving Father,

Your letter gave me much pleasure. It made me feel like one enchanted.

I felt as if I really was with you. You are truly with me now. You are always with me, in my dreams I always dream of you, in school you are always among us, you are always in my heart and mind. I really am sorry I cannot write such a splendid letter as you did. Dear father you said you had another obstacle please write it to me. I shall have much pleasure reading it. Please tell me how you are and how you are getting along in your work. I think you must have a hard time in England of what I hear. Please come to America it will be much better than in England.

You asked me if any one helps me in my poems. No one does. Sometimes I show the poems to mamma and sometimes I don’t I hope you like the poems.

Enclosed you will find a poem which I hope you will like. About a week after this letter arrives you will receive my photograph. I hope you will send me yours. I am going on fine in school and stand the highest in the class. By next summer I shall graduate and then I will go to high school, I am in good health and hope this letter shall find you so.

With love and kisses.

I remain your loving daughter


To Elise from Abraham. These are fragments of notes from the letter sent Elise.

…….. stouter than in this one. May be it is because you took your photo in full size this time. I hope you are in good health.

Now, my dear child I thank you very much for your kind invitation to come to America. I can see you are very much for your father and you are very much willing to help him. But my dear child I am very sorry to tell you that I cannot accept your invitation, at present because I can’t see the reason why I should come there. Is it because to find a better position there? I don’t believe it!

There were thousands of good positions in Paris and I could never find one. There are thousands of good positions in London too but I can never find one so I am afraid it will be over there. It is true you can’t find a diamond when you are seating in one place, to find one you must walk much, But you can’t be sure that by walking much you will find one. Most surely you can expect to break your boots and to spoil your legs, Therefore my dear child I prefer to stop in one place. If I will lose the chance to find a diamond which I am not sure of it but of one thing I will be sure my boots and my legs will be all right, That golden land with so much lead in it! That rich country with so many poor people in it! That wealthy country with so many hungry people in it never attracted me! If it was not of your sake I would never think about it, Is it for the reason to stop with you or to see you, you want me to come? Then again, although it is my best wish too, I am not able to do it at present, I hope you are not in need of my assistance, and you are very well cared for by your mother, As to have the pleasure to see each other, well that can be in London as well as in America , I know you think for the moment – it is impossible you will never come to London as you told Jack once in a letter, But my dear child you can’t know what will pass a few years later, Let us supose that instance, You got a big girl by your hard studies and good aplication you succeed in your desire to be a teacher or to any other honourable occupation by your modest and economic behaviour you succeed in, saving some money, well then would not you like to pay your father the pleasure to see you and come to London for a fortnight or a month to spend with him ? I am sure you would! If so I will take you to that place where I have so often thought about you – the Kensington Gardens – and all three of us, me Jack and you we shall sit under the same tree and we shall read over your poem A father and his children (if you remember it I keep it as I keep all your letters from the beginning) . After we shall add another few verses to it something of this kind

And time passed since then with gigantic steps
The girl has grown bigger and bigger
Now a beautiful girl she is
Intelligent, joyous and eager

It will be a happy time that time! Won’t it my dear child? We must wait and hope. As to Jack’s coming to America well I will never advise him to do a thing which I am not in favour of it but I will never inder him to do a thing when he finds it necessary to do it, to obtain a good position I leave it quite for himself to decide.

Now, what more shall I write to you? I am so fond of speaking to you that I don’t find sufficient what I told you till now. But first of all I want to know whether my handwriting is easy for you to read and it does not make you tired of reading it otherwise I will not write so much next time.

Yes, you asked me I should tell you what was the next obstacle that hindered me to write to you.

I am very sorry that I am obliged to tell you that. I regreted directly when I promised you because it will not give me much honour when you will hear it. But I hoped that you will forgett to ask me but now as I promised you I must keep my word and if I will make you sick of reading it will be your own fault because you have asked for it. Well, my next obstacl was, or has always been my “sofa” “What, your sofa?” I can hear you asking. “I think you are mistaken, dear father” No! No! I am not mistaken I mean the sofa which is started by cabinet makers and finished by apolsterers. But how can a sofa be an obstacle of writing a letter, especially to a daughter, I can hear you asking again. Is she in such bad state of health [the sofa] that she needs to be attended every Sunday? No, that is not the reason! It is true she is coughing a little and her legs are trembling, she needs to be attended, but still not so urgently as to prevent me of writing a letter. To take you out of your stupefaction my dear Elisa I will tell you in which way that deaf and dumb but most humiliant creature has been an obstacle for many a Sunday afternoon at writing a letter to you.

Well, now I must go back to my last letter and continue my excuse.

After I have finished my dinner and asking Jack not to trouble me any more with the war, I am going to the front room with the intention of writing a letter. As soon as I open the door my eys fall on the sofa which is standing silently in the bow of the window just opposite. As I know her dangerous character I am trying not to look at her and I am directing myself to the place where the books are (let us call it “book case” as I can’t find no other name for it just now) to take the ink and pen and the English/French dictionary.

Yes, the pauvre dictionary! If there is one which is very satisfied of my sofa that is him! To what tickling, to what foliation he is exposed, that pauvre dictionary when I am writing a letter to you. Be pleased the one who created him.

15th July 1915, Paris

To Jacques from Suzanne F. Written in French.

My dear Jacques

First of all many congratulations to my secretary – how big he must be now. But my dear Jacques I shall always see you as little. Do you remember when you used to come to my house with Lilise how you often brought your comic with stories about the fat clown and Zipoire. And Lilise – how she used to talk to my little dog, Loulou, ‘Come here darling’. Do you remember those days? What changes there have been and how far away it seems. And there you are now going out into the world and my dear little Jacques I wish you the best of luck there. How old are you? What are you doing? I’m glad to see that you haven’t forgotten me and I wonder whether Lilise remembers me too. Anyway, they are very fortunate to be in America where they are away from the war. But what can the Americans be thinking of to let themselves be so abused by the Germans? You know things are so hard here because of the war that I don’t read the papers. I have had almost no work, nor has my sister. She left her workshop in August 1914 and still hasn’t found anything. Monsieur Auguste has been working for the past fortnight in a paper factory in Alfortville. He earns five francs a day and it is very hard work and you can see it isn’t well paid. He closed down his workshop in Paris but it is still costing him money. You see my dear Jacques that this horrible war has affected us all – and how long will it go on? Food is dreadfully expensive and butcher’s meat is quite out of reach, and I dare not think about coal in the winter. Up to now we’ve had no close relatives (in the army) only friends, but now we have a nephew who has been stupid enough to enlist and I’m sure he’ll be going to the front.

Monsieur B. asks for news of Henri (V.’s son) and Jacques Leven. They are at the war, but I don’t think in danger. You know that Monsieur V., Henri’s father, is dead – also Monsieur L. Froumkin has been in Russia with his wife since May 1914. Madeleine wrote to Madame L. that she is very happy and has a horse and carriage. You know she is rather proud – but after all if it is true I’m glad – it’s a good thing someone is happy in this world. Froumkin has set up with his brother, they are making those porcelain stoves people use in Russia. But wouldn’t you think that as he is in his own country he’d join the army?

I forgot to tell you that P. has enlisted – he wrote to Madame L. several months ago to say that he was in the trenches. And what about you – have you any relatives at the war? Are you still in London? You’re certainly better off there now than in Paris where there is no cabinet­making work at all.

Dear Monsieur B. you are right. We can’t make ourselves less unhappy, but how many lives this war has destroyed and what unhappiness it is causing. If I didn’t sometimes get these gloomy thoughts I shouldn’t be too unhappy because being three of us together we can help one another, and Monsieur A. is very kind to us. But just see how everything goes against me. When I got married I became Russian (even though I was born here in Paris in the Rue de Montreuil) and it’s been a real disadvantage. I should have been able to go back to the Railway Company where I could have earned four francs a day – but they turned me down because I am Russian! I told you that I’m working in a factory that makes macaroni in Alfortville and when I started they made me pay pension contributions but I still won’t get a penny from the state because I’m not French – you can see why I feel sorry for myself.

I was so pleased to get your letters. I’d been wondering for a long time why you weren’t writing. One never knows what may happen these days. I keep pretty well and I hope all of you are too. My fondest regard to you and your wife. Give my little Jacques lots of kisses and tell him not to forget me.

When you are a bit better off it would be nice if you could pay me back the little loan – it’s not much but it would still be a help when you can manage it. But send the letter and the money order made out in the name of Madame F., 5 Rue Sandrin and I’ll have no trouble cashing it.

They say money doesn’t bring happiness, but I find it helps a lot. I hope it won’t be so long before I hear from you again this time – it is a real pleasure to be able to keep in touch from such a distance and I do feel sorry for those poor souls who can’t write.

My sister sends her best regard to all three of you.

I return to my letter – more like a small diary – at 8pm on the 14 July -a bit tired as I’ve spent almost the whole day washing.

The day has gone off quite quietly here apart from a few patriotic demonstrations – the cafes are closed at 10 o’clock in the evening – you must write and tell me how things are in London.

Goodbye for now – I’m so sleepy I can hardly write properly.

S Bernard

29th September 1915

To Jacques from Louis Bt. Written in English.

U.S.S. Newport
Balboa C.G.

Dear Jacques,

It will be a rather long time to you to get an answer to your letter but as this is no business correspondence you must not expect quick replies.

My last letter was sent from Honolulu. Since then I have visited San Francisco and San Diego. Now, we are waiting down here, till the Panama Canal will be opened. A big slide occurred in Culebra cut and it got to be dug out before we can get through. The slide is delaying us from getting home. We ought to have been about two days from home by now but as it is I might be home by the time you get this letter.

Down here in Balboa Canal zone, it is very hot and there are a few discomforts with the hot weather but we get under the hose or jump overboard every time there is a chance. It is not much of a town in the only place you can spend a few hours is the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association). You must have heard of them.

On the other side of town you can go hunting and shoot lots of game if you are good with the rifle.

I am taking up engineering (that is marine engineering). I don’t get a salary for 2 years till I graduate. Then I have got to shift for myself.

Liza is well, but there is a difference between her and Raymonde. She is not as energetic and lively as the kid.

I would advise you not to join the army on any impulse

I believe I will be over to England some time but I wish you could come here to America if you can. I believe it will be much better for you hear. You would lose your lonesomeness living with your mother and sisters.

I don’t like to write big letters on this cruise with “why’s” and “wherefores” but when I reach home a promise is just as done and I will beat you in letter writing.

Many thanks for your photograph.

I am well, the only thing the climate did to me was to tan me.

The Hardy Mariner

Louis Bt.

31st October 1915

To Abraham from Elise.

2157 Mapes Ave Bronx

Loving Father

Please do excuse me for not answering your letter  at once. Mother was sick and then we moved and I am sure you will be surprised to hear I have not time.

I am in school from 8.30 to 3.30. The school is far away and it takes about ¼ hour to get there. I reach home about 4 o’clock. Then I do my homework and study. This takes me until five or half past five. After supper I go out amusements and the whole day is spent. But now I have a chance to write. I am sorry that your friend the “Spring” has faded and has left you her daughter “Summer” for a companion. I am sure you shall have a far more agreeable friend in Autumn. I like Autumn myself. I would love to hear the obstacle about “the Sofa”. I am sure it must be interesting. I understand your writing thoroughly and I can never tire reading your letters. About my coming to England is impossible. Maybe later on when I am richer. Dear Father please try to send me your picture as quick as possible as I love to see you. I wish I knew how to write long letters as you do but it is impossible as I can think of nothing. I am in good health. By next summer I shall graduate. I shall be fourteen and a half for December 14, 1915 I shall be fourteen. I am sorry to graduate at that age but it is better than most American girls who graduate at 16 or 17 years of age and do nothing but flirt with the boys. Since I started school which was at seven I went straight without getting left back. I skipped a class and I might skip again. Please answer my letter and send me your picture Please tell me how you are getting along and tell me more of England and yourself.

With many kisses and love I am your loving daughter

31st October 1915

To Jacques from Elise.

2157 Mapes Ave Bronx
New York

Dear Jacque,

You must excuse me for not answering your letters until now. Mother had trouble with her brest and the doctors said she needed an operation. She went to different doctors and they told her not to worry as it was nothing. Besides I have moved to 2157 Mapes Ave so all that detained me from answering.

I have received your picture and like it very much but I didn’t think you would only send one to me and hurt mothers feelings. At least you could have said it was for me and mother. I also received your p.c. and letter. I feel so lonely sometimes that I wish you was here.

I am in good health. By next summer I expect to graduate. So far I am the highest in the class. In school we have dancing clubs and we have the pleasantest times dancing. Sometimes I dance with the boys but not often because they fool around and seem clumsy. We also have a stage and there we dance for teachers and pupils. They also show us moving pictures. The other day we saw about Rip Van Winkle. I think it was beautiful. We also see pictures taken from fairy tales. I think it is very pleasant.

Dear Jacque a poet loves to be criticised and be corrected and to be told the truth and so am I and the more advice you can give me about my poems the better it is. I thank you very much for the advice you gave me and I will try to follow it.

Charlie Chaplin 5 is certainly a nuisance. I don’t know much about Mary Pickford 6 as I never saw her but people go crazy for her. Please do tell me more about my cousins and grandmother that are in England. I should like to know more about them. Hoping this letter will find you in good health.

I am your sister Elisa

Jacques B. taken 18th July 1915

13th December 1915

To Abraham from Elise.

2157 Mapes Ave

Loving Father,

I sent you a letter more than a month ago. Receiving no reply I thought that you have not received it. If you didn’t there’s no harm done for it was not worth your time to read it.

Please write that obstacle you promised me and write more about yourself and how you are getting along. I hope you are in good health.

I am in good health and I am getting along fine. I skipped a class in November and I was put in 8B which is the last class of school. By skipping I gained six months. Instead of graduating in June I shall graduate in January. Even in this class I am getting along fine. Is it true that England is to pass the Conscription Law? In some papers they said it was as good as passed.

Please send me your picture for you promised me one so long.

I wish you would answer my letter immediately for I love to read your letters. This is all the news I could tell you for I am not such an expert letter writer as you already know.

With love and many, many kisses I am, Your loving daughter,


13th December 1915

To Jacques from Elise.

2157 Mapes Ave,
New York,

Loving Brother,

I have sent Father and you a letter some time ago but I am not sure that you received it. If you didn’t there is no harm done for it was not worth your time to read it.

In the last letter I sent you I told you I might skip. One day in November the principal called me in his office. He told me l was going to 8B. I was very happy for that is the last class. Instead of graduating in June I shall graduate in January. Even now I stand nearly the highest in the class.

Dear Brother l feel so lonesome at home that memories of older times when we were together are always in my mind I thought that now I would not have so much time but still there is always enough time in thinking of you and father. Even though l do come home at 4 o’clock from school I am always lonesome. Especially on holidays. I cannot forget our parting. Do you remember when I was going away with mother and I wanted to kiss you good-bye you said I would come back in the evening? You were so busy playing that I just took your hand and kissed your fingers. Do you remember when we were playing one day, l got angry and threw a stone at your forehead. Even now I am angry with myself for doing so. Do you remember that Christmas night when father and mother went shopping, we heard the dogs barking? You said Santa Claus took them away because they were bad and ought to be sleeping. I was afraid and went to sleep immediately. I even remember the house in which we lived in. First there was that court or yard. There were four houses but we lived in the left hand house on the first floor. Your friend Pierre lived in the other house which faced the street. Dear Jacque the more I think of these things I feel more lonesome.

l am in good health and wish you are the same. Please tell me more about yourself and what you are doing. There is one favour which I shall ask you and that is if you can please find out Annie’s mother’s sisters address and tell them to write to us for we wrote many letters to them without getting any reply. If you have not received my other letter I shall have to tell you that I moved to 2157 Mapes Ave. Please don’t delay any reply for I am anxious to know more about you.

With love and many kisses I am your loving sister

The following cards all have 'x1915' written on them in Jacques' handwriting

24th December 1915

To Jacques from Dora.

24th December 1915

To Jacques from Elise

24th December 1915

To Abraham from Elise

26th December 1915

To Abraham from Suzanne F.

15 rue Sandrin

Dear Mr. B.

How are you getting on? How is Jack? He has no doubt forgotten me. That’s life. I have given Bernard’s address, but I am writing to tell you that my divorce is going ahead, although not without troubles and difficulties.

I wish to take this opportunity to send you all my best wishes for the year ahead. May it bring us all peace and health, and forgiveness to all those who have made us suffer. Life is very miserable, because of all the evil that human beings do on earth.

Send me your news; it will give me pleasure to read all about it. I have been working a little, but not enough, because the pay is poor, and life is very expensive. You would be very surprised to see my sister. She has become so slim that she is half the size she was before, and she feels better for it. As for me, I am the same as always.

It is my ardent wish that this cursed war should finish soon. Meanwhile, I await the pleasure of hearing from you. We send you all our best wishes, and I send a kiss for Jack.

S. Bernard
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