It is unknown as to how she and her husband survived the Nazis in World War II. Horst was a Christian as evidenced in his letter below. Both she and her husband are buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Cottbus.
Cilly and Horst did not have any children it seems. But it appears as of these two letters that they were struggling quite a bit to survive. We have no letters for 35 years after 1920, so this is just a guess. And although this is just a projection - it appears that she may have been an unhappy person throughout her life.
I am presenting two letters - the first from Cilly to her sister Anna was written in January, 1920 and the second, also to Anna, was written by Horst in December, 1920. This letter from Horst was intended to be a secret plea for a substantial loan in order to provide for his wife. We do not know what happened for three decades after this letter.
Both letters discuss the difficult living situation that they endured and also mentions the loss of brother Carl's business in Schubin, as well as the problems his gambling addiction may have played in his family's life. It is in Horst's letter that he decries their situation and his inability to provide for his wife. AND - the interesting quote used in the title of this article: "Without money it is like a person being dead."
Below are the letters - again the first from Cilly, and the second from Horst:
The translation of the letter from Cilly was recently performed by Matthias Steinke with our gratitude. The letter from Horst was translated several years ago - translator unknown.
Dresden, the 10th January 1920
Finally I got the answer to my letter today. About which I was very happy, because I could see, that you three are
well. Thank God since November 3rd is my husband safely back from British war captivity and is working in the
same job, which he had before the war.
You can´t start your own business, because you need much money. We live fully-furnished, because its impossible to pay for the furniture. For the ones, who became rich by the war is it in Germany still good. We will also emigrate to anywhere, because from the prideful Germany is only a miserable heap of ruins left. The one, who didn't inherit from his fathers or got something by war-profiteering got nowhere ("come never on a green twig").
The main things, the people need for living, like light and heating are missing, we always sit in the cold. Theo wrote also recently and has concerning the box the same meaning like you. Too bad. If you and Marta are able to support the parents, so do it, I would, if I could do it too. If the parents have in Schubin their subsistence, they are there better in good hands than in Germany.
First, it gives here no apartments, than you can`t live from this, what you get for the food ration coupons and its
impossible to pay what you can get on the hidden path (black market). In Schubin it still gives everything, butter for 6 Marks gavaged geese the pound 5 Mark, this is in opposite to here dirt-cheap.
There isn't any danger anymore and not only riffraffs, also honest people still stayed there. The main thing, one
needn't to starve and to freeze. So, don't worry about it, because its redundant. The parents have gotten the money from you and I think, Theo also.
What you wrote about Strelno and Mogilno is superfluous. I will give you an example: Some days after our wedding, Aunt wrote me, that she wanted to give me as present a Kra.. and I should write, whether I want it for gas or electric. I sent her my wish, but I am still waiting for the Kra.. This are people, who have been millionaire already before the war. In the populace, for example the red cross and so on they spend thousands.
Selma was in Mogilno recently and was very cordially received. From Poland to Germany wasn't delivered food so
far. Thank God, that you are doing well, but dear Anna, if you send money home monthly, so you are doing enough, I don't want that you will get harm because of me.
A picture comes with the next letter, because I have my entire stuff, among them also photographs not here yet.
Send you also a picture from you three, while I am sending you the heartiest greetings and kisses I remain your you loving sister Cilli.
Heartiest greeting for your husband and the small one. Karl is no rake. He has up to now nourished his family very
good and he will go far again. Every person can make mistakes, the store was totally plundered by the Polish
and even he gambled something away. Who knows to earn, is also allowed to do an escapade. Do you agree?
[from husband Horst]
Although we haven't met before is sending the heartiest greetings
Fürstenstr. 41 p (Fuerstenstr.)
And here is Horst's letter, where he pleas for help in order to provide for his wife:
My dear Sister in Law Anna,
After several days of thinking it over, as a result of most urgent necessity, I decided to write this letter to you. You know that I have been unemployed for quite some time. For someone who is without any funds because of the very costly circumstances, it is very difficult to picture this. My efforts to find a job have unfortunately been without results.
They are always looking for young inexperienced workers, because they are willing to work for less money. Even though I would be willing to do the work for trainee’s salary, nobody is willing to hire me. As you can see from the enclosed newspaper ad, even my dear wife has tried to find work but up to now without success. There simply is too much poverty around here.
Cilli suffers particularly under the pressure of the circumstances. Since she is already disturbed because of the problems of Philipp and Karl, she simply is too easy going; she tells me her problems every day.
I beg of you if it is at all possible, with dear Marta to help me establish a new means of existence. It would have been better if Cilli would have asked for this but she could not be convinced because you have done so much already for the family in Germany.
I only want this help if you are able to do this financially but only if your parents will not suffer because of this as I would otherwise blame myself for this.
I married Cilli because I truly loved her. She did not bring any dowry and I do not need it either, but unfortunately we did not foresee the sad circumstances. As you already know, without money a person is like being dead. In addition to this, my body suffered greatly because of the war and my having been taken a Prisoner of War.
The German Mark presently is worthless and the Dollar very high. If you would send me $250 to $300 dollars, this would be a major amount of money for us, and from this we would be able to purchase a small business in a small town.
I will return the money to you as soon as possible, with many thanks. I repeat again - only if you are in a position to do this. If it is not possible, then please do not tell Cilli that I wrote you about this matter.
If the sense for business would be as pronounced with us Christians as it is with the Jewish people, something that I must always praise, then I would not have to write this letter and that God knows was very difficult for me but I cannot tolerate to see the sad eyes of my beloved wife anymore.
Since I have to have myself photographed for a possible job offer I will send you a picture of your new brother in law.
Stay well and healthy and write soon again to your loving brother in law Horst.
Best regards to your husbands.
We purchased with the money that you sent us food, clothing and kitchen utensils. Cilli was very sick.