berschtel family Letters: 1938-1946;

The Letters of the Becker Family

The Becker family of Poland was divided both by distance and by increasingly limited opportunities to emigrate. Martin Becker and his mother Zelda were living in the United States by 1938; father Abraham and brothers Tadek and Lolek lived in Warsaw.

Postcard after postcard to Martin and Zelda pled for assistance in obtaining exit visas and boat passes. But they were helpless to rescue the father and brothers who remained in Poland. Despite the terrible obstacles to escape and the deteriorating conditions in Warsaw, in one postcard Tadek reassured his mother that they were managing well and asked her not to worry. Abraham, Tadek and Lolek Becker perished in Treblinka.

January 18, 1940

My dear!

Just imagine -- we are presently living in Warsaw. Write and send your letters via the Red Cross to Edzia’s address...

Our situation is such that you have to send us right away, without any delay, the papers and boat passes. Otherwise we are simply destined for the worst fate that is possible. It is very easy to get papers and boat passes (this is what they told me in the U.S. Consulate) and many people left Poland that way, for example Mr. Orzechowski from Warsaw. Remember that this is our last resort and the only chance to survive.

Contact our uncles right away, to tell them that they should do all that is possible to save our lives. They should not procrastinate about anything. Each day is priceless. Send the papers and boat passes for us to the American Consul in Warsaw, 29 Aleje Ujazdowskie. We are begging our uncle, simply falling on our knees, with tears in our eyes. The cost of all of this is very low. Where is Mom right now? Write to us about all of that via the Red Cross (this is the simplest way). Write a letter to our uncles right away about our case. We will not pull through much longer than spring. Regards from all of us to all of you, Tadek.

Translation by Ewa Basinska and Jeffrey Mifflin.

another becker postcard
This postcard bears a stamp from the "General Gouvernment," the Nazi term for occupied Poland.
Click on image for a closer view.
In this postcard, Tadek Becker pleads for help.
Translation is to the left.

becker postcard

becker postcard

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