A Genealogical Study


Goldberg (En)






Goldberg (Fr)




(30 APRIL 1961)




Tova Niedzwiecka

(later Akerman)

Radzilow, c.1921








30/4/1961 Shvunia


My dear friend,


You will be very surprised at my writing. First, I shall introduce myself to you. I am a niece of yours, that is through Krejna's daughter2. My dear friend, I very much regret that for so long a time we have been unable to write, though Uncle Meyer3 must surely have written to you about us. My dear friend, how are things with you? How is uncle, also you, my dear cousin? I write that it is high time we should get acquainted, for this is what is left from our mother, also from you, my dear, and also, my dear uncle, with your children. As our children are already grown up and now independent, you'll understand they desire to see something of the world. For this reason, my son4 will come to you on a visit, so I would ask you to expect him for he is, after all, your niece's son. I ask that you should not be annoyed at my request - you know, after all, that when one wishes to travel, then one turns to friends. I believe you will be with his arriving and that you will welcome him nicely. I thank you very much for everything and also await a visit from you. [You] will see and recognise (become acquainted) with your family. My son will tell you all the other news and I end my letter and wish all the best. Your niece with my sister, also the family. I believe that, this month, he will be with you and thank you, once again, with many wishes to all my cousins. Answer me very soon.


1 Solly Tiskofsky (1889-1965) was born Zelig Tyszkowski in Radzilow, and his family moved to London in 1901. His late wife, Brajna Kowalska (1891-1956) was a sister to the Krejna and Meyer mentioned in this letter.


Tova was Krejna's eldest daughter. She was born in Radzilow 1907/8 and died in Israel in 2002.

3 This was Mejer Kowalski, who was born in Radzilow 1892/3 and moved to Jerusalem c.1924. He died there aged 103, c.1996.


Her son was Amos Akerman, who was born in 1938/9 and died in 2001.


This most noticeable aspect of this letter is the presumption with which Tova writes. She introduces herself to an uncle she had almost certainly never met - he came to England several years before she was born - and proceeds to tell him that her son will be coming to stay with him! Solly was 71 and a widower, and may have been surprised by the sudden responsibility of hosting a distant relative from Israel, despite his legendary love of family.


Tova writes in the typically loving style of a Jewish mother, referring to everyone in very affectionate terms, and describes the familiar feelings of a parent overseeing her child's development and appetite for exploration.


It is believed that Amos did visit London in 1961, and Solly's sister, Lily, and her husband made aliyah immediately after his visit. The two families remaining friends in Israel, and Tova and her family looked after Lily in her old age, after the death of her husband.


See photos of Tova, her parents and siblings


See photos of Solly and his family


See photos of Tova's uncle, Mejer Kowalski


See photos of Solly's sister Lily Woliner


Letter donated by the late Lynda Harvey. Translation by Reuben Berg.


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