JewishGen Home Page

ViewMate




ViewMate Posting VM 25038

Submitted by Sarah A Cohen

Bookmark and Share Share This Image

Information Picture Question
Category: Translation - Yiddish
Approval Date: 11/28/2012 4:39 PM
Family Surname: Knorozowski (possible)
Country: Russia
Town: Bodki
Date of Image: 1940
Click the picture to enlarge

This is the 2nd side of letter I just posted. Addressed to my great uncle Meir Knorozowski after he immigrated to NY. I am hoping contents reveal circumstances and events affecting the writer/sender, along with sender's identity. Please translate the entire letter.

I would be glad to take a dictation of the translation over the phone to make the process easier and faster. Please advise.

With many thanks for your help,

Sarah Cohen

You must be registered and logged in to respond to images.
Read the FAQs here to learn how to send thanks to a translator.


On  Response 
11/29/2012 4:18 AM Translation of both pages.

February 8, 1941.
Dear Meir,
I am addressing to you a request that I ask you to fulfil, both with what you've got and with what you haven't got, because it is a matter of life and death. I am now in Lithuania, that is to say, in Vilnius, and I have good hope of getting to Japan. And if I do get to Japan I need to have papers to go to the United States, otherwise I cannot stay in Japan. In Japan I can only stay for two weeks, so the papers need to be ready before that. If the papers and the visa are difficult to obtain, please speak with an orthodox rabbi in New York and tell him that we are yeshiva students, good students, and he will give a "guarantee" (in the original) for us, so it will be easier that way to obtain a visa to get from Japan to the United States. In one word, when you will see the rabbi you will get all you need to know about what and how. Please, don't spare any time or effort, and if money is required, please, don't spare that either, because we are living persons and with God's help we will overcome everything. Also Zelig and Hamke and the children want to make use of this same way. Zelig is here with me, in Vilnius, Lithuanian socialist republic, and he is also writing a letter such as this one to Libby, asking her to do the same for him. Go to see her and coordinate with her, and see all you can do for us, we are also making efforts here. We are staying at the place of someone from Siemyaticze, at Bavl’s (?). You probably remember him, his name is Naske Kaplan, and he is helping us with this. He makes efforts for us, and he will be leaving shortly for Japan and he will send you a telegram or a letter from Japan, and he will give you information. He helps us here and you must help him there with what you can, and if it will cost you don’t be afraid, because your father will be repaid here in American dollars and he will be able to live on this money when I won’t be here, and I vouch for this. You need to help this person exactly as if it were me. He helps me here in exactly the same way. I want to send you the address of the rabbi that you must see. Send me an answer to my old address in Lithuania and describe in detail what you are going to do, and you must know that it must be done without sparing time or effort. I’ll send you my answers in another letter. You should know that what we can achieve now we won’t always be able to achieve, and maybe we will never be able to achieve again. You will get information from the rabbi and he will guarantee the visas and send them by telegraph directly to us in Vilnius, together with a Japanese transit visa, but only as ‘good yeshiva students‘. If you get a telegram from Kaplan in Japan you must send him this kind of visa to Japan, even if it is difficult for you to get a visa to America for him. You must make the effort for him and send him then a visa to anywhere else: Canada, Cuba, Argentina, or any other place. See where it is easier for you to get a visa because time is running out. As soon as you get this letter get in touch with Libby and immediately do what is needed. Remain healthy.
Hearty greetings and kisses, Leybl.
Greet warmly your brother and his family. Greetings from your father and mother and everybody.
Understand what this is about and that you must act now because I’ll never ask anything bigger from you in my life.
T(he) S(ame) (i.e., Leybl).


This is one of the most poignant letters I have ever translated for Viewmate: a plea by people desperate to save their lives from the cursed nazis.

The notes beween brackets are mine.

About the Japanese consul giving out transit visas to Japan please see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiune_Sugihara.

Hope this has helped you and good luck with your research!

11/29/2012 6:11 AM Correction: the text opens on a much better resolution on the separate window, and I noticed that he says Naske Kaplan is the son of Bavli.
Bookmark and Share Share This Image

You must be registered and logged in to respond to images.
Read the FAQs here to learn how to send thanks to a translator.

Have a ViewMate success story? Please share it using the Help page form.
All times shown on ViewMate are in US Mountain Time
Last Updated 2 Aug 2014
ViewMate idea and author: Bernard Israelite Kouchel ז״ל
Web Author: Josef Herz, updated by John Berman, Gary Sandler
Edmond J. Safra Plaza | 36 Battery Place | New York, NY 10280
646.437.4326 | info@jewishgen.org | © 2014, JewishGen. All rights reserved.