Letter from Erno Rosenzweig
Date of Creation30 December 1938
GenreCorrespondence & Philatelic Materials
Place of CreationBudapest, Hungary
DescriptionInk on paper
Measurements29.5 x 23 cm
InscriptionsDear Brother Béla (from Erno Rosenzweig)
Budapest, December 30, 1938
Please forgive me for bothering you again with my writing, but believe me, it is a drowning man’s clutching at straws. What I was dreading happened. I was fired from my job. So, not only Boske but I too, am on the streets. What will happen tomorrow… may G-d be merciful to us, but I don’t know … the situation is getting worse day by day. The geographical changes which happened in the last months, did not bring any betterment. On the contrary, the European situation is getting darker every day, so that, unfortunately, this is not viewing with a pessimistic eye. It is the general mood and opinion, reinforced by those in the know, that the summer of ’39 will be taken by the dark mysticism of war.
Of course, the Jews are being blamed for the general deterioration of the situation. The danger, which would threaten Hungary in case of ear, is being diverted to the public notice by ugly “Jew Laws.” It is succeeding, unfortunately now, since June. The second Law has been implemented, based completely on the law of Nuremberg. Now, those of Jewish origin, up to the second-even third generation- count as Jews. I have to say, that with the help of this law, the number of Jews has grown quite a bit, but that is no consolation. Now, the situation is, my dear brother, that if you are doing something for me, I ask you, I beg you, to arrange it before a general closing of the border, so I can get out, because of the tense situation. The first military calls to service are said to be for March, and I, as a former soldier, will be among the first. I don’t know how you propose to bring my case off. In my last letter, I made several prepositions. I don’t know whether you see it as possible. In any case, I believe it would be easiest for the World Fair. Because the regular quota, as I learned from the Consulate, is filled for 10 to 15 years, and unless it is taken up with specially in America it doesn’t work. I cannot tell you, in writing, what days we live through. There are daily demonstrations, the march chanting “Death to the Jews” and broken shop windows.
We don’t know how long we can keep the apartment, because we have no reserves. It is completely impossible for me to find work. Believe me, I am not choosey, but they wouldn’t hire me even as a dishwasher, because I am a Jew. My dear brother Béla, you can remember well, how down at the heel you found us, but we didn’t complain then, because we earned enough to eat. You may remember, that Lilly was selling newspapers. But now, it is not possible to work. With my emigration, Mother would go to one of her siblings till my situation clears up. I inquired at several places, and they proposed that it is possible to get out as a hired worker; find out about it. I ask you again, do it for me, that as soon as possible, before the terrible burning of Europe breaks out, I can escape this continent. Mother was yesterday at Sari’s. They and Auntie are well, thank G-d. I hope you are in good health. Uncounted kisses to you and family. Love your brother, Erno. Kisses from Mother, Lilly and Boske.
I waited a few days before posting this letter, hoping for a reply from you. Here are my data again: Rosenzweig Erno, born March 3, 1913 at Felsőtelekes, Borsod county, Hungary. Did military service.
ProvenanceGifted to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in 1994 by Shirley Cohn.
NoteLetter written by Erno Rosenzweig to his brother Béla, describing the deteriorating rights of Hungarian Jews and asking for help to escape the country.