London. 13th of Feb., 1928
It’s no use deceiving oneself, I am very uneasy about this journey you are making. I hope this letter finds you well and safe. – I know I shall worry about you. I shall write you every day before going to bed all the days’ news. Tomorrow’s will be exciting. Give my love to everybody and be a good sensible girl, and make up your mind not to stay long. I’ll get the covers done, also see about the light in the bedroom.
I must rush off. Write to me often,
love as ever from your
Thousand kisses my dear
Wednesday night. 15th of Feb, 1928
This is indeed a mystery. I arrived home and found this. I first thought your father had sent you money. But I never heard of Scherbuhin before. In any case I can’t do anything with it because it needs your signature. What’s it all about? Very perplexing. I can’t think for the world of me what it can be. I send you the whole packet. There is also a letter from Andzulka, which I shall also send you.
Now you must be safe in Berlin, and having a nice rest. I am dying to hear news of you. – I haven’t much news. Except that all the papers are full of praise about The Beggars’s Opera and in all I am mentioned. I’ll keep them all for you. – A very amusing thing happened today at the matinee. They had two lovely doves in the cage, this evening I saw only one. It seems they were far too amorous and had to be separated!! – The show goes well, and I am settling down to it. This morning I gave two lessons one to Mrs Mitchell and one to Miss Aulter. I gave the last named a note for her mother. You can guess what about. . . . I am feeling very well, and miss you terribly, terribly. You may laugh at this combination of feeling well and missing you so much. It’s really a sort calm after all the excitement, and I’d love to have you with me. You must try and get back soon after I return from Scotland which is on March 2nd. I am sending you the address in Scotland tomorrow, you know I leave here on Thursday the 23rd. . . . So Eva, Goodnight, darling, how I love you, you are always with me, always.
Write me all the news Goodnight
I kiss you my Eva
My darling I arrived here yesterday after a very comfortable journey. Imagine in my compartment was an English lady, one of the colonial type (Ceylon, tea plantations), she was so grateful to Providence for providing me in her way, because she did not speak a word of German nor Polish. At the station were: Father, Mother, Andzulka, Karola, Izio, Mietek, but I did not see them in that order; funny creatures parents are: they let everyone else to embrace me before they approached and why tears in their eyes? However in cars provided by “Piotrkowski & Co” we arrived home and I found yours Rogers and Nora’s letters. But Mark I don’t want to think about this check from Moscow, it is such a mystery to me that I turn giddy, when I try to guess and so I try to put it out of my mind.
I never heard this name and I have nobody in Moscow. My parents are equally puzzled, their only explanation is that somebody wants to help somebody in Poland, and as it cannot be forwarded to Poland they sent it to London, and that I shall probably receive a letter with explanations. But from where has this somebody my name, address, as I told you, I turn giddy, and am not going to dwell on it. It’s safely put away, and perhaps you have some letter for me by now.
My parents are all right, so is Andz. very happy too, the moods are unexpectedly rosy. Father is working on a new article, artificial silk, very nice too, you will see it on me. I am glad that he is doing more than only those woolens. As to this piece of materials father asked how many cinema tickets was I able to get for it.
Mark I feel like some specialist doctor. I shall have to appoint special hours for interviewing my numerable confessors; Andz, Karola, Lotka, Mietek, they all seem to be bursting to tell me about themselves as if my advise could really be helpful. However might prove quite amusing. It appears Karola told Andzulka that she is in great awe of me, and in fears in case I should condemn her (sic!) I suppose the sight of my wedding ring, which she fingered for a second brought such reflections upon her. Emusia I did not see; her father is gone quite mad, mistrusts everybody, since he know that her mother comes from Warsaw sometimes to see my people, Emusia did not pass our step, and the most terrifying thing: he does not send her to school, the child is alone at home the whole day, is dreadfully unhappy and is now quite shut up in herself. My hair stood up, when they told me about it all, I will try to see the child, but I did decide not to let anything sharp to approach my heart. It is useless, I had enough of it, when I was here in summer. But the whole situation is much much better, many wounds seem to be healed up, and oh, how consoling this is! On the whole, I think I will have an interesting time, rather terrifyingly different from London from the point of view of storring up my feelings in hundreds of ways and directions, but that is always so with my family and in Lodz. I seem to be in London with you much more sheltered, do you know what I mean? I am quite happy now, and you are the whole time in me, that is an established arrangement our hearts apparently put up, and it gives me all the required sereneness and judgment. Andzuilka says every now and then “Now tell me something more about Mark, what is the word he uses most now . . .” and so on. Just now my bath is ready, afterwards there will be people to see and things to unpack. I bought a hat in Berlin, lovely, costs 32 shillings, and two bags. Mark, why don’t you tell me about yourself in the dining-room? Do you find it a bother? Give my regards to Miss Sales, please.
Mark, darling, I must finish now, I shall be back with you as soon as I can do it without offending anybody. Darling, my darling, I want to have your heart so near me, my only one you are –
Many, many kisses yours
Lódź the 21 February 1928
My dear Markele, I feel unhappy, because I did not write to you yesterday but oh, what a night and day it was! Listen the day before yesterday was all right, only one confession, that of Mietek which turned out rather absurd and did’nt worry me at all. He is so good that he wants to marry a woman, older than he who fall in love with him long ago, and, as I understand, that Mietek is her “last chance”. It all seems to me so childish, that I wont waste much paper on it, only tell you, that I almost persuaded Mietek that he cannot possibly marry all poor, old maids that fall in love with him, that even they would not be happy in that case. So that’s Mietek, who otherwise is the same, charming and sympathetic.
The terrible thing was the night: at 2 o’clock suddenly the telephone rang, somebody wanted the ambulance, which did sound horrid in the night, and three o’clock the door bell rang: Emusia’s mother came from Warsaw, she wanted to see me, had the day off. Seeing her in the dark of night, rather nervous voice, how sad it all was! We talked till morning, I had the whole time such sinking feeling. It is’nt as if she was’nt half resigned in her position, she has her sort of consolation, her beloved work in the opera, but the burning longing to see Emusia! I promised her to go and see Emusia in the morning and tell her all about her, because, as I wrote you, the child is not allowed to see anybody of our family. I went, found her in bed still with a book. She was so astonished and yet so glad to see me! I was with her as long as I could, took her in a car to shop, she choose a book and I asked her to come to me for today, as I knew that her mother will leave in the evening, and so it will not be dangerous. Instead of saying: “Yes, I shall” she said “we shall see about it” which means nothing else, only that her father will quite probably forbid it. The child is so changed, reserved, and grown in some ways. I am not going to be unhappy about it, but I am afraid her father will end in a lunatic asylum, because he hates the whole world and does not hide it from Emusia. She was astonishingly sorry that you did not come, you seem to have left an ever lasting impression. I came home, told Rózìa (her mother) all.
But I forgot to tell you: I visited Lichtensteins’ mother, she has cancer, always in pain, and taking such trouble to show it as little as possible and making even jokes about everything. There are wonderful people in the world, and even in this God forsaken town! Of course I did not tell her that her son was’nt well, that I did not see him. She would so like to see him, but does’nt call him, because he would be unhappy. He might be unhappy not to see her, I think, because she won’t live long, I hope.
Karola, Izio, keep on ringing, coming every moment of the day. I went yesterday to see their mother, Maryla. What strange things happen! I told you, father has given Andzulka a fur coat. It was stolen out of Piortrowski’s hall together with this gentleman’s fur coat! They never tried even to make any apologies, and on the whole are a disagreeable lot. I talked with Andz. the biggest trouble is that she is ready to marry Izio, and in the same time says, that she has no confidence in him in many essential directions. What has one to do? This remains to be seen, and before I talk to Izio, I wont write you much about it. I am going to the wedding tonight, but before it am going to a concert, some german violinist’s recital, I go with Lotka and Mietek. Karola wants to talk to me alone as if there was anything new to be told! Why do people think that their value rises if they talk with anybody about all their dirty and half dirty linen?
Excuse my terrible writing I am in bed, waiting for the bath and resting after and before the nights trials. All this does not move me beyond skin deep . . . who would be the happier for it. Knowing that my mother adores cinema, I sat in it yesterday and watched “The Last Waltz”, is it not funny, do you see it in London? I tried to imagine that you did and that I look at the same thing.
To days’ program is: buying shoes, inspecting the given flower order for Maryla Piotrk– (I had to run for hours to find something suitable and it costs enormous, because there are almost no flowers here in winter), then hairdresser, manicure, seeing Marina’s children, concert and then wedding. But enough of my affairs, tell me, how is it that you sing at Campden Town in March, is it in the afternoon perhaps? So many lessons you have now? Why don’t you send away that trumpet, Moon, if he has no material to work with? And tell me, does Roger want to give a concert in Frankfurt, and really wants me to come with you? I am having a coat and skirt made and am free to order anything I want, I am only not sure how much what I can get here attract me. I hope that letter will reach you, and if not they will forward it. Only today I read Nora’s letter, so many pages, and nothing in it, however I must answer.
Mark, I find it quite interesting here, at least for the time being, I will write to you about all the changes of temperature, A propos, what frosts are here! The chin gets stiff, snow is falling, and I hope to get a sled ride. People with cars seem to follow me, there is always that of Piotrkowski ready with some member of the family in it. Andzulka looks lovely and is so intelligent. More about her affairs some other time.
My darling, you must visit your tailor especially if you were to go anywhere at Easter. I should love to write to you the whole day, but it is so difficult here. How is Perth? I know you will write to me all there is to know: My only one, your letters are such warm rays of sunshine for me! I feel every word with my soul, and feel your mind and lips, Mark, I can never be sad and unhappy, because I shall see you soon again. When I think about it everything else vanishes, big and small. I am kissing you, you feel it, yes?
All I have,
Feb 24th, 1928
I was so happy to see your long letter. I can tell you all there is to be told about here in a few words. I am here with two kind, nice, unattractive giggling spinsters, in a very ugly town, waiting to make a noise tonight. You can imagine me with them. Still I am glad to have this short respite from the Beggar’s Opera.
Your letter sounded most exciting. Really, people seem so eager to disclose their intimate feelings in Lodz. Mietek’s story seems too absurd. Why is he in a hurry to get married? I am afraid, Eva, sometimes you don’t look far enough. Think a little and you will find the solution. An amorous young man, who I am sure is very attractive to women of all ages (it seems) is ready to marry what looks like to be the worse of them. There is something that this young man wants, or has wanted, something which remains unsatisfied, and there is the reason why he wants to act the fool. As to confiding to you, we will talk about that later when we are together.
My dear, what a different life for you. You must think your life in London a bore. But please think of me. I need you so, come back to our quiet life (there are still remains of the umbrella). Please don’t stay long. Yes the story of Emusha is very sad. But please don’t make yourself ill with the life in Lodz. One thing please, Do try and write clearer. I can even now make out many things in your letter. I am sure my writing must be bad enough, Do write clearer.
Again, I must say, what a fool I was to let you go. You must think me mad to go on like this. But his sudden loneliness seems to have taken the sap of life away from me. I fell now how much I need you.
Thank Andzulka for her letter. I am too tired to write in German. I am glad she is so happy. By the way, where do you sleep? I think the only place is the so-called dining room. Please tell me. I hope you are comfortable. I sleep in your bed always. How long are you going to stay. Try and be back for the concert on the 7 at Queens for I should like you to hear me there, and tell me how the voice sounds in that hall. I miss you my darling child.
37 Gdańska, Łódź
the 28th February 1928
My dear Mark, I received today the program and letter from Perth. . . . Mark, I would love to go tomorrow to you, but my parents don’t want to hear of my going before a fortnight. I shall leave here on the 15th and be in London the Tuesday the 18th. I would hate to travel unwell, and to go before would mean to leave in a few days, which my parents would never understand. Mark, I knew how bad we shall bear our parting, but you scolded me when I talked about it, hoping that you will not let me go. However, now I am making the best of it and today there is good news: passports are getting much cheaper, so that Andzulka will be able to come to us in the spring. She must go from here. She is completely under Izio’s influence and I really am doubtful if she will be happy with him. Besides, even if she is to marry him, it will be much better if she stays while he is quarrelling with his very horrid parents. I think it is a great pity, that she should marry such a limited boy, like Izio. But if she intends to stick to it, nobody can persuade her. . . .
Miss Sales is sending the papers punctually, I read them eagerly. My darling boy, I am trying my hardest to write clear, and I send the letters already to Ordnance Road. I think it better. . . .
Mietek is making some photos of me. He wrote to that lady a deciding letter and is rather anxious, because he hasn’t got an answer yet. I can’t quite get what you mean in writing about Mietek. I think he is simply not very clever. There is no excuse for wanting to make two people unhappy, because she would be unhappy too after a time.
I saw Lotka yesterday. Mark you know, all these people think me mute. They never ask me questions, they only talk about themselves and thank God, because imagine me prattling away to those idiots about you! On the whole I seem to be very popular and sought after here, quite contrary to my experience in the summer. Can’t explain it.
Markele, my beloved, I suffer not less than you, you know it well, but we must keep it up for a while and not leave disagreeable feelings behind me. Never, never again this terrible experience. You won’t send me away again, Mark, no? I won’t disturb your work. I will act like a mouse, much better than till now. What are you talking about this life being much more interesting than in London? Do you think I could bear it for long? It is all to me so “oberflächlich”. It has absolutely nothing to do with my inner self, where there is place only for you and our life together. . . .
My boy, my darling what two silly children we are, to part willingly and condemn ourselves to this state! How good, that this month has fewer days! You know I forgot about Nora’s birthday on the 23rd. I can’t forgive myself. I am writing to your parents. I did not know the address, till you sent it.
Yours lovingly Eva
1 March 1928
My dearest, . . . There is much today I want to write about. First of all, I went yesterday to the theatre. I found it improved much since 5 years and the piece was amusing. Instead of two girl friends of Ela Faust, as I expected, were about 8 or 9 women and men. Ela herself is rather too sweet for my taste and although she seems to be very keen on us being friends, I shall keep away as much as I can. I did not even go, as I promised with them to a café after the show. I found the whole company much too glittery in words. I excused myself with a handshake and drove straight home. Then I had a long difficult talk with Andzulka. Mark, she doesn’t want to marry Izio, she is horrified to think of if even; she knows she will never be happy with him, his character is much too little steady and many other disagreeable qualities he has. It is very difficult, because he hasn’t an idea that she is not at all decided and he behaves as if it would leave no doubts. She cried, Andzulka, and I could hardly persuade her that never is too late and I quite agree with her about Izio. I told her, that while in London it will be much easier to bring the matter to him, that she should not despair. “I don’t need, I don’t want, to be his wife. It is only because I not get a room to myself and similar discomforts, that make me so stupid as to think of marrying him.” In a word, I do hope that Father will do his best to send her away from here, where Izio lives so near and comes and rings so often. Mark, Karola is what you told me long ago. I admire your “menschenkenntis” I do dislike her for many things and only tolerate her for the sake of old times and the unspeakable incapacity of seeing the truth. I visited Lichtenstein’s mother again, because I was told she asked after me. She has no pain any more. She doesn’t feel any taste or smell. It looks as if she is going to have a peaceful end. She is conscious and even now likes to laugh. . . .
Markele, what would I give to be with you in our house, my darling, my beloved boy.
Tell me, if you have much work, many lessons now. Is Miss Anderson an intelligent pupil? Do you write something new? Mark I shall never disturb you again, you will see.
Still no news from Moscow?
Is Nora in town, she did not answer my letter, nor Evelyn, funny, no?
Mark, it is the first already still 17 days till we shall be together. I want to come on a Sunday, no? and so it doesn’t make much difference if I stay or not in Berlin. I shall just leave here one day sooner. May I stay here till the 15th? Mark, darling never again!
With love and kisses your wife
You have no idea how sweet and good Father is in everydays’s life! Even the postman adores him! He is so wise, Father and he so dreams of coming to see us. We talk English almost the whole time. Astonishing his memory!
5th of March 1928
My dearest wife,
I got your letter of the lst of March this morning and the photographs. Is that the new bag you bought in Berlin? Knowing how much you like photographs I must buy a camera for you. And then you can keep a continual supply to Lodz, of the Raphaels in their various poses in their garden and out of it. I would have loved to have seen your eyes, but that fashionable hat forbids the view of the eyes.
The little concert yesterday was a great success. George Reeves was in a good mood and played wonderfully. Then I went home and found both father and mother very well and very pleased to have got your letter. Father would like you to see his mother if only to find out if that wretched girl speaks the truth. Her latest is that they have had to sell up everything to provide doctor and medicine for his mother. Awful isn’t it?
Bubbles has had an eye put in as a trial. It seems she looks lovely and is herself very proud of her new toy, as she thinks it is and when they take it out she cries bitterly, “give me back my little black eye.” Poor Bubbles, with such wretched parents. I think they manage all right, though the fuel they burn to make life makes nothing but a nasty stinking smoke.
We don’t know yet how the concerts have gone financially.
Your Elsa Faust friend, sounded immediately with your first introduction of her, a rather over luscious person. Certainly wouldn’t agree with you. The question of Andzulka is a very sore one. But it seems to me that under these conditions they will never marry. Andzulka’s reason as you put it is a very weak one and rather (don’t be annoyed) a vulgar one. Prostitutes have been known to take up their kind of life just because they revolt against the discomfort of living. Please don’t be angry, but Andzulka seems ready to sell her life, just because she doesn’t have a room for herself and similar discomforts as you put it. Really Eva, why be led away by hysterical feelings of a girl shut up with her own ideas. She will never marry Izio as she feels now anyhow, that would be a fiasco from a tableaux point of view. Haven’t hundreds of girls in this stage of life been proposed to? I wish I could talk to Andzulka. It seems that one day I will have to and I only hope it will be in London away from all those imaginative sick, who breed copiously in Lodz. It seems such a pity that such a rare girl as Andzulka should not be patient enough and treat life as a thing that moves and hope to meet the man who will bring the best out of her. That is my only hope, that life moves on, if only it would move faster and bring you to me.
You write for the first time “may I stay till the 15th.” Now that you ask me, I say you may not. Please Eva come back, I feel as though I am walking on the edge of a cliff, and any minute, if I lose my power of will I can fall into the deepest depression imaginable. It is with the utmost energy that I keep my spirits up. You write that you must stay over Purim. Alright Purim is tomorrow night and then finish. So come back as soon as you get this letter. Relieve my pent up feelings with a happy wire to say you have started on your way back. You may be in time for a party Roger is having in his house on the 11th March. He is making it for an American tenor whom he wants to help. O dear child, Miss Anderson is quite intelligent, I have loads of work, no head for composition because you are not near me. Buy Miss Sales a nice umbrella or something like that. But all this has no interest for me. I want you and you only you wonderful girl of mine, how I love you. Come back. I seem to have lost the art of sleeping and having good rests. It might be the weather but I know were you here with me with one kiss you could open up for me all I need. Love, rest and energy to work on. My love come back to me soon,
I am supposed to be answering for Mother, but my love for you shoves everything aside.
6th March, 1928
I feel very sore about the strong words I used concerning Andzulka yesterday. Please forgive me. I am sorry. I am quite mad these days. If you don’t come back soon I shall become a bitter awful young man. I can’t imagine what they think of me in the theatre. But I know the chorus girls all seem to avoid me and in passing I heard one say “for goodness sake Filch, don’t look so miserable.” So you see Eva, what effect this is having on me. So if I write some more mad things, judge my words with discretion. . . . I am sure to get a letter from you today and will write you again. The weather is so lovely. We’ll go every Sunday into the country just us two alone. Yes! Love and kisses from