Friday, July 31, 2015

December 22, 1939: P.S.

Original Letter From August and Emma to Tom

Translated by Rose

Amstelveen, Dec.22, 1939

Tall Guy,
Patti just wrote to me that the x-ray did not show anything bad so she is well. I was a bit worried about it and angry at myself that I wrote to you first about it. But perhaps these two letters will arrive together.
Your letter No.2 is still not here. Possibly the letters by boat are being held up in England due to censorship.
An acquaintance in Germany wrote me that letters sent by boat from America to Germany never arrive. I don’t really believe that, but it is not out of the question. I would advise that your mail to Mama, if not sent by Clipper (air), to be routed over me. It could really be true, that England does not allow American mail to go through, even if not officially.
Do you have a Christmas tree in college? Do you care about that? As for me I would not want to be without one. There is so much attached to it, Childhood, Bach music, Germany’s snowy landscapes and the longing beyond all times and ages.
Patti was also very happy about your letters.

Greetings from Amstelveen,


Heart felt greetings for Christmas. Earlier I went ice skating with Bob on the “Emma”.

August writes another letter the day after the last one. It’s to tell Opa of the good news that Patti’s x-rays were clear and all is well. August then talks a little about the censors and sort of mail tricks for getting letters back and forth more efficiently. It seems mail by air was better- which makes sense. I’m getting a sense for what it is like to send mail - snail mail- back and forth. I sent three letters overseas, two to Berlin and one to Australia. All were addressed to people who were in some way connected with Opa. And so I had to wait. Each day I checked the mail- hoping. I didn’t know if the letters arrived, if they were readable, if they had been sent back. I knew nothing- all I could do is wait and hope for a response. It’s fun and frustrating at the same time. (I did get a response- and Gisela is one of the folks I got connected with through those letters. Now we have her letters that she got from Opa... so snail mail works for me.)

Christmas time is very close, and August asks Opa about having a Christmas tree. He talks about the memories that Christmas trees evoke in him: “childhood, Bach music, Germany’s snowy landscapes and the longing beyond all times and ages.” I wonder what August meant by that last part. Maybe it's just the general nostalgia that ofte
n happens around the holidays.

Emma writes a short note about going ice skating with Bob on the “Emma.”  I’m thinking she and the dog did a little slipping and sliding on their walk. They lived on a street called Emmakade. Kind of a funny image. The fact that she said on the “Emma” (quotes and all)- leads me to believe there was a little bit of an inside joke going here. This adds a little light to the relationship between her and my Opa, which is nice. I still can’t get over the name. Bob. I’m going to name my next dog Joe.

1 comment:

  1. It makes me want to name a dog Bob, too! And I love how August mentions Bach German :)


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