The story behind this letter sent by Zygmunt Pociecha from Auschwitz to his mother


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

Artifacts are tangible pieces of history that can tell a unique, often personal, story.  Nearly all of the artifacts at the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum have been donated by survivors, their descendants, veterans and others since the museum opened in 1995, creating a rich repository of memories connected to the Holocaust and World War II years.

Some of these items are part of the museum’s permanent exhibit while others have been the focus of temporary displays, as well as historical research and publications.

Each artifact in the collection has a story to tell.

The Zygmunt Pociecha letter & envelope

This letter sent from Auschwitz by Zygmunt Pociecha to his mother, Luise, serves as a reminder of the humanity that the Nazis attempted to destroy during the Holocaust. It also reminds us to honor the memories of all Holocaust victims such as Pociecha and his mother.


On the envelope, addressed to Frau Luise Pociecha, notice the note on the left side. It was included on envelopes provided to prisoners, outlining regulations from the commander of the camp.


Concentration Camp Auschwitz

The following regulations are to be observed in the correspondence with prisoners. 
1. Every prisoner may receive two letters or two cards per month from his relatives and send two to them as well. The letters to the prisoners must be written very legibly and in ink and may contain only fifteen lines on a page. Only one normal-sized sheet is permitted. Envelopes may not be [security] lined. A letter may contain only five stamps at 12 pf. Everything else is forbidden and will be seized. Postcards have ten lines. Pictures may not be used as postcards. 
2. Money remittances are permitted. 
3. Note that for money remittances and mailings that the exact address including name, date of birth, and prisoner number should be written on the mailings. Also, all letters must display the exact and correct sender. When the address is not correct, the letter will either be sent back to the sender or destroyed. 
4. Newspapers are permitted but may be delivered only through the postal office of the concentration camp Dachau 3K. 
5. Packages are not allowed to be sent, as the prisoners can purchase everything in the camp. 
6. Requests for the release from prison that are directed to the camp administration are useless. 
7. Permission to talk with the prisoners in the concentration camp are fundamentally not permitted. 
The Camp Commander 

Zygmunt’s letter


Dear Mama:

Today your very short letter arrived. Why? Why do you write so little? I am happy that you, dear mama, are healthy and, thanks heavens, are in good condition. We have good weather. Dear mama, please write more and often. Is there any news with you? I wonder if all of them at home are in good health. How is Franz? And how is Alex? Dear mama, do not aid the uncle from the Zunek, because he takes advantage of you. Be sure not to give it to the Zunek. Today I had a beautiful dream that you and I were home together. When, dear mother, shall I see you again? Dear mama, write soon again. Many greetings and kisses for the whole family and for you, dear mama.

Your Son Zygmunt

This artifact is one of the many recently donated to the Museum to preserve the memory of individuals and families. If you have an artifact that you would like to donate, please contact Diane Everman at [email protected]. 

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