Postcard : Cardboard : Printed, Handwritten : Ink : Beige, Grey, Red ; Ht: 4 in. x W: 5 7/8 in.
Other Title Information
June 29, 1942
1 page, double-sided. On verso, red-and-white postal stamp affixed at top right corner with image of Marshal Philippe Pétain and value of 1F20. Postcard sent from Pinkas Mieses, in Les Mées, to Tuwja and Chana Berkowicz, in Bernac-Dessus, France. Pinkas writes that he has been in a labour camp since the 22 [of May], working all day in the mountains near a small town, loading timber. He struggles to keep his religious obligations. It has not been long since Bertha arrived in unoccupied territory. The communication between brothers and father has been severed at the worst time since father has been severely ill for some months. All should think about him and hope to see him healthy again. From Els. ? Punkas has received post and sent her 100 Francs. He is interested in how things are doing, especially with the child. He mentions that Mrs. Schlein has often supported him, and that the Brafm. are on the way to Aus. He sends his best wishes and kisses.. Narrative: The donor's mother, Chana (Chane, Annie) (Trompeter) Berkowicz, born in Mielec, Poland, was living in Vienna, Austria with her parents and two sisters. In 1938, after the German annexation of Austria, the family fled, driving to France via Belgium. It is likely that Pinkas was her brother-in-law, the husband of Esther Mieses. He was deported from Drancy to Auschwitz on August 20, 1942, where he was murdered. Esther and her sons Heinrich and Hermann were also deported to Auschwitz, on September 4 of the same year. They were murdered there. Tuwja (Tuwyas, Tuwia, Tuvia, Tobias) Bercowicz (Berkowicz) was the father of the donor, Jack (Jacques) Berkowicz. Born in Vilna, Tuwyas immigrated to Belgium in 1933 and when Belgium fell to Nazi Germany in 1940, he fled to France, hoping to reach Morocco by boat from Marseilles. Tuwyas and Chana met in Lyon, France in 1941 and married. Their daughter Dorothée was born in 1942. The family attempted to flee France by boat in Marseilles, but were stopped by Vichy police. They fled Marseilles and went south, into the Pyrenees region, living in various small vilages. Their son Jack was born in Bernac-Dessus in 1944. The family survived the war and returned to Brussels from 1945-1948, and then immigrated to Canada with the help of the American Joint Distribution Committee. They were sponsored by Tuwyas' sister Luba, who was already living in Halifax. The Berkowicz family settled in Montreal.