Postcard to John Gruschka from his mother Helena, dated 7 August 1939. It is addressed to him at Habonim Junior Camp in Bedfort, England.

In the face of the imminent invasion of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, John (Hansi) at the age of 14 left for England in February to be received by a distant cousin, the Meeks, in Manchester. John's sister managed to leave for Palestine shortly after. His father Theodore, although on the "wanted" list by the Gestapo managed to escape to Palestine too, with the help of Czech officials. John's mother Helena stayed to care for her sick mother. She did not survive the war.

In this postcard Helena reports that John’s father’s colleagues are all envious that he managed to leave but she is yet to take steps to follow him until he is more settled. She comments that his father is not looking well judging by a photograph they both received. John’s grandmother also writes her greetings on the other side of the card and asks how he will be a religious Jew.

The content of this large collection of correspondence is mainly a mother-to-son personal chitchat, here and there complemented by a note from John’s father Theodor and grandmother. However to the discerning eye it is also a historical reflection of the gradual tragic deterioration of Helena’s and friends’ fate under German occupation leading to her inevitable deportation.


  • Title: Keeping in touch
  • Date Created: 1939-07-08
  • Location Created: Prague, Czechoslovakia
  • Type: postcards
  • Rights: Sydney Jewish Museum
  • Medium: paper

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