Typed letter on onion skin paper with -9- at top and Bratislava, 24.XII.1942
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:
This letter with no name given in the salutation is from Bratislava, Slovakia, typed in German, and signed “Josef” It employs coded language that Gisi Fleischmann herself would use in her own correspondence, updating the recipient on events pertaining to European Jews- especially in Slovakia. For example, the name Ziviah in Gisi’s correspondence is typically a reference to children smuggled out of Slovakia, or events surrounding this. Where the letter says “Aunt Aliyah” cannot help, this may be a reference to friends and others in her circle importuning her to go to Palestine where her two children are living so that she is out of harm’s way. As of the date of this correspondence, almost 60,000 Jews have been deported to concentration and death camps as well as ghettos. The transports seemed to come to a standstill two months before this document was sent to its recipient. The Working Group incorrectly attributed this lull to their own efforts. The Europa Plan was conceived: bribing the Germans to save Jewish lives. As of this date on the letter, however, the Working Group could not know that the plan would not be carried out, and that the Germans could not be trusted. Indeed, information had been received from agents in October of 1942 that deported Jews were being murdered at Treblinka and Belzec, information that would be used to solicit help from foreign powers. If “Joseph” is another “nom de plume” for Gisi Fleischmann, this letter has a decidedly disconsolate tone. Letter signed “Your Josef, formerly of Kibbutz Borochov in Lodz.”
Letter-from “Eli” of Bratislava- typed as addendum to correspondence above, ostensibly letting recipient know that he is healthy and doing well, and that his wife and friends are still with him. He does miss the family but follows “with interest the development of the children, esra and tnua, No messages from Jescha and family. “in lively contact with Nathan”. Again, does the need for secrecy require coding the children’s names;i.e., are these Gisi’s two children in Palestine? Is the Nathan mentioned here Nathan Schwalb?
11 7/8 x 8 3/8"
Gisi Fleischmann, Bratislava Working Group
"Typed Coded Letter Possibly by Bratislava Working Group Member Updating Recipient on Issues Relating to Occupation by Germans" (1942). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2022.1.22.