These 2 letter are truly heartbreaking. The 1st one because it was written by a young boy showing appreciation for a gift, not knowing what fate waited for him after his mother had sent his letter. This one actually tore my heart to pieces.
The 2nd one from a young man who knew exactly what was waiting for him and yet he was able to comfort his family. A real Hero
Zalman Levinson was a nine-year-old boy who lived with his mother, Frieda, and his father, Zelik, in Riga, Latvia. They stayed in regular communication with Frieda’s sister, Agnes, in Israel, who would send gifts to Zalman.
Frieda sent Agnes a postcard from Riga in April 1941. After that, the letters suddenly stopped. it is known now that the family’s names were included on a list of inmates at the Riga ghetto, where about 30,000 Jews were held captive.
In late 1941, Germans declared that they would be moving the ghetto’s inhabitants and settling them “further east.” Between November 30 and December 9, at least 26,000 of these Jews were killed southeast of Riga along the Riga-Dvinsk railway. It is likely that this is where the Levinsons, including Zalman, were killed.
The last letter that Frieda received from her nephew was a colorful drawing of his house and a brief letter he had written himself. The letter to his aunt was signed with his name and a brief, “Thank you for the present.”
Wolfgang Kusserow and his entire family were under close watch from the Nazi secret police because of their religious activities. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, he believed that God—and not Hitler—was deserving of his loyalty.
Even after his father and mother were arrested for this, Kusserow continued to hold illegal Bible study meetings in his home. Like Gerhard Steinacher, Kusserow refused to join the German military effort and was arrested in December 1941. He, too, was tried and sentenced to death.
My dear Parents, and my dear brothers and sisters!
One more time I am given the opportunity to write you. Well, now I your third son and brother, shall leave you tomorrow early in the morning. Be not sad, the time will come when we shall all be together again. Those who will sow with tears, will reap with joy. “Those sowing seed with tears will reap even with a joyful cry.”
How great the joy will be, when we see all of us again, although it is not easy now to overcome all this, but through belief and hope in the King and His Kingdom we conquer the worst. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).
So we confidently look forward to the future.
Dear Papa, I am sorry that I was not allowed to visit you early in December. Exactly one year ago from tomorrow I saw you and Hildegard for the last time. In the meantime I have visited Lenchen. It was a special joy for me to see Mummy once again. Well, dear Mummy, Annemarie read me your dear letter during her visit… It is fine that you are busy in the baking factory (prison), so you are at least in a warm room and you have something to eat. Lenchen is now in the concentration camp.
Thus we are all separated, but everybody is steady. Yes we shall be rewarded for all of this. Read this in James 1:12: “Happy is the man who keeps on enduring trials, because on becoming approved he will receive the crown of life, which Jehovah promised to those who continue loving Him.”
“Dear Annemarie, once more special thanks to you for all your endeavors. May this our Lord reward you. I have you all constantly in mind. That was a life, when we were all at home together! – And suddenly separated!
Well Satan knows that his time is short. Therefore, he tries with all his power to lead astray from God men of good will, but he will have no success. We know that our faith will be victorious.
In this faith and this conviction I leave you.
A last greeting from this old world in the hope of seeing you again soon in a New World.
Your son and brother (signed) Wolfgang”
Wolfgang was killed on March 28, 1942. He was 20 years old
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