Last correspondence - postcard Last correspondence - photo Last correspondence - cemetery

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Name of the exhibit: Last Correspondence

Submitted by: Mina Cohn

Date of origin: February 20, 1940

Origin of the object: Kanchuga, Poland. A Red Cross postcard and last correspondence from Yosef Pinchas, my Great-grandfather, sent from Kanchuga, Poland on the 2nd of February 1940, in response to his granddaughter, Zila’s inquiry about his wellbeing. (Zila was then living in Palestine). Those cards were originally sent from Palestine to Poland via the Red Cross and this is the response part that the Nazis allowed to send back (based on the explanation of the process by Professor James Casteel, Carleton University). On the right upper corner in his hand writing in German Josef Pinchas is saying that the family is well.

Description: A Red Cross Postcard used by Jewish people in British Palestine to correspond with relatives in Poland after the Nazi occupation of that country, when regular mail service was not possible anymore. Seeing his hand writing on the card was very moving.

A Picture of my Great-grandfather Yosef Pinchas, who wrote the postcard, the only picture we had of my father’s family. I grew up hearing many stories about him from my father who admired him very much.

Included in researching my family was a trip to Poland in the footsteps of my Great-grandfather. The third picture is a place where Yosef Pinchas could possibly be buried: Jagiella Forest between Pelkinska and Jeroslaw towns, South East Poland at a Russian soldiers’ cemetery, where a mass grave (grave II) for Jews murdered in Kanchuga exists. (The bodies of the murdered Jews were left in the town in the location where they were murdered, they were exhumed and moved by the Red Cross to this Russian soldier’s cemetery after the war’s end).

Voyage to Ottawa: The Red Cross postcard was kept by my father’s sister throughout her life. I became aware of it for the first time when I saw it in my father’s memoirs book חלצת נפשי ממות.