“How do you do, my dear uncle!”

Vilna, Poland, 1939. Yiddish/English Letter from Beba

Letter from Beba Epstein in Vilna, Poland, to her uncle Lasar Epstein in New York on May 7, 1939. She begins her letter in English and finishes it in Yiddish. She notes that she’s learning English in school and that this is the first time she’s ever tried to write a letter in English. She wonders if he would be able to send her a Polish-English/English-Polish dictionary published in the U.S. In the Yiddish part of her letter she talks about her plans for going on with her education. She might study humanities. There is also an educational program in Grodno, but she doesn’t know if the family can afford to send her there. She commiserates with her uncle about an unknown incident: “Don’t be angry with me, but I don’t understand why the Forward [the U.S. Yiddish daily], a labor newspaper, writes such foolish articles and publishes trashy novels.”