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Town with a Jewish Past: After the War


   Letter from Siberia: Request for Assistance to Mr. Wolfenhaut


A man named Mr. Julius Wolfenhaut helped Czernowitz native Josef Gottesmann, the eldest brother of Mendel Gottesmann, as he had met him in Siberia.

Josef had been deported with his wife in 1940 from Czernowitz and sent to Novovasiugan in Siberia, having been labeled a "capitalist." Sadly, Josef's wife passed away on the journey to Siberia.

Josef and another brother named Hermann once owned a shoe store on the Ringplatz in Czernowitz named "DELKA."


Right to left
: Josef, Mendel
Gottesmann and a friend,
Czernowitz, Ukraine
cir 1930


Writing on postcard from Josef Gottesmann,
16 Dec 1957

Postcard of Moscow from bridge
with the Kremlin in the background.

The writing on the postcard, as written by Josef Gottesmann, states:

Dear Mr. Wolfenhaut,
I confirm with many thanks the sum of fifty rubles you have sent me. The delay [in my responding to you was because] the post office had no postcards. Again many thanks and I wish you and your family all the best and good health.

With many (kind) regards,


This next letter (not shown here) was written by a Jewish lady from Germany, also having been deported, named Lea Gendler, who took care of the elderly Josef Gottesmann in Siberia. He passed away there at the age of eighty-seven.


Kruglowsky Home for Invalids
4 Dec 1959

Dear Mr. Wolfenhaut,
I take the liberty without knowing you personally to write a few lines to you. I am a Jewish woman from Germany and have been here at the home for invalids for five years together with Mr. Gottesmann. We are the only two Jewish souls here. Before there had been some other Jewish women here.
They emigrated to Israel and we two are now alone. We were very good friends--he an old man and helpless and I was there the whole time, near him, to help in any respect. He was very happy being not far from me. But a year ago I was sent to another place, about half an hour away and couldn't go to him so often. He "nebbich" remained very alone. He was very unhappy and often sick. He was always very excited, hoping to emigrate to Israel. But he didn't get any permission to leave. Last week he fell ill, but I got a pneumonia and couldn't go to him immediately. Nevertheless I went to see him, but he was already very sick and couldn't speak well. He got weaker and weaker, I was with him for three days and three nights and he died on Sunday the twenty-ninth of November at eleven in the morning. I made all the necessary [arrangements], and he was buried on Tuesday, the 1st of December. I was with him until the very end. He didn't want to die here and always hoped to go to Israel, but it was in vain."

Mrs. Gendler then continues her correspondence, telling Mr. Wolfenhaut about the small sum Josef had saved for his hoped-for emigration, and she then asks Mr. Wolfenhaut if he would be able to provide her with a small sum per month as a help to her, being that she is sick and old. She asks this of him, knowing that Mr. Wolfenhaut had helped Josef before in a similar manner.


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