Shmuel Marvil: Letter To Gitterman

Letter from Shmuel Marvil

Honored Friend Director Giterman,
(From my) sick-bed I must write to you, and thank you for your treatment to—my wife told me that when you learned that I was sick again with pneumonia (for the third time) your heart trembled and you called in Dr. Goyzhek. And you with your help sent me aid in a moment when I was dealing with life or death. Dear good hearted friend Giterman, this cannot be forgotten! That is the earlier monthly support which comes to me from Zhitos? No, this is saving the life of a person, a person who just a few months ago had been interviewed as a writer and was asked the following question: How is the support from our doctors? I immediately asked that your name be written down for good–and once again I’m convinced that Shmuel Marvil is no fool when it comes to people. And maybe there is for both of us that common blue thread of the Rabbis. You a Rabbi’s son – I too a Rabbi’s son, both steeped in the good pages of Gemara from which we took what is better and more beautiful for people and works. And in truth I always say, what would be if we writers did not have anyone to talk to. Surely we would be banished. Still the hundred zlotys I get a month help me in my poverty and give me strength to do something for our people and our literature. Our need is so great and we wait for the days when we will be helped again but it is a joy when you receive this and not as an ordinary person but as a writer. Therefore dear warm hearted friend Giterman, know that I have lately written a lot, I’ve finished several books. I send you one thing from the (last one?) A poem “The Street and Life Today”. Take your time and read it through. Lately I often read to friends Sh. Stefinski, Hillel Zeitlin and Yitzkhok Katzenelson. They say that someday I will be able to say that the zlotys that were given to me were not for nothing. Ask them about me! Regrettably I am among those who believe that one cannot read creative work to everyone. I give myself to you and take a little time. Therefor I also send along my latest poem, the “Poem to the Gentlemen” and enjoy (the work of) a sick Yiddish poet whom you have always made well and enabled him to create again- thank you. I’m still in bed but my dear Dr. Knaster is already celebrating that I’ve once more chased away death and the Lord of Darkness and am here once more. With regards and thanks, your Shmuel Marvil.

When I can go out on the street, I’ll thank you personally.
Warsaw 4/13/42

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