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Private Papers of H H Kassman – Telegram and Letter from Kassman to Mother, March 24, 1941

Date:

24.04.1941

Location:

טוברוק, לונדון

Personality:

H. Henry Kassman

Keyword:

פסח

Organization:

הצבא הבריטי

Archive:

Imperial War Museum (IWM)

Folder Number:

Gunner HH Kassman 1-6.1941

Description

Telegram and letter from Gunner H. Henry Kassman to his mother, from within a file of his correspondence between 1941-1943 compiled by his daughter in 2010. File’s contents are primarily typed letters and other correspondence, occasionally reproduced (often in addition to the typed version), and also include photographs, diary entries from Kenneth Rankin’s book Top-Hats in Tobruk, some other written materials, and some explanatory material. For further information, please see the folder summary. For all posts about this collection, please click on the “H. Henry Kassman” tag in this post.

Page 17: Telegram to mother (presumably), addressed to Kassman at a London address: “safe and well fondest love Kassman”. (Note: “EFM” is typed before “Kassman”, which gives the impression that these are initials. In fact, EFM stands for “Expeditionary Forces Message” – this was an EFM telegram. The letters “EFM” appear near the telegram’s text – in at least one format of the EFM telegrams, it is positioned immediately before the addressee, on the same line as the name.)

Letter from Kassman to mother: Some discussion of mail received (minor). They (likely Kassman and his brother Alec, unless more Jewish soldiers had arrived since an earlier mention that they were the only Jewish soldiers remaining in their Battery – see page 12) had no way to figure out when Pesach fell so they could not keep it. Kassman jokes that they could have used army biscuits for matzah, as they are very unleavened. The mother hosted twelve people at the Seder. The soldiers misjudged the temperature – colder for longer than expected.

“Things are not going too well out here at the moment, but the war is far from finished yet and everyone is in an extraordinary state of optimism. I cannot tell you what we are doing or where we are doing it, but we are both safe and well.” (Presumably referring to the siege of Tobruk, according to timeline note on previous letter and diary extracts on the following page.)

 

1 page, typed. Telegram dated April 22, 1941; letter dated April 24, 1941.

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