This is the fourth letter in the correspondence between Emma and Gretel. For the first three letters see the preceding blogposts (15, 16, 19 November).
The original of this letter is lost. We have only an “extract of a 6-page long letter” typed by Gretel. The elision points in the letter are hers and indicate where she has omitted text.
Mainz, 20.11. 38
My dear Gretel, my dear child,
Thanks, many thanks for your kind messages and offers from you and the dear children [her grandchildren, Wolfgang b. 1908, Elsbeth b. 1911, Hannah b. 1912, and Ernst b. 1918]… So far nothing of the package has arrived, and it is a shame if such good things get into other people’s hands. Therefore don’t send me anything more. Nor am I in that respect so badly off, mainly because I can’t stint on anything in the interest of Adelheid (her maid)…. Yesterday I moved back into my living and bedroom [a reference to the extensive damage and destruction caused by Nazi hordes during Kristallnacht – see preceding blog postings]. Fortunately, nothing is lacking to make me comfortable – not as far as having a bed to sleep in and a chaise longue to rest on. And there are a sufficient number of chairs, but no more mirrors (there were 4 tall mirrors just in the three front rooms), but it is good if one doesn’t see one’s reflection in them…
I had small repairs done to Adelheid’s furniture (I had promised her most of the furniture for later on), for the rest I leave everything as is in the storage room –the dining room. Tutu [unidentified] need not fetch me, because (1) things don’t happen as fast as you think, and (2) I can’t leave that fast because many things need to be straightened out first. Also, the thought of coming to my grandchildren as a poor woman is terrible. In any case, one must take along what one can and is allowed to take – surely, they cannot deny us clothing and underwear.
It was very nice of you to send a wire to Lilly [Emma’s older daughter] to let her know that I am unhurt, and I am glad of it. The thought that the poor thing knows nothing of me was a great bother to me…
Yesterday a real estate agent was here, a former director of the savings bank. I heard from him that until 31 December the house can still be sold freely [a reference to the law which required Jews to transfer their property to non-Jews]. Thereafter the sale will be regulated in another form. What is your opinion?...
I send a 1000 heartfelt greetings to all my beloved and I thank them for their kind attitude toward me.
I am very tired now, I will just lay one game of Solitaire, then I’ll go to bed. Till we see each other again, indeed hear each other again! And a warm greeting and kiss from your devoted old mother, who will not lose her head – whatever happens, unless of course they pass a law about that! Don’t laugh!
FOR MORE LETTERS SEE MY NEXT BLOGPOST. For the originals see LBI Archives AR 7167/MF 720.The translation is by Erika Rummel and Susi Lessing.