Letter from Munkács to Eretz Israel

This letter was written by Shlomo Leib Moskowitz, who worked at the Munkács Hebrew Gymnasium, to Dr. Chaim Kugel, the Director of the Gymnasium who fled to Eretz Israel. Shlomo Leib died at the age of 44 from starvation and exhaustion at Bergen-Belsen in March 1945. His wife Malka (née Halpert), his 12-year-old daughter Esther and 10-year-old son Hirsch-Chaim were murdered at Auschwitz. His two daughters Margola and Leah immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1939. His son Moshe and his daughter Sara survived and immigrated to Eretz Israel as well.

10 Nissan 5669 [30 March 1939], Munkács

To the Revered Mr. Dr. C. Kugel, Tel Aviv, Eretz Israel
Greetings from the tortured one […?]

Kind Sir and Benefactor!
I am writing to remind you of the terrible and wretched situation, and to ask you once again to save tender, innocent children from destruction.

Our institution is now a barracks – soldiers in their masses fill the courtyard and the rooms within. Does his Honor not understand our situation? […]

At night on my bed, sorrowful thoughts grip me: I will end this terrible life. If we are locked out of our homeland, maybe the gates of Heaven are still open –

What more can I hope for, what can I wish for? A life without hope, don't let my young chicks see what will come and what is happening now – despair, nightmares and terrible suffering, and who will help them?

My dear Sir!
I worked diligently for 14 years, with boundless love and devotion. My labors were very tiring and rife with scarcities (in recent years) but all this was worth it because I served a real Jew who dedicated his life to his people and his land – I am asking you that as I lose my strength, please don't abandon me!

Who can I turn to in this great sorrow? Who? Who will have pity and mercy upon me?

Is this Torah and its reward? I will not cease from shouting out, of the founders in our town, me, who instituted and paved the way for the great idea, the idea of a people and its land.  I was a simple soldier all my life, not to gain any reward in my lifetime, I am drowning, begging and praying that a Hebrew generation will be saved, six children that were born and educated within the holy walls of the Hebrew Gymnasium. Save them while you still can!

With blessings to his esteemed and honored one, held in the highest regard
Shlomo Leib Moskowitz

My regards to the members of your household – may the Lord lengthen their days!

Yad Vashem Archives O.75/851