Sunday 4 February 2024



Thursday, 16.3. 1939

My dear Gretel, for once your dear letter arrived a day late, instead I received a letter from Dr. K[raus] on Tuesday answering my letter of 19.2. It is a good thing that February is over, those people were very stressed with filing taxes, etc. – that’s also how he justifies his late reply. As he wrote that you are informed about everything and that he has sent you a number of copies, I won’t deal further with the contents of his letter to me. Yesterday I gave it to Dietz, so that he can discuss most of the content with him and can then report back about it to me. One matter, about which I immediately contacted the company Zo [?] by phone, as his report that you had received the clearance document for your furniture, and he asked me whether I wanted or was in a position to pay for it. I explained to him that the money was available to him any time (of course he will have to negotiate with the currency exchange office first) and must immediately inform me when he has any information, also from the company Br. and R. because he still has to inquire how much has to be paid. He mentioned ca. 250 Marks – I hope it isn’t much more. I can see, however, that you yourself have contributed to the delay of the matter. First you tormented me for weeks about paying the money for the furniture, for which I had no opportunity however (it is amazing how ignorant you are over there about the circumstances and regulations here), and now you have allowed 2 weeks to pass without informing me what I ought to do. I would of course have instructed Dr. K[raus] to have your furniture released, in which case you might perhaps have had them by 1. April, and for which you are so eager. That appears to be very questionable to me now, although Dr. Kr[aus] is of the opinion that the company can send the furniture as soon as they have the money. For your sake I hope that’s the case. I am glad that you were able to spend a nice evening with F and also that you are now going out more often. The monotonous life you led combined with the heavy load of work does not suit you, and I can also tell from your letters that you are in a better state [of mind] now and not as harassed and upset as you were at first, even though there are quite a few things that seem to depress you now. But that will also be resolved. Ernst St. [Emma’s doctor] was here just now. He looks in on me now every week and regularly prescribes painkillers for me, first Enkodal, today also Optalidon, but unfortunately they no longer help, and I have to suffer the pain and grit my teeth. It is one advantage that the nights are better than the days, and I am able to sleep for a few hours, with sufficient medication, that is. You wanted a report about my condition and you mustn’t have any illusions, just as I no longer have any. Even the nice comforting thought of spring no longer works for me, unless a miracle happened and the growth of the tumour stopped, and I still have a little hope of that coming about. Nevertheless, don’t worry about me, my dear child, you know that I won’t readily throw in the towel and am not easily overcome. The most important thing for me is that you are happy and content, and this is the greatest consolation to me. You know, I overestimated your intelligence! That’s the consequence, that you silly child don’t occupy yourself crossword puzzles and other riddles and did not quite understand the clever riddle I posed you. By the way, letter was once again opened by the customs office “to check on currency exchange”. Have my letters been opened as well? I should have written “Rosenecke” [?] instead of “Hanau” – perhaps you would have understood the riddle a little better then, or perhaps “Tiloit” [?] or something similar. But you did know that L had friends in H[anau]? Well then!! I hope you had good news from Ernst [Margarete’s son], and his finger will soon be healed. Will he get his old job back?  You won’t have such an urgent need for the old fine handkerchiefs, as you write, and you will perhaps soon haven an opportunity to pick them up yourself. One can’t entrust that to another person, or don’t you know that either? In any case they are not that valuable, they won’t make anyone rich. Why would I worry about Kahn [?]? I told you that this business is all the same to me, I don’t even think about such things. Instead, I have a lot of things to do with my administrator and put in order before 1.4. [the date on which an instalment of the wealth tax was due, according to the ordinance of 21 November 1938], we must wait for the decision about the taxes, and other such things. Gustl’s [Auguste, cousin of Emma’s father] affairs are one step further, the day before yesterday their furniture was finally taken away in a small container [?], for which they had to pay a year [in advance] so that it can remain in the duty-free harbour – for first they have to obtain the immigration permit, and during all those preparations things often change completely on account of new regulations, which appear overnight.

            I have to end for today and remain with 1000 kind greetings and kisses,

Your devoted old 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.

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