The Art of Letters

POBA began this project as an exploration of the art of letter writing, a unique expression in literary tradition that is both important and often overlooked. Starting with a romance that began as teens in the late 1930s, the WWII wartime correspondence between Hy and Sandy Schulman chronicles an amazing record of personal love during difficult wartime circumstances. But fortune revealed another story of historical significance as well: Among the nearly 1100 letters capturing this period,  many of these letters also reveal the very personal and direct participation of these regular folks in the important historic events surrounding the liberation and resettlement of Jewish survivors of the concentration camps. Wounded at the Battle of the Bulge in late 1944, Hy Schulman was removed from front line duty and was assigned to serve as Assistant to the Jewish Chaplain to the US Army, Rabbi Herschel Schachter. In the critical period of Allied victories in the winter 1945, Hy Schulman describes how serendipity changed his life and those of countless others, as he joins Rabbi Schachter as the first to enter Buchenwald on April 11, 1945, how Sandy joins millions to mourn the death of FDR two days later, and how Hy assists in the first Jewish religious ceremonies at Buchenwald and other camps, personally assists in resettling surviving children to Switzerland, and maintains contact with some camp survivors post-war. The POBA Concierge archived, catalogued, and (with the help of our partner, Appraisers Association of America) evaluated the historical significance of this large collection of wartime correspondence of love and history. The NJ Star Ledger writes about their love story and how these letters still live after 70 years because of their love.