Saturday’s Mystery: Who were you Dora? Crowdsourcing Q.2

Dora is the one in the black dress.
Dora is the one in the black dress.

Note: This is part two of a new Saturday series, in which I, with crowdsourcing help, try to unravel the mysteries hidden in previously unknown letters written by my mysterious step-great aunt Dvora /Dora before and during WWll in Poland. For further explanations see previous post.

In the first quote, Dora writes that she graduated from high-school on May 31, 1938. My question was whether it was reasonable to assume that she was 18 – was that the age that people graduated back then as well?

At the moment I do not have an answer but I would meanwhile like to thank Baiba Svenca and Beata Gulati for looking into this question.

Today’s question relates to a word I  can’t make out – something Dora received as a graduation gift. Perhaps YOU can figure it out?

In the second part of the letter to New York, dated May 31,  1938,  Dora writes (in English, using a dictionary at times, mistakes left as they were) of her bleak prospects for her educational future. Her unknown gift is mentioned at the end:

” But now I have nothing what to do with myself, till today at least I had an occupation and now what I have to do? To study in the university I have not money and also a place, because in Poland Jews are not accepted willingly at the university. Besides this it is not safe because each day I can get with a stone in the head. My studies must remain only a dream.

… How do you do? In America must already be hot. Do you bathe this year in the river? Becasue I did not take any bathes here is almost cold… I got a beautiful veticule from Bluma’s friend the day when I passed the examination. “

Here’s a screen shot of her handwriting. Perhaps it says “reticule”? It doesn’t look like an “r” and that’s a very odd word (which I just learned of now, as I write) but that would mean a type of handbag, perhaps. What do you think?

unkown word from letter

6 thoughts on “Saturday’s Mystery: Who were you Dora? Crowdsourcing Q.2”

    1. Thank you Sara!
      From comparing I can’t tell for sure what letter it is but “r” forms a word that actually exists so I guess it makes sense. I learned a new word from a letter that’s more than 70 years old!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me, Vicky!
      Still blown away by having access to these letters.
      It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who learned a new word today, LOL!

  1. This is fascinating, as Vicky says. I think it’s probably reticule too – if you look at Google images for ‘reticule 1930s’ you get lots of beautiful designs.
    Looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds,

    1. Sandy!
      What a great idea to look at Google images for that time period! It really does look like something one girl could give to another as a graduation gift!
      Thanks for sharing the journey with me!

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