Their Legacies Remain
Ruth Hanover’s Last Letters to her Family from Amsterdam, 1939 – 1941
Care of Rosi Hanover
The Pfeuffer Family
Metudela Street 17
2 July 1939
… I have to study so much… I must make up an enormous gap in mathematics, physics and biology. I am now studying 4 to 5 hours a day… On Sunday I went to a concert. The orchestra was huge and excellent. They played pieces from Debussy, Fauré and Roussel. It was a French program.
Have you heard anything about an immigration permit to Eretz Israel? I have not yet given up hope entirely of hearing Toscanini in Jerusalem in September…
My heartfelt regards, and a light Tisha B'Av fast,
4 March 1940
Tomorrow our parents are traveling to the United States, and I have decided to follow in their footsteps, and have put aside my thoughts of Eretz Israel. It’s not that I’m suddenly afraid of the hard life there, but I just don’t want our parents to be all alone…
I hope, and this is my deepest and most heartfelt wish, that we will all see each other again. And that, God willing, we will never part again.
Shalom and goodbye,
Your Sister, Ruth
19 March 1941
… Purim went well over here. Mrs. F., who had invited me, was just celebrating her birthday. Aside from this I met Rabbi Dureks from Hamburg or Altona. He sends you, dearest father, many wishes…
In the meantime all the necessary papers have been sent off, and I am waiting… If everything goes well, the journey is planned for May. The passport photos turned out quite awful, which is why I did not send you one.
Many warm wishes,
17 June 1941
Finally we are having some beautiful summer weather. I have had my hair cut… Mostly it does not look too tidy. But I cannot afford to go the hairdresser and get a perm… All in all, it rather suits me. The piece of clothing in light blue is charming… One can wear it with an open collar. The buttons and belt are in dark blue… You will be able to see it when I am with you.
Until now there has been no word of the journey.
Many warm wishes,