Brooklyn in Love and at War

History of World War Two Told Through Letters

Nov. 20, 1943

This is a pretty long letter. I omitted a few pages that were between Sylvia’s letter and Adrienne’s addition because they were written in Hungarian. This was a collaborative letter between three generations of women (Alex’s mother, Sylvia and Adrienne) even though we really only hear Sylvia in this post. Alex’s mother mailed the letter for her and Sylvia paints a nice picture of the three of them together on the last page. I won’t write much since this is a long letter but it did strike me how strange it must have been for Alex not to know what his own home looked like. I also think that the accounting that Sylvia does in this letter is pretty interesting.


Most wonderful and considerate husband –

This morning I received ten letters from you!

Ten wonderful, adorable, lovable letters! I put Adrienne in her crib to sleep and sat down to a marvelous holiday of visiting with my husband.

First of all, let me assure you darling of how much I love you…. How can I tell you to do anything for you (now don’t get it in your head to become a pimp!) – oh you know how much I love you, husband – you know I’m absolutely crazy about you!

Second – let me explain about my not writing so frequently – and that is because even tho I tell myself (and everyone else) not to expect you home for a while, I always watch for you.

Sometimes the feeling becomes such a strong certainty that you’re home, that I watch thru our window for you. Once I saw a big sailor (exact same walk as you have) come towards our building and I stared until my eyes would pop out thinking it was you. Of course it wasn’t, it was some guy who lives upstairs who’s built almost like you. – Anyway, babe, every time I write you (even now) I’m sure you’ll receive it when you’re home. But I’m not taking anymore chances of being miserable feeling that I’ve made you miserable by not writing to you – so from now on you can just expect a barrage of mail.

I’ve become so guilt stricken about it that I’ll probably continue writing even after you come home. So, darling, if some night you see me sitting up in bed at midnight (is that early – don’t kid yourself – we’re going to bed at 7 PM every night!) And making mysterious hand motions just give me a paper and pencil and I’ll write you a letter! Is that better than talking in my sleep? I should say so – as this way you’ve got it all in writing! Although there’s really nothing I have to confess.

I’ve been faithful – and it’s not hard after seeing the collection of males hanging around here. None of them can look up to you. Guess that’s what love does!

One of the questions you ask in your letters is the layout of our new home. Here goes (you understand that the gas range etc. is in the living room – so try to understand my sketch now!)

Is it any clearer now? – Cookie has a little table now. Max gave me a piece of junk when I asked her for a coffee table for our couch. Well, anyway, Sadie and Charlie bought us a lovely one as a gift – so our next-door neighbors who’ve been very considerate, sawed down the junk table to Cookie’s size and I painted it yellow to match her chair and it looks adorable.  You mentioned that you were going to make her a chair darling, it would be swell if you could – as whenever another friend of Adrienne’s visits her, they both fight over who should sit in the one chair she has – and if A’s friend grabs the chair first our brat madly sits down on top of him! Boy does she have a temper!

The screen I bought with Anna’s  anniv-birthday money look pretty – but it covers only the gas range and a small part of the sink. When you come home you’ll see if we need another one to cover the rest of the sink.

Serena gave me $10 when we moved in – and I bought drapes with it (they’re not ready yet. Then she gave me $5.00 and I bought curtain material and made my pretty curtains and then for our anniversary she gave me $5.00 and I bought a wooden carvice for our window – and it looks pretty.

Darling you ask me to keep account of the money your folks gave me. How I wish I did. I remember how much I received since we’re in the new apartment – but in the other place I can’t recall how much – it was so much.

Anyway, before we moved in Anna gave me $15.00 for the deposit. We’ll have to give that back to her.

Here’s the score:

The total is $73.00 – but I feel as if I really owe only $20.00 as the balance were what I call “legitimate” gifts – like birthday – anniversary, etc. The $20.00 is checked on the other side. See if you agree with me. Otherwise we’ll do whatever you suggest. I thought we’d return the money (the $20.00) and buy them each a pin or earrings or something. You know how’ll they raise a fuss about the money. What do you say? We can give it to them for Christmas or something. Speaking of jewelry, Eugene sent Pauline a lovely bracelet he made for her —-

It’s made of French Coins and this is what it looks like:

It’s lovely – of course I’m not hinting – as I doubt if you have the machinery on board ship to make the holes in the coins but it would be nice…. And I have all these silver coins you gave me, which I’d like to have made into a necklace. What happened to the ring you were going to make for Adrienne or did you finish it –

Darling, your mother came and is leaving now. She’ll mail this letter to you. It’s raining and I can’t go out.

Adrienne encloses a note. Intelligent brat, eh? We had the first snowfall of the season this morning when she spilled a box of Cornstarch all over the house.

All my love to my love – that’s you…

I love you darling Alex –  Yours, Sylvia

P.S. Will write again tonight or tomorrow! S

[Hungarian Letter]

Final page:

Daddy come home I love you and want to know you better and I want to kiss you like I do your picture

Grandma is here now and I’m sitting in mommy’s lap and she is holding my hand

I love you


2 comments on “Nov. 20, 1943

  1. Dad
    November 22, 2010

    …what a beautiful letter. so moving. love you!!

  2. Pingback: Beauty Parlors and Weddings « Brooklyn in Love and at War

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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