Saturday’s Mystery: Who Were You, Dora? Crowdsourcing Q.4

We can only see reflections of the girl who once was... (Naomi's Photos)
We can only see reflections of the girl who once was…
(Naomi’s Photos)

Note: This is part five 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.

Today’s letter is not dated, but it must have been written in November 1937, since Dora writes that she will graduate in six months. We know from the first letter that I posted that she graduated in May 1938.

In this letter it is clear that Dora was not very impressed with the manners of an American visitor, an American who was once a townsman… The letter is torn in places. Any thoughts as to what the missing words may have been are appreciated. There are also two words I cannot make out. As always, I have not changed grammar or spelling.

“Dear Libby,

There passed already a long time that did not write to you anything. I am very busy, many times I sit till twelve and one o’clock in the night and learn. I finish this year the school and I must get a maturity test (called here matura). It is very difficult, because I shall be asked __________ (missing word) a ???? ( word I can’t make out) which consisted of not y________ (only the first letter of missing word remains) so that it is difficult to get such _______________ (missing).

rude american 1


You asked me in your letter if I wish really come to America. I can say that this American who was with us summer is a very silly man if he thought about this seriously. He saw that my mother is a sick woman, so that I can not leave the house. I am not yet in such bad conditions here in Poland.

Missing piece

…as beggars. We accepted him as a friend who came after 24 years from America. I don’t know if he did not see a more beautiful house in America, he thought that we are very rich. He is a great “sow” called commonly, for instance, he was ___________ (torn) with us and not leave for our house girl who served him a  ????? (can’t make out). The Europians are more cultured and with better characters than in America. I cannot imagine that a man who was 24 years in America can behave himself so that he did.  He does not write even to us. It will be enough about him. It will be very tedious ________________ (torn bit) you will certainly think  _______________ (torn bit) myself a great “sow”, perhaps the American understand such the thing.

rude american 2

Write me more, not so as I to you because you must understand that I have not free time on the second year. After 6 months I shall write to  you more, it will be after the examine.

Good by,

Yours sincerely.


Here are possible explanations, thank to Beata Gulati!

I think that in the first part I shall be asked by a commision (the board of examiners) which consisted of not (probably) your teachers??? usually Matura exam cant be taken in a presence of teachers who taught you but independent teachers ( from other classes who do not know you) the examiner has to be neutral

and in the second part we usually call someone who is not kind to us who behaves rudely and sometimes unfairly we call such a person “Świnia” which means “pig” (I believe that she found the name sow for a female pig and he didn’t give to a house girl (house maid) who served him a penny. It is a kind of grattude to the “servants” to give them tips, but he didn’t give a penny

2 thoughts on “Saturday’s Mystery: Who Were You, Dora? Crowdsourcing Q.4”

  1. I wonder if the thing the house girl served him was pierogi? That’s the only help I can attempt to be this time!

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