His most chilling sentence is "But one gets used to everything and one owes only the death."
His family is strewn everywhere. Jakob is nowhere to be found - daughters Martha and Anna are in Brooklyn. His sister Sara is in Oakland, California. Son Theo is in Bromberg, Moritz in Leipzig, and the rest are either still in Schubin or in Berlin.
The war and the cost of goods is wearing on he and his immediate family at home in Schubin. Looting and internment camps are part of the distress reported by Alexander. Yet wife Helene is ever positive as is daughter Frieda in this letter to their beloved Anna.
Szubin, street of the 3rd May Nr. 31, 3rd September 1919
Beloved daughter Anna, good son-in-law and sweet grandchildren!
First of all deepest congratulation for your little daughter, and for the coming new year. We got a message from Martha about 14 days ago and we also waited since year and day for yours. All, who have relatives over there are getting letters only we don´t, except the one from Martha, which we directly answered in detail. Hopefully is our answer, which was addressed to you all already in your hands.
We were glad to see, that you are doing well; but it was nothing mentioned about Jakob, Aunt and the bank. I will also write today to San Francisco and Oakland.
How we were doing and will do in future is impossible to describe in a letter. Schubin and the whole county is now Polish and it will probably be. In front and in the city were huge battles with many losses of people. In the beginning the Polish and German soldiers were looting, and Karl had over 15.000 Mark stolen from him. We had been spared of paying contributions and bails.
One day they wanted to intern us, but did not start. All German and Jewish men, who haven't fled were interned or had to pay high bails.
Now they are quite all at home.
Karl is not among those at home, because he had already fled to Berlin before the internments began. And Hedwig moves with both children in the middle of the month to Berlin to Karl. After the children we will longing for, because they were always around us.
We live in a house. Our boys have been soldiers during the war and came back safe and healthy.
Only Theo got an attack of malaria. Coming from the Ukraine he came to Bromberg (Bydgocz). He couldn't come to Schubin and fled to Berlin, where he had a profitable job.
His stuff will Hedwig bring when she moves.
Philipp is doing well, so as Moritz in Leipzig.
Julius and wife and child visit us often. Julius became in the internment camp very serious ill.
We were treated by the military authorities very good. With the people are many problems. In Schubin, which became Polish, the people are being treated fairly, unlike the people in Germany. Nine Jewish families are already away and others will follow. We also don't stay here.
The livelihood is very expensive, but its here better than in Germany, here you can get something for the money at least. A pound meat costs 4 Mark, 1 ... eggs 4-5 Mark, 1 bread 1,70 Mark; 10 butter 5 Mark and more; 1 box old matches 30 Pfennig; 1 cigar 3,50 Mark, coffee 30 Mark, rice 3,30 Mark; 1 package chicory 3 Mark and so on.
We hadn't any distress so far and we still have some money.
As far as there is something in the stock, we will hold out. We don't expect anything from you, because you also
have hard times. If the bank would pay, it would help us, because the Dollar costs here 14 Mark.
Write your opinions and make inquiries. Write me also the address of Jakob and Aunt. Cylli had against our sake in Graudenz (Grudziądz) a war-wedding with a man who is still in British war-captivity. His name is Horst Eilenberg and he is a finely educated man. Cylli is since 8 days in Berlin and awaits her "Saxon". She was and is very hysterical.
Selma is and was during the war here and helped Mum. But will probably soon go to Berlin, because here it has no purpose.
Frieda, who is tall and strong writes for 60 Marks per month. At the moment for shoes which cost 130 Mark the pair. A strikingly beautiful girl.
Mum and I are getting tottery. The times here were terrible.
We spent the nights in the cellar as protection against the grenades. But now its calm and orderly and give God that now everything will be settled soon. Bromberg is still German and every traffic to there closed. We have here always soldiers, that is to say now Polish. We are afraid for the next winter due to a deficit of heating-material. A fathom timber costs 100 Mark and peat, timber and coal are not available. The electric light is limited.
But one gets used to everything and one owes only the death.
As soon as the boys find an apartment for us we will move. At the moment there aren't any apartments available and we pay here 300 Mark yearly. Martha's advised parcel didn't arrive so far, and as soon we will get a message from you we will tell it to you.
What's the name of the little daughter? Has Harry a job? Do you still have the business? Do you live with the Sternbachs and Markheims in harmony?
Greet all, and also you are hearty greeted from your you loving parents.
We got Martha's letter and are very concerned being without message from you, my beloved and we expect with huge longing a letter from you. Hopefully you are healthy, so as also the little one to whom we hearty congratulate.
We are doing well, we want to move away. No hope? and inflation is raising.
Martha should wait sending the parcel, it doesn't arrive up to today.
For today farewell and be hearty greeted and kissed by your you heartfelt loving mother Helene
Please greet also Martha, Benny and the lovely children as well as all relatives
The heartiest greetings and kisses is sending you your sister and sister-in-law Frieda.