History Matters digs into the Delaware Historical Society’s archives each month to explore connections between key people, places, and events in history and present-day news.
In the age of social media, getting a snapshot of people’s lives and their reactions to events in the world around them can be as simple as logging on to Facebook or Twitter. During World War II, it required much more initiative and work. This month “History Matters” shines the spotlight on a Delawarean who made that effort, and the unique glimpse into the lives of the “Greatest Generation” her endeavor created.
As part of May’s recognition of Jewish American Heritage Month and observation of Memorial Day, DFM News examined the “Dear Mollye” letter collection at the Jewish Historical Society of Delaware. During World War II, Mollye Sklut, a secretary at the YMHA (predecessor of the Jewish Community Center), took it upon herself to write to as many of the 700 Jewish Delawareans in the armed forces at that time as she could. As the servicemen wrote back, Mollye published many of their letters in the local Jewish community newsletter, providing families and the community a valuable connection to those serving overseas. Today, the letters in the “Dear Mollye” collection offer an uncensored view of history and additional insight into the sacrifices the veterans of that conflict made.