Saturday’s Mystery: Who Were You Dora? Crowdsourcing Q. 3

The younger days were happier...
The younger days were happier…

Note: This is part three 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.

I began my journey into Dora’s letters with one that was clearly dated and was easy to read. However, it has become clear to me that it isn’t the earliest letter. I believe this one is, based on the content. The date isn’t completely clear and there are some words I can’t make out. I’m looking forward to your suggestions as to what the missing words may be.

But first, regarding the date. It is obviously Dec. 28 and not the year 1928. As you will see in the quote letter below, it sounds like it was written in the winter of Dora’s 11th grade. For years it was common here to use the European terminology and refer to 11th and 12th graders as seventh and eighth formers. Since in the previous letter we clearly saw that Dora graduated in May 1938, I believe this letter was written in Dec. 1936.
The first question is what then is written after the name of the town, which is the Polish spelling of Brest?
The second question is do you think the word in red is really “blush”?
Finally, can you make out where Dora went on holiday?

In the letter Dora writes ( as always, quotes include original errors in English):

date 1937
“I beg your pardon for my long not writing. So it is, each man is occupied by his own work, and sometimes forgott even about sister. But when I recollected about you I feel that I am not in order according to you. Now when the father writes you a letter and I have time (it is the time of Winter holidays) I write you also a few words. Blush.

” I can not write you because in the last time I have no patience to write letters and I have not also a dictionary, so that is enough difficult for me. You see until to day I can not write well English without a dictionary because my knowledge is confined.
About me I can write that I am in the Vll class and on the second year I shall end the school. I have very much work because we prepare to the mature exam on the second year.
In summer I was in ???? It is an healthing place. I spent here the time very well.

health place

Now I finish the letter. I send you my lovely regards.
You Sincerly,

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts regarding my three questions!


5 thoughts on “Saturday’s Mystery: Who Were You Dora? Crowdsourcing Q. 3”

  1. 3. The holiday place is Busko Zdroj – I started writing Busko into Google and that’s what it suggested. Here’s the Wikipedia page for it:
    1. And I think the place she’s writing the letter from is actually Brześć, which looks like it might be here: As you say, it seems to also be called Brest.
    2. I’m not sure about ‘blush’. I suspect it might be something like ‘Hush’, but that doesn’t seem to make sense either. Can you show a bit more of the context around it?
    Some of her handwriting is pretty typical for Slavic language speakers, so I’ve had a lot of practice at trying to decode it! 🙂
    Hope that helps,

    1. Thank you so much, Sandy! That’s a big help! I’ll post the updates on next weeks post.
      Bit by bit her world is beginning to take shape! I also have some info about her school…

  2. Dear Naomi I am writing here just to help co-helpers to understand little Polish. As I am Pole myself I can feel what Dora felt 🙂
    Because those letters are written straight from the heart of Polish girl and just translated into English but the way of thinking is Polish. So it is not Blush or Hush it is “Much I can not write you” in the meaning I can not write too much because I am busy with my Matura exam.
    Busko-Zdrój is a famous resort SPA in Poland such places are called sanatoria ( sanatorium- sigular) nowadays even in Poland word SPA has become more popular but Sanatoria still exist and people are sent there from medical prescription. Or they called it “Jade do Wód” which meant I am going to the Waters meaning – or the place where mineral water springs exist.
    Brześć n/B is on the river Bug in Polish n-for “nad” and “B” Bug the name of the river where Brest is situated :)))

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