INTRODUCTION TO THE BERTHA BOSCOWITZ LETTER 

I am Barbara Zeisl Schoenberg. My father was the composer Eric Zeisl and this is a letter by my father’s aunt, Bertha Boscowitz, nee Zeisl, reporting to her children about members of her family who had managed to escape: she mentions brothers, sisters, children, nieces, and nephews. (Bertha was one of six siblings, three boys and three girls). Siegfried is one of her three brothers. Ernst is her nephew. Ida and Robert are her children, Fredi is her nephew, Alfred, Lily is her niece, Egon, Walter, and Erich are her nephews, children of her brother and my grandfather, Siegmund Zeisl, who would be deported the next year to Theresienstadt.

 

BERTHA BOSCOWITZ LETTER

My dear, beloved children!

Now your luck is complete, you are all together, and I am alone and abandoned. My only hoipe: that I will have the good fortune to be reunited with all of you once again. Your letters breathed new life into me. If only I could see you from this great distance. One shouldn’t be ungrateful. Many would envy me for the good fortune of having such wonderful children and grandchildren. God will bring you luck because you are so honest and so good. I would not want to trade places with anyone. Ida (Mumi) and Fredi (Alfred) will be so happy that you prepared the way so well for them, and that you are so outstandingly capable. I hope God will reward you all a thousandfold. Good luck will always be with you. Always remain industrious and virtuous, and you will be rewarded. On Sunday, Egon and Walter flew to Paris, a friend of Walter’s took care of everything for them. Lily Mandl went to Montevideo, Uruguay. Ernst went to Prague. Anny is already there, but is coming back. Her sister has to undergo a gall bladder operation. Trude and Erich are following [Ergon and Walter] next week, and then they hope to go to Australia. Uncle Robert is in New York. I hope you answered him in detail. I would be very happy if he too were also able to go to Kenya. Please don’t ever forget Uncle Siegfried. He is a part of all of this. Write me in detail what Mumi and Fredi look like, [write] about it all. So that, since I cannot be with you, at least I can follow you in all in spirit and in my thoughts. Tender kisses to Alfred, darling Ida, and to my darlings.