Droga Alu –

(1) Jestem swinia. Masz racje.

(2) Onegdaj dostalem od Kazika karte polecona, lotnicza, wyslana ze Lwowa 20.7. b.r. [“bieżącego roku”] tresci nastepujacej:

Drogi Lolku –

Doprawdy nie wiem co pisac wpierw, czy gratulowac Ci ze tak bardzo Ci sie udalo – czy przeslac wiadomisi o naszych – Jerzym, Ninie z Rodzicami i wielu innych ‘uciekinierach’.

Opuscili oni dwa tygodnie temu Lwow, w drodze przymusowej, a w sposob zupelnie nieoczekiwany – a terz miewam od nich wiadomosci z Kijowa, Prenzy, Samry (Kujbyszewa) – i ciagle jeszcze nie wysiedli na stacji docelowej! Nie chce sie w to wierzyc!! My tu coprawda przyzwczailismy sie troche do tego! I co oni tam beda robic?! Niektorzy znajomi, n.p.lekarz – robi cegly, dwie kobiety – ubijaja na kolchozie nawoz nogami …

Pieklo!! Ale do pewmego stopnia im sie to nalezy, bo to zonie, siostry, dzieci oficerow, polskich panow, okupantow – a Ci uchodzcy – to ludzie, na ktorych ciazy zarzut szpiegostwa – bo rejestrowali siw na powrot do Niemiec. Czesc Lolek, napisze obszerniej. Odpisz zaraz. (podpis zupelnie nieczy telny)

P.S. (1) Mozesz nie potwierdzac odbioru moich kart a i adres Twoj i nazwisko pamietam dokladnie …!

(2) Uprzedz Ruth, ze napisze na jej adres kiedys list do Ciebie.

(3) Czy komunikujesz sie z Ala, co ona robi, mialem od niej karte.”

Nawet adres podal fikcyjny, a nazwisko: “C.Twotree.”…

 

 

(3) Jak Ci sie to podoba? Zwracam Ci uwage, ze wszystkie wykrzykniki i wielokropki sa Kazika a nie moje. To co on pisze, ze “im sie to nalezy” to – jak sie zpewne domyslilas- ze wzgledu na cenzure.

(4) Mialem list od Rysi Rones z Turcji. Do slownie jedyny spokojny kat w Europie.

(5) Mialem karte od Dobryszckich. W pawdzie adresowana byla nie do i mnie a do kogos w Szwajcareii ale tu doszla. Trasa:Portugalia, Bern, Genewa, Cincinnati (O.), Chicago… Jurek, jak sie okazaje jest w Edinburgu. Irka Eiger podobuc w Kanadzie. Musze do niej napisac.

(6) Mialem listy od Rysia Krygiera (Kauna, ZSSR), ze potrzebna mu jak wiza, od Matki, anka Lewartowskiego (ze miala o ni wiadomosci).

Poza tym mialem listy z Anglii (bylo to nawet treche bezczelne z mojej strony, zeby w tej chwili prosic o zaswiadezenia uniwersyteckie, ale zaryzykowalem i do/atalem poczta otniez w ciagu 15 dni…; z Portugali, Brazylii, Szwajcarii, dosownie dostaje zawrotu glowy.

Nie mam tylko listow od Rodzicow i Heniusia. Wyobrazasz sobie jak sie denerwuje.

Jeden list mialem, ktory szedl nastepujaco: Bermuda, Lizbona, New York, Chicago. Nadawczyni tego listu byla juz w miedzyczasie w New Yorku i ja ja tam w sierpniu widzialem.

Dear Ala –

(1) I am a swine. You are right.

(2) One day I received a registered, airmail card from Kazik, sent from Lviv 20.7 this year, (with) the following content:

Dear Leo –

I really do not know what to write first, whether to congratulate you that you have succeeded in doing so – or to send messages about ours – Jerzy, Nina with Parents and many other ‘escapees’.

They left Lviv two weeks ago, in a compulsory way, and in a completely unexpected way – and I have a word from them from Kiev, Prenzy, Samry (Kuibyshev) – and they still have not got off at the destination! I do not want to believe it !! We’ve got a little used to it here! And what will they do there ?! Some friends, e,g, the physician – he makes bricks, two women stomp manure [literally “knead manure with their legs“] …

Hell!! But they deserve it to a certain extent because they are wives, sisters, children of officers, Polish masters, occupiers – and these refugees are people on whom the charge of espionage is charged – because they registered for a return to Germany. Hi Lolek, will write more. Answer right away. (signature totally negative)

P.S. (1) You can not confirm the receipt of my cards and I remember your name and address exactly …!

(2) Warn Ruth that he [I] will write a letter to you at her address.

(3) Do you communicate with Ala, what she does, I had a card from her.”

Even the address is fictitious, and the name: “C.Twotree.” …  [Zwei = two, Tree = Baum]

(3) How do you like that? I would like to draw your attention to the fact that all exclamation points and ellipses are Kazik’s and not mine. What he writes that “they deserve it” is – as you probably guessed – because of censorship.

(4) I had a letter from Rysi Rones from Turkey. Literally the only calm place in Europe. [“kat” must mean place here, though that is not a standard meaning.]

(5) I had a card from Dobryszcki. In the address, it was addressed not to me but to someone in Switzerland, but it came here. Route: Portugal, Bern, Geneva, Cincinnati (O.), Chicago … Jurek, as it turns out, is in Edinburg. Irka Eiger reportedly in Canada. I have to write to her.

(6) I had letters from Rysia Krygier (Kaunas, USSR) that he needed a visa, from Mother, Anka Lewartowski (she had news about her).

In addition, I had letters from England (it was even a bit cheeky on my part, to ask for university benefits at the moment, but I took a chance to open my mail within 15 days …; from Portugal, Brazil, Switzerland, I get dizziness.

I do not have letters only from Parents and Henry. You can imagine how worried* I am.

One letter I had, which followed: Bermuda, Lisbon, New York, Chicago. The sender of this letter was already in New York and I saw him there in August.

* “denerwuje” does not have a precise equivalent in English. One source explains it like this:

X się denerwuje.
X thinks like this about something:
“Something bad can happen.
I don’t want it to happen
I have to do something because of this.
I don’t know what I have to do.”
When X thinks like this, X feels something bad because of this,
like people feel when they think like this.
Mental Lexicon
Anna Wierzbicka, Australian National University, “Mental Lexicon,” 2004

(7) Tu mi jest dobrze jak u p.B. za piecem. Uniwerek strasznie morowy. Bede tu pewnie mial stypendium a pozniej “Research Assistanceship”. Szezegolowo Ci napisze, jak sie to skryztalizujo.

Pozdrow Boba, no a przedtem Rodzicow. Serwus. Pisz – nie bierz ze mnie przykladu!

Za te zyczenia urodzinowe jeszcze raz dziekuje. Wcale nie wiesz jaka mi sprawilas przyjemnosc…

(7) I’m fine here, “by Mr. God behind the oven”. [p.B. = pana Boga = Mr. God] The university is terribly good. I will probably have a scholarship and later “Research Assistanceship”. I will write to you when it is finalized.

Greet Bob, and before Parents. Hi. Write – do not take an example of me!

For these birthday wishes, thank you again. You do not know how much you have pleased me …

Handwritten notes at the end:

(2) Greet Bronka. How is her Leon (?) doing?

(3) I forgot to ask you how are you doing [what is happening with you]?

(These last two translations thanks to Ari Leon Kolbar, our cousin in Israel!)

Leonid Hurwicz Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, “Correspondence, 1940 Sept. 12-1940 Dec. 24,” Box 23

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