25 – Jozio’s letter on All Fools’ Day



 The photo placed in this part were taken in January 1937 during a stroll of Fira Melamedzon and her friends around the Great Theatre. It is hard to recognize the exact places, but it may be the Theatre Bridge or the park behind the Opera House.

Jozio Lustyk, who is seen in the picture, a student of law at the Poznan University, had been Fira’s boyfriend since December 1936. Their relationship broke abruptly around April 1, 1937, after the girl had read his letter. Jozio wrote that he loved her but he was with her also because of her father’s money that hopefully would let him finish his studies and make a career. He put „All Fools’ Day” under the date of April 1 but Fira didn’t notice those words, and took his letter seriously. She replied that after she had read it her love ended. Even his second letter explaining this was a joke, and delivered by a  messenger the same evening, didn’t help. Fira broke up with the boy even though he didn’t want to accept it.

They started to write letter to each other. We publish below two of Lustyk’s letters, which had been saved in Fira’s documents. Surprisingly, the first one is dated April 1. It is not possible that the post was so fast and this was the immediate reply to Fira’s letter written on the same date. There are three possible explanations of this situation. Firstly, Jozio might have made a mistake in dating. Secondly, this letter doesn’t concern Fira’s reply to his All Fools’Day letter but other Fira’s claims which she made earlier. This would imply that there were some misunderstandings between them before. Thirdly, that the All-Fools-Day letter was delivered a few days before the 1st of April, which made Fira be sure it was not a joke. The second explanation is the most probable.

Not everything is understandable in these letters. They relate to Fira’s words from other letters which  we do not know. Yet they let us imagine their states of minds and feelings. It follows that Jozio is at home in Osielsk, where he studies or prepares for some exams. He plans to come back Poznan in sixteen days, on 17 or 18 of April. In the first letter he promises to explain her something after he comes back. He claims he is not able to answer in writing to all her questions and claims. He also relates to Fira’s fear that the card game he mentioned might be poker. Besides, they argue who writes longer letters. Jozio makes an additional note dated April 2, where he probably quotes Fira’s words about being mad at him. The second letter dated  April 6, 1937  must have been written later than Fira’s reply to the All-Fools’-Day letter. Lustyk seems to have received  some kind of a pacifying letter from Fira as he hopes to keep their relation and writes about his joy.

In both letters Jozio uses changed words in the way children do it, which confirms Fira’s account that they, togehter with Jozio and Adek Lewin, liked to talk to one another in a childish, lisping language.


* These changes of the single words are preserved only in the original version.