"Beggars can't be choosers"
"I beg of you, love her like a mother, so that she feels my absence less keenly."
Isabella-Bella Fodor from Kolozsvár wrote these heartrending words to the adoptive family of her eight-year-old daughter Gita in Nagyvárad. Isabella was deported to her death in Auschwitz. Gita's father, Chaim Fodor, was drafted to the Hungarian Army labor battalions and did not return. Gita survived. Isabella's letter is one of the 13 last letters on display here.
The last letters featured in this exhibition were sent from home, from hiding, from ghettos, prisons and camps to family members and friends. Among them is the last letter written by ten-year-old Jacob Hijman Marcus from Amsterdam, to his grandparents. His parents, grandfather and grandmother survived. Jacob was murdered in Auschwitz.
The letters in this exhibition were sent from the Czech lands, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Russia and Ukraine. They were written in a variety of languages: Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Russian.
Most of the letters were donated to Yad Vashem by family members as part of the national "Gathering the Fragments" project. Through the prism of these letters, we can tell the story of the individual in the Shoah, and restore the names and faces to the victims.