The Riggi Letters

I found my grandmother's moving letters to Frau Riggi in my father's copy of the Wolf Family book. This book was published by Ernst Wolf in Vienna in 1924 in an edition of named and numbered copies, of which my father's was number 71.

The book's introduction is headed by the following quotation:

"My dear children, I write you this so that when today or tomorrow your dear children or grandchildren arrive and do not know their family, I have prepared this in good time so that you know from what kind of people you are descended."

That the book was important to Franz can be seen from his own annotations, shown in facsimile.

I do not know who Frau Riggi was, or how the letters my grandmother sent to her came to find their way back to Franz. Nor do I know all those mentioned in the letter of May 1939. But Adele's grandchild "Murli" was my sister Antonia; "Lucie and Hans" were Lucie Rie and her husband Hans; and Sandor and Frida were her brother and sister. The letter is here in facsimile and here in translation.

The uncertainties of May 1939 were resolved by December, when Max and Adele left for Palestine. It was not until March 1940 that Adele had time to write again to Frau Riggi. The letter is here in facsimile and here in translation.

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