Rebecca Lesses

Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religion
School: School of Humanities and Sciences

Letters from Mordechai Falkon, of Liepaja/Libau, Latvia, to his nephew, Mark Falcon Lesses, of Boston, Massachusetts.

Liepaja 13 September 1934

Dear Nephew Mark,

I was extremely glad to get your letter. If you like it better, you may write the following letters also in English. Here are many of my friends, who understand English.

I thank you very much for your letter and ask you to write me more of your living there.

Concerning my person, I make here a pretty good living. I have my own house, and working in the oil-business.

Your aunt Gertrude lives in Moscow, her son is an ingeneer, her daughter is married also with an ingeneer. Another daughter is also married. She is an attorney of law.

Why do you not write anything of your sister, how is she living? Please let me know.

I am awaiting your farther letter with more news of you and your family and remain with heartiest greetings
your uncle
M. Falkon

My address:
M. Falkon
Barenu iela 19

Liepaja, 15th November 1934

My dear Nephew,

I was very glad to receive your letter with pictures. The reason, why I have not answered till today is, that I wrote about you to aunt Gertrud and was waiting for her reply. But I have not yet received any answer from her, therefore I give you her address and you may write her yourself. Her address is as follows:
M. Kagan
Bolschaja Poljanka
No. 37/I
Moskwa 17
As soon, as I get a letter from Moscow I am going to write you. With much love and best wishes
Your uncle
M. Falkon

[on the side of the letter]: Greetings from me and my wife to your wife.


Liepaja, 29. July 1935

My dear Nephew,

I thank you for your writing to me. We are all well and hope to hear from you the same. Your aunt Gertrud and her children are well. They did not write you, because they are now all in the country on vacation for the summer months. They will answer you as soon as they come back to Moscow.

My business is going now pretty bad, but that is a general so called sickness in our economy, owing to the new political situation. [1]

For this time nothing more. Heartiest greetings to you and your family from my wife and me.

Your uncle
M. Falkon

[1] From 1934-1940 the dictator Karlis Ulmanis ruled Latvia. For a discussion of his economic policies and whether they were anti-semitic, see Andrew Ezergailis, The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941-1944 (Riga: Historical Institute of Latvia; Washington, D.C.: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1996) 66-69.

Liepaja, Sept. 9th 1936

My dear Nephew Mark,

I received your kind letter of the 21st pas. and see, that my letter written to you a long time ago has gone lost.

I and my wife are in good health.

Within the next few weeks I hope to see here my sister and her husband coming from Moscow to visit us. I am going to write to you as soon as they will be here.

In the meantime I send you the best wishes for a happy New Year and remain, with heartiest greetings to your family

Your uncle
M. Falkon


Liepaja 24th March 1937

My dear Nephew,

The reading of your kind letter has enjoyed us very much. We send heartiest greetings with best wishes for you, your wife and your children. I and my wife are in satisfactory health. Your aunt Gertrude did not come to us on account of not getting the visa from the Sovyet Authorities; we regret this very much.

With kindest regards from my wife and me

Yours sincerely
M. Falkon


Liepaja, Dec. 13th 1938

Dear Nephew,

Your letter of the 10th Nov. I received in due time, but I did not answer hitherto, as I had no information about our friends in Russia. Yesterday I have got a letter from Detroit saying that my sister’s daughter and her husband are arrested. As it seems to me you are much better informed than I am and therefore I beg to ask you to do everything you can as to help them in any way. My niece’s name is Braune, her husband’s name is Ruwen Fuksman.

I am glad to hear that you have bought a house and I wish you all the best.

People in Moskow are of course in great need, but it is not advisable to send them anything, as clothing and even money used not to be delivered at all or, if delivered, with great difficulties. If you have any friend who is traveling to this country (Russia) you may send by him some clothing.

Enclosed you find the address of my niece in Moscow.

Sending many greetings also from my wife to you and your family I remain with much love

Your uncle
M. Falkon

[unused envelope enclosed with Moscow address in Cyrillic alphabet]


Liepaja, 18th March 1940

My dear Nephew,

Not being sure, that my letter written about two weeks before, will reach you, I write you today again. My wife has been sick for a long time, but now she is again well up. Also I am well, but since January the 1st I left all my business and since then I am nothing doing.

I am thanking you very much for your kind will to help me get into U.S., but as long as it is possible to live here, I should not leave our old home. Should unforeseen circumstances induce me to leave, I shall not fail to inform you in right time. All papers received from you I delivered to the U.S. Consulate, which will inform me, when my turn will come.

I hope you and your family are all well and I shall be glad to hear from you as often as possible.

With kindest regards from me and my wife

Your uncle
M. Falkon

[on the back of the envelope is stamped: Stockholm1 20.3.40]