So after this mention of Ribbentropf, I decided to do some light research. I say light because I am not an expert on this man or all his shenanigans, but I did at least learn a few things. One is this: NO one liked him except Hitler himself. Apparently Ribbentropf was sort of what I like to call a "tool box." He was a suck-up and had a lot of bluster and hot air and not a whole lot of substance. Despite what seems to be his reputation for being a fool- Hitler loved the guy and kept him close as a foreign minister. Ribbentropf did a great job at making a fool of himself in many countries, being as demanding as a rock star without a concert to offer. NO one liked him. Oh, except Stalin, because they hated the British together. But if your top two admirers are Hitler and Stalin and your common ground is hatred... I think things are not good. Ribbentropf was also one of the first to be hung for his war crimes at Nuremburg, and none of his Nazi colleagues were that upset about it. Really sort of a sad existence.
I'm getting ahead of myself. So when August says that the "disgusting Ribbentropf" is in Rome (negotiating some foreign alliance with Mussolini)- he is joined by most folks in rolling his eyes. All of these movements and talks are just the slow falling into place of alliances, enemies, pacts, agreements, and general political maneuvering that is paving the way for what we know as the ultimate Axis and Allies of World War II.
Emma has the job of sending packages to their German relatives of extra supplies that are rationed in Germany, but more available to August and Emma. Anneken (August's sister) is not Jewish, but the rest on that list are and their access to the goods mentioned are significantly limited. August's sarcasm about the "Noble Race" is sharp. He mentions Hans and Hilde may have a chance to go to Palestine. This was a common place for Jews to flee- in fact, this area was where today's nation of Israel was formed. Hilde was Emma's sister, so Hans was her brother in law. Their move to Palestine seems hopeful, however Ella's path is still very muddy.
Poor Emma, she just isn't part of the crew. She tries. Poor Opa- August starts to wrap up his letter with mention of his zits- which I guess is part of why Emma obsessed over him having his hands on his face? It does make me sort of chuckle thinking about Opa with all the typical trappings of a young adult: zits, parents with too many questions, and girl problems. Life still moves in similar ways throughout time.
To clarify: the Indians are indeed the native americans, and I'm pretty sure that was August's attempt at a joke. It is very similar to how my Dad attempts to be funny. The "Wife" I now understand from previous letters is Opa's roommate and that is what they called each other at McPherson College.
Now all Opa has to do is push his letters across the Atlantic with greater effectiveness and put three photos in them for the family to gawk at.