Last sign of Life from Stawkowski Family

Translated from Hebrew by Mr. Yuval Romano

This is the last sign of life arriving to Israel from Sima (Simca) Stawkowski’s parents through the Red Cross.

Sima, who immigrated to Israel in 1936, is the sole remnant of her family. Her parents, Jacob and Esther Stawkowski and her four sisters, Haya, Ita, Tova and Paula, all perished.

Mr. Yoav Shaham, who donated the letter and Simca Stawkowski’s son states:

According to the “letter” they were all together in Siedlce Ghetto. But, we don’t know how they found their deaths. Did they die of illness, shot during an action, or led to Treblinka when the ghetto was liquidated in the summer of 1942?

On the front page are two stamps: one, 22 or 27 of January 1940. The second, a Polish stamp, 28 CZER. 1940 (I don’t know Polish, maybe someone knows what month is Czer?)

The stamp on the back is in English, dated September 2nd 1940. Since I don’t know Polish all I can read and understand from the writing on the back of the page are their names: Jankiel, Estera, Chaja, Ita, Tauba, Pola.

On the front side is their address in Siedlce: 60 Pulaskiego Street and my parents’ address in Tel-Aviv at the same time (17 Melchett St.).

That’s the story. My parents no longer heard from them. Frankly, I do not know how the correspondence was going on at the time. Did they bring a letter with a pre-addressed page to the offices of the Red Cross in Tel Aviv, from where it was sent to Geneva and from there to Siedlce? How did the letter make its way back? The site contains a postcard from the Judenrat to the World Jewish Organization in Switzerland. From this I conclude that all the time there were postal relations between the ghetto and Switzerland. But, how exactly did these connections work, I do not know. It would be interesting to know if any of the survivors who were in the ghetto at that time could tell how relations with the world outside the ghetto were maintained. And what connections existed.