Wednesday 27 December 2023



7.2. 1939

My dear Gretel, because I want to enclose a few lines to dear Ernst [Gretel’s youngest son], whose letter I greatly enjoyed, I right away answer your letter of Sunday which arrived today. I’m just glad that the problem with his finger isn’t that bad, as you describe it, and that he has already returned to his work on Thursday. So, he told me a fib? I hope not. I am sorry that you have a sore throat once again and in addition a problem with your stupid knees, and I hope that this will soon improve and you will be well again all round. I suppose that this has to do with your stupid climate, where neuralgic and rheumatic pain is common, I am sure, but let me tell you of a cheap remedy which is just as effective as Gelonida neuralgica, which Ernst [her doctor] wanted to give me last week, but I told him it was too expensive. Then he immediately said I could just as well use Contraneural. (Why do local physicians always prescribe the most expensive medication first?) Some time ago I took the first medication on his advice, and it was of no use at all, whereas last week I took Contraneural for two days and felt its good effect and actually am still feeling less pain, at least not as intensive pain. Yet this medication is only 1.05 Marks for 20 tablets – so try it out! How much work you have made for yourself with your invitation and cooking! But if it gives you joy, you were right to do it. I myself would certainly have indulged in a different kind of entertainment! Were [your guests] acquaintances of old? Little Nicole appears to be a true wunderkind – I have never heard of a child of 4 and half years getting her second set of teeth – that was quite a rattling of teeth, wasn’t it? I was also glad that you finally had time again to be with Wolfgang [Gretel’s oldest son]; it is really too bad that you and the people closest to you see so little of each other – so near and yet so far! At noon yesterday I had to write a long letter to my administrator Dietz about that stupid business of [obtaining] a mortgage. Unfortunately he has been sick for a week. … had a business consultant from Baden-Baden write a rather urgent letter to me, which I received on Sunday and immediately sent on to Dietz, who in turn phoned me twice about it yesterday. This matter will be decided in court, and for this purpose I need to supply all sorts of information, which my administrator will use. It is a very stupid affair. And you always write in such a daft manner about money matters, for example today: “So they have to take out a mortgage, if there is no cash” – “if” can only mean “because” or do you suppose that I am keeping money in an old stocking? I really don’t understand your ideas about this whole matter. I assume, if one has to take out a mortgage, a forced auction cannot be far behind, because where am I to get the money to pay for the interest? Even if you think I “mustn’t worry about it”, it’s not easy for me to cope because I face these questions and negotiations too often and too much. On the other hand, I don’t want to take them too seriously and often tell myself: there are things that are much worse. – Yesterday morning I kept working long past the midday meal: I covered my warm woollen [house]shoes, which are a little worn, with old black Atlas [a silk fabric], and lo and behold, the result was excellent. In former times I often embroidered slippers, so that I still remembered the pattern very well. I just had to make a paper pattern first. “So it’s bound to come again!” [lyrics?] – [by] Ivanzelona [?]? Otherwise nothing much has happened to me. On Sunday Lenny shared my midday meal, and Mimi [Emma’s sister Wilhelmine Bing] joined us as well. She brought [woollen] hats from Lisbeth. Later Georgi also joined us, because we wanted to talk to Jenny about her birthday presents. Her birthday is on Saturday, the 12th of this month. She will be 76 years old, and perhaps you can send her a postcard, if possible. – Strange: I called Dr. Kraus some two hours ago and asked his office to return my tax assessment concerning the second instalment of the capital levy, and just now I get a letter from Dr. K[raus] with the tax assessment enclosed, and a bill from him for 83.50 Marks, of which 25 Marks are for his consultation and work on Jewish asset release, etc., including 8.50 for tax on documents for Mrs. Margarete G[oldstein]. In addition he writes the following: “Retroactively, and to keep things orderly, I confirm [receipt of] 36.30 Marks for income tax and notary fees for Mrs. Goldstein. In the meantime I had to pay another 8.50 Marks tax on documents for transferring the power of attorney and so I must ask you to send me this amount together with the amount of the invoice.” Furthermore he writes: “Unfortunately I can make no headway in the matter of your daughter. On 16 January 1939 I wrote once again in detail to the Department of Finance and repeatedly asked to be informed in what form the Jewish tax on assets must be secured through landed property. So far I have received no answer whatsoever and will follow up again today. Mr. Singer and your daughter are informed about my efforts.”  The letter, by the way, is dated 3.2. It was probably in the hands of other people – one can see that the envelope has been opened, and the letter arrived finally today, apparently coming from the post office to me. It was addressed to Kőnigstrasse 72 instead of 27. I will see that Dr. K[raus] is paid today.

Now we’ll eat the midday meal – we’ll have potato soup…[illegible] there was rice…[illegible] there were crepes with apple compote, although that’s not certain, I didn’t follow up and ask if A. brought apples along. My dining room is now quite nicely furnished as “waiting room.” All my love and all the best, my dear child, and a 1000 kisses from your mother.

Heartfelt greetings to W’s and Judas [Gretel’s daughter was married to Hans Juda].

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.

Wednesday 20 December 2023



Saturday, 24.12. 38

My dear Gretel, despite best intentions to write to you yesterday so that you’d have a letter from me tomorrow at any rate, it didn’t work out, and today likewise: It is already after 12 o’clock now that I finally get around to sitting down in peace and writing – for how long, is questionable. Then there is the cold, the coming holidays, and the water shut-down over the holidays (the toilets are, by the way, completely frozen). The cold is too awful – I had endless telephone conversations with three companies – Roller, Liebenot, and Sichel. At first I could reach only Roller, then Andreas, and so forth – I spent almost the whole morning on this matter, and what’s worse, Adelheid [the maid] wasted the whole morning running around because of a packet for Hannah [Gretel’s youngest daughter], the only packet I put together. Yesterday evening she came back with it and brought along a huge number of forms to fill out. And although Mimi [Wilhelmine Bing, Emma’s sister] happened to be here, who has filled out the same forms x-times for Leo and filled them out for me in the same way, everything was still wrong, and Adelheid had to go to the post office three times, because there was always something else that didn’t work out despite help from a gentlemen at the office who supposedly always handled those things. And in addition to this, the frightful cold, the snow which doesn’t stop, it is really awful. I didn’t make any progress yesterday, it was a terrible day for me, nothing but business, in between visitors, a lot of paperwork, presents for Adelheid – in the end I was so tired that after the evening meal I had to rest on the chaise longue until it was time to go to bed, even though I would have liked to go on writing to you. And then I had some joy, although it also brought me worries: a call from Hedda J. who always thinks so lovingly of me. But my worry is about you, my dear child, for I heard that on the day before yesterday in the evening you had quite a head cold, and that you are also suffering cruelly cold weather (but I knew that already), so that even your bathroom was frozen. And I am sorry that you are so alone and therefore have a lot of work and bother. And then there is the insufficiency of your heating, that is, no heating. In that respect I am a little better off with our stoves, which use up a lot of coals (which were hard to get this week because the ships on the Rhine are iced in), but I keep at it all day long, so that it’s moderately warm. Adelheid sleeps in your room now because hers can’t be heated, and in this manner we also heat the back corridor a little bit, although it’s barely noticeable. They ruined the stove in the front corridor on 10. 11. [during Kristallnacht, the Nazi rampage], after it had just been repaired a week earlier. Please write immediately how you are and, if you have a cold, stay in bed and look after your health. Someone else must look after your office, or people will have to wait until you are well again. Yesterday morning a wonderful present arrived: a beautiful white bed jacket, sent by Wolfgang [Gretel’s oldest son, born 1909] (today I received his kind letter), and I “inaugurated” it immediately last night. Give him my heartiest thanks for the time being, I will write to him myself later this week. I hope you were able to be with him and your loved ones during these days. I would be very sorry to think that you are all by yourself. I had chicken yesterday (only because of Adelheid) and today we’ll have a rabbit roast. I invited Jenny [Janny Saarbach, Emma’s sister] to share it, because I want her to have something nice as well. There is a great shortage of things where she is. You can’t get meat at all or hardly ever. That’s why I invite her to a dinner of roast meat most of the time, for which she is very grateful. Imagine I can’t find your last letter, although I looked and looked for it. It got lost under the immense number of papers and letters with which I must deal. I only remember that you wrote about the penalty, that you notified them of your cashed-out pension, but that was not the right thing to do – I know that from Mimi, who also did so at first, but it was not necessary. You never told me what happened to your pension – did they accept your request? You know how much I am interested in that matter – only on your behalf. Yesterday morning I received a letter from Dr. Kraus [Emil Kraus, former mayor of Mainz, now Emma’s legal advisor]. I will copy the contents out for you. You can imagine that his letters made me even more depressed. Soon I won’t know what to do anymore and how I can fulfil all my obligations. You know that I have larger expenses than usual on January 1st, and this time I have to cash in the last money I still have in the bank to be able to pay for everything – well, things will go on somehow. Last week I had numerous meetings with the administrator [Dietz?] of the house, and it is good that I engaged this man, who is very nice and effective. Paul S. also uses him for his house. According to the letter, I was supposed to have a man assigned by the party, and I am sure this is the better option. D[ietz?] keeps primarily an eye on my interests (but he gets 360 Marks annually). He already had to put in a lot of effort. He wrote letters to all the tenants, which they must sign, and he gave it to each party in person to establish a relationship with them. He also manages the sale of the house, which seems to be more iffy than before (check what Dr. Kr[aus] writes about it). It looks like a mortgage needs to be taken out as security, but it would be painful for me, and I hardly think I have enough left after paying these so-called small sums in cash once again. Do you have any suggestion for that? After all, I repeatedly sent money to you over there. Could you by any chance send me some of it? If not, please give me advice on what to do. I would gladly sell a lot of things, but it can hardly be done, and over the last two months everything has lost value. Tomorrow I will write to Dr. K[raus] and inform him that I would like to make inquiries with B. and R. concerning the 200 Marks. I can’t understand why the furniture is so expensive. I did after all send 150 or 180 Marks to B. because you thought you could get the furniture for that sum, and then I sent a smaller amount in November to Berlin for the same purpose, and now these people demand another 200 Marks. Can that be right? In any case let’s not lose sleep over that and let’s see how everything turns out. I hope my letter finds you in good health, my dear, and that you will write to me soon. I don’t think it’s right for you to send me something, and I hope you haven’t done it yet. I could not send you…anything at all, as I never leave the house now. 1000 greetings, also for Hans and Elsbeth [Gretel’s daughter married to Hans Juda, publishers of the British export magazine “The Ambassador”].

Your devoted Mother  

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.

Tuesday 12 December 2023



Margarete Goldstein and Milly


28 November 1938

My dear Gretel,

The 4 o’clock mail brought me your two loving greetings of Friday and Saturday, and they gave me a lot of joy, especially your suggestion that I should live with you, although that places a heavy burden on you, my poor girl. Although I know how nice and kind Wolfgang is [Gretel’s oldest son], as are the others [Gretel’s three other children?] the thought of tying my life to that of young people, no matter how willing they are to sacrifice and even if I were to give up everything that an old-fashioned woman is accustomed to – that idea, I must admit, would be hard for me to get used to. As you yourself write (and as I fear as well), it would be too busy for me there, and I am so used to peace and quiet, and also need it.

I would certainly not trouble you and I would certainly make an effort not to disturb you, according to the saying “laisser allez, laisser faire” [leave it, let it be] But the great trouble that I would cause you and the others weighs heavily on me, and I am constantly asking myself whether it is still worthwhile doing. Still, I agree with everything you tell me and suggest to me, and hopefully I will still be able to undertake such a journey. As for what you write about the house, I don’t care. A little earlier I also called Paul [Paul Mayer, brother of Auguste  (Gustel) Gutmann, a relative  of Emma’s] who, however, is unable and unwilling  to look after anything and will stop [working] any day now. He merely wants to hand over your letter and the power of attorney and (I assume) all of the documents to Dr. K [Dr. Emil Kraus, former mayor of Mainz] whom I went to see on Friday morning. I tentatively discussed everything with him in brief, and as I have difficulties getting to [his office], which he understands, he promised to come this week to see me because he wants to look into taxes and other matters that need to be considered.  After I had already talked to Dr. L [unidentified] earlier, I called him, Dr. K., once again to ask him to come by soon to discuss matters mentioned in your letter, which has just arrived, and he promised to come by on Wednesday afternoon. I hope he will come. You have no idea how much in demand these people are and, as he told me, there are only three men here who can look after us, he being one of them [the Law of Restoration (1933) removed Jews from government services; in 1936 Jews were forbidden to serve as tax consultants, and as of November 12, 1938 Jews were not allowed to own businesses].  I cannot understand that you haven’t heard from Lilly [Emma’s oldest daughter in Buenos Aires] for so long. She wrote to me a while ago and now again tells me in an airmail letter that you were so kind to write to her and inform her of everything and she also wrote to you immediately – probably already for a second time – you might therefore receive both letters together.  I am very happy that you found a job that suits you. Regrettably it does not bring any income [Gretel did charitable work], but that will hopefully happen soon.

There is no need for me to get used to your distances, my dear child, because the signs of old age become more noticeable every day. I will barely be able to get out of the house.  Therefore, it would be best if you left me here where I practically don’t go out anymore. Day before yesterday I talked with Mimi [perhaps Emma’s sister Wilhelmine Bing]  and Guste [see above]  about all the items you say I should take along. Also with regard to underwear and what I need to keep me warm. And yet, I immediately said: “But I will be taking my nightgowns!” G[uste] wanted to get some pants for me today, but wasn’t able to get any, so she brought me some Tricot [stretchy fabric] of hers or from Milly [Amalie Schwarz, née Gutmann], 5 pieces that I will probably use. She also bought me material for a good dress that I would have needed here as well and which I will have made soon. I will take overcoats, I mean my two old winter coats and two others, which will be sufficient for me.  I shouldn’t spend too much since I have to make sure I have money for all kinds of larger expenses. But I will talk about all that with the man in question who himself also made me aware of so many things that have to be done.  For example, I have already made a list of the things I plan to take with me, and he will look after all that as well.

You write about an electric heater in your office. Is there no heating? And what is the current, I mean, the voltage there? I have an electric heater that I could bring with me.  I will of course bring my heat pad and my reading lamp for the night table, or would you like my pretty night table lamp for yourself?

I don’t blame you if you don’t write to Heddel [Hedwig Saarbach, Emma’s niece, daughter of her sister Johanna (Jenny) Gutmann], as I did not do it either, for the same reason. If she ever inquires, [we can say that] this particular letter with the enclosure was lost.

29. 10.

I couldn’t continue writing before going to bed yesterday because A. sat here and babbled incessantly. Today there isn’t much more to say either, let’s wait and see what happens next. The address you want is: Dr. Kraus, Gutenbergplatz 1.  He is the former mayor, and still a highly valued and powerful man. But I think it is better if you wait with writing to him until after his visit here tomorrow.  After talking to him I might be able to tell you some of the things you want to know.  These men receive a lot of written inquiries. During his last visit here, S.L. was rather indignant about the many letters, and referred openly to your last letter.  One day you should show him little Ernst’s enclosure [probably Grete’s youngest son, born in 1918] – “little” refers to former times. I find it sweet. I am just looking at Lilly’s [Emma’s oldest daughter] letters, which I have still to answer.  She wrote on 20.10 that she had received a long letter from you the previous day, and that she would reply to it, addressing it to Hannah [Grete’s daughter, born 1912]. And in the airmail dated the 16th of this month, after the affair [referring to Kristallnacht, the Nazi rampage aimed at Jews], she asks “What do you hear from Gretal? I haven’t heard anything. I hope she is doing well.”

For today, 1000 heartfelt hugs and kisses from you loyal M[other].

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.

Thursday 7 December 2023



The following letter illustrates the harassment Jews suffered and the effect of laws introduced by the Nazis in 1937/38. In order to leave Germany, Jews needed a new passport, a certificate from the police noting the dissolution of their residence in Germany, an itemized list of all gifts made to third parties after January ’31. They also had to pay 25% of their assets if they exceeded a value of 50,000 Marks, offer proof that there were no outstanding taxes to pay, and file a customs declaration dated no earlier than three days before departure. Emigrants could only take along 2,000 Marks, the remaining assets had to be transferred to a bank account with restricted access. Emigrants also had to show that they had made travel arrangements to another country and obtained entrance visas for that country.

 November 24, 1938

Thursday. My dear Gretel, your postcard and letter of Tuesday and Wednesday both arrived today, and now that my sweet Hedda has left, I am getting around to answering you. We spent a couple of comfortable hours together and are both of the opinion that none of you is correctly informed about all the things that need to be done, as Paul explained to me yesterday on my request. Nobody can do the least thing, neither J.H., nor P.S., nor I, nor Hedda or anyone else until the permit arrives, and only when one has that in hand, is it possible to set everything else in motion. The passport is the last thing to be obtained, and you keep writing that I should make that happen. Indeed, as soon as you have the passport, you have to depart, as Gustel [married to Emma’s uncle Ferdinand], who is sometimes intelligent, has told me a long time ago. Presumably she knows that from Milly [Emma\s sister] as well as from her own experience. On my request Paul [banker, a relative] explained to me everything I have to do: the English consulate, the Department of Finance, confirmation that all taxes have been paid, and so forth, and he is of the opinion (which I second) that I can’t do everything myself and absolutely must have a capable person, and so he highly recommended to me the former mayor Dr. Kraus, an  especially agreeable person and exceptionally effective, as tax consultant, in property administration, etc. He says I should use Dr. Kraus for everything, including the house. I therefore think that P.S. should hand over to that man the power of attorney he has from you – don’t you think? You could enclose a few lines to him about this matter in a letter addressed to me. That way you save the cost of stamps. Also, the man has a crazy amount of work to do over the few days during which he is still around, so that he might miss or forget something. It will be safer if the message goes through me. That’s all I can report to you about the matter at this time. It is very kind of H that they want to help me, but they are in no position to do so. Perhaps they can be of help later on. Nor has he been at S. L.’ place so far, who was quite surprised that he wants to cross his threshold, and hopes that he will do so only in the evening. When you see the visitors you encounter there, you will understand [cryptic -- perhaps he was under observation]. You write to me about the suitcase and sending it ahead – imagine, I said the same thing yesterday to Mimi [Emma’s sister]. At this point I’ll inquire into it. Mimi is already worried about her things and afraid of losing them – well, then she will have to tie her future to that of her children. Jenny [Emma’s sister] worries as well because Willy [Jenny’s son], it appears, has nothing left, but that is not believable. George will leave tomorrow, probably with a large transport of children to Switzerland – that’s it for his school. The end. And now I want to write to my dear Ernst [probably Gretel’s youngest son], whom I almost forgot – that’s because after the 10th [the date of the Kristallnacht rampage] I no longer noted things down in my calendar – I just can’t manage it. Or else I would not have forgotten that date. I enclose a little letter to him, please send it to him from me in your next letter. And so Good Night now, my dear child. All the best to you and all the loved ones and heartfelt greetings and kisses from you loyal E.

I am sure Lilly has written an airmail letter to me which unfortunately hasn’t arrived yet. This morning I missed Adele (because I was at the doctor’s) and also the mother of G.W. who has gone to Lilly. She told Adelheid [Emma’s maid], that things were much worse in their place than in ours. They had a flood, and she and the maid had to bail out the water for hours. Nicolai, of whom she writes, is terribly overworked. He has been in Gustel’s employ for a long time, but she keeps complaining that he does everything so slowly, and she probably wants to use the above-named gentlemen for her affairs.

Alright – she will probably go to the theatre tonight, since her subscription is for this evening. So, now you know everything about my sisters. This morning I was with Dr. G., who was very charming and declared that my leg is no worse and I could easily make the “little journey” [ironic reference to her planned emigration to England]. I just have to take the Rheingold train at 2pm, around 7pm I arrive in Amsterdam, there I must stay overnight and wait for nice weather to cross over. That’s a dreamer for you! I told him, that a man like Dr. G. can manage that perhaps, but not a woman like Mrs. N [i.e. herself]. Hedda advises me to fly, but I don’t dare to do that, although it would be fabulous to get there in such a short time. You can see from all of this that I comply exactly with your wishes and have quite familiarized myself with the thought of seeing you again.  I could almost enjoy the thought if the reason for the journey wasn’t so sad. I feel very sorry for Mimi, it is difficult for her to do without me, and I too am already sorry. If only all of us weren’t so old, so that we could still achieve something, but there isn’t much doing in that respect. Are the Salas and Lolas [unidentified] from here? I assume they are. I am still tearing up a lot of old letters from all years and of course I don’t keep the recent ones either – I say this to reassure you. Renate will…[text missing] spoke with Director Dietz about the future and how everything is supposed to proceed. And it occurred to me that you should look after all the matters I now transact with D[ietz], for example, concerning the bills (checking income and costs) and all the rest that must be dealt with. – Change tenants? Or tell me what you think. There is really no one here, with whom I can discuss all these matters. All that has been weighing on my mind for a long time now, so that it would be very unreasonable of you to reply “We still have a lot of time for that.” That would annoy me terribly. Lilly is too far away, or I would mull it over with her. But you have many friends – Lilly…etc. who would surely lend you the 15 Pounds. I am not allowed to send them to you. And I assume that you will have to pay more customs fees the longer the [furniture] sits there. It hurts me to think that you have once again embarked on a terribly rushed life. I can hardly understand (nor can anyone else, apart from me) why you don’t do your work leisurely and make time for something else as well. Why do more than your duty and go beyond your obligations? Unfortunately, you can never understand that you are burning the candle at both ends, and that this cannot end well – and so you are my greatest worry and will remain so until the end of my days. I will feel easier about you only if you give me your sacred promise to change in that respect.

And so it is now Wednesday morning, and you can tell from my handwriting that I once again write while lying down. In the morning I suffer the greatest pain, but it lessens if I lie down. Earlier on I had a letter by ship from Lilly [Emma’s older daughter]: Once again, unfortunately, she has not heard from you in a long time. I can’t understand that.  Don’t write to her about me, I will do that myself in the next few days, via airmail. On Sunday afternoon a gentleman visited me, who was in Britain [?] in October and greeted you on my behalf through… [illegible]. At the time they visited me especially to see what my place looked like…[illegible] the gentleman wanted to report only orally. He said some very nice things about that place. He finds Lilly’s home, the apartment, and everything charming. He is from “the other faculty” [i.e. not Jewish?], but nevertheless wants to move there permanently.

In the meantime evening has come. Mimi and Gustel are away just now, the latter went to see the Consul in Frankfurt today and has everything now to enable her to make the journey. Next week things may look better again. For today accept only many heartfelt greetings and kisses. Your m[other]

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.

Friday 1 December 2023



The Leo Baeck Institute, New York, has in its archive a collection of letters dating from 1938/9, a precarious time for German Jews. The writer is Emma Neumann, née Gutmann, of Mainz. The addressee is her daughter, Margarete (Gretel) Goldstein, née Neumann, who has escaped to England. The correspondence illustrates Margarete’s unsuccessful attempts to arrange for her mother’s passage to England and the increasing harassment and persecution Jews suffered in Nazi Germany during 1938/9.

This is the 5th instalment. For earlier letters see my previous postings.




My dear Gretel, many thanks for your kind postcards. I am always glad to hear from you, and we don’t have to write to each other so frequently now – we don’t want to enrich the post office. You need no longer worry about my health now, since you have also been told by others how I fare. Te [?] has also written to you. She was here yesterday, but she has come every day from the beginning. They are the best and most touching people I know, indeed the best there are. Yesterday morning I also had the pleasure to receive a packet from L [Lilly Lessing, Emma’s older daughter]. It was addressed to W, and I give heart-felt thanks to the gracious donor. In addition, I thank the other dear people there, who make efforts on my behalf. But tell me how you envisage my future and where? I am of course content with the tiniest place offered to me and certainly won’t make any demands, but there a thousand things that have to be considered and discussed first. Obviously, I can’t arrive with just my toothbrush, and I think I could manage to travel, like you, with only a minimum of furniture and other things. I will ask Camilla [unidentified] to come in the near future – right now I always have so many visitors and there are all sorts of things to be done in the house. You won’t believe how nice it looks here again, at least in the living room. Certain things are still missing in the bedroom to make me comfortable, but it will all come about gradually without me spending too much money. It’s not worth it anymore – in no respect. Did I write to you that D. [unidentified] and his wife were here on Saturday to send greetings to Lilly. I think I did. We have had terrible storms and rain over the past two days, so that of course I did not dare go out into the street.

            23. 11. I continue writing today because it occurred to me that a long letter is on the way to you and because I also wanted to get out a calming letter to Lilly, who worries more than is necessary because of my illness. In the meantime (this morning) I received, in addition to a very kind and sympathetic letter from Mrs. Aah [? Unidentified], your kind postcard of yesterday – your mail system is very prompt and that gives me great joy. You have become a complete chef and are moving from one “post” to the next. But I suppose it pleases you and the others to apply your skills. We had terribly stormy weather over the last few days, so that on the day before yesterday the electricity was off from time to time. I had no visitors on that day except Ad[ele? – her maid], which was fine with me because I have to catch up on many things in writing and never had enough time for it. Yesterday Mimi [perhaps Wilhelmine Bing, Emma’s sister] was here again and toward evening a very charming lady came, who conveyed kind greetings from children and grandchildren, which was a great pleasure – also her kind offer, of which luckily I did not need to make use. It seems that people there are under a completely wrong impression. My advice is not to spend anything on me and to save the small supply for more dire times, which may come. I mean times in other surroundings – hopefully, the money will be sufficient for here. I arranged to see friend P. [unidentified] this afternoon or tomorrow morning. So you see that I do not want to leave anything undone. I am very stupid in such things and must be told by others what needs to happen, even if others do all sorts of things for me.

            Now I must make an end for today and want to tell you all how nice it is of you to look forward to my coming (although there is really no reason for that), and I send you all –young and old – the most heart-felt greetings and kisses, especially to my “miserable” child who bears the main blame in this matter, and without whom I would hardly have said yes.

            All my love.

            The old woman

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.