Saturday, November 14, 2015

August 27, 1940: Word from Patti

Letter from Ella to Opa


Nr. 35
Berlin Charl. 4, 27th of August,1940

My dear dear boy, thanks for the cable. But that was not necessary! I can wait till Stiers case will be in order! I wrote to you, to write to me, if you can get a hold of the money. Then I would cable you where to send it! Or did I write it differently? Please Henschenboy, write right away where the money will come from. On no account do I want for you to interrupt your studies for it! You have to learn as much and as fast as possible! That is so important! My boy I do not understand what you write about college and university. I thought a college has the same value as a university, but is a boarding school. Please write to me exactly about the difference between these institutions and also the gained entitlements.

You wrote that Winston Sheffer graduated from college and now has to earn money to go to a university. Doesn’t the college have the same value? Please write in details about this.

Hunschenboy, I had a letter from my Patti-Child and Maurice. I was so happy, I was shaking and crying. You cannot imagine what it means to me. Sadly enough I still cannot answer her! Maurice does not seem strange to me, I already love him, and am longing terribly to show him my love also. Will I ever see all of you again? Patti’s letter was dated July 30, and she mentioned one dated July 26, which I have not received yet. And from you the last letter was dated July 29th.  Usually your letters arrive, just as I mailed one to you, no matter what day of the week.  So, when I come home tomorrow, I will find a note from my boy! Ann’chen is in the Isar Gebirge for a vacation. Hopefully she will have a few nice weeks. She probably wrote to you from there. I sent Patti’s letter to her.

Hunschen, write often, my beloved boy!
Your Mama kisses and embraces you

Colleges and Universities- I never really understood the difference either, Ella. Those words seem interchangeable to me- although I know somebody somewhere knows why they aren't. Maybe Opa will know and explain it. I wish we had his letters! How glad I am we have his letters to Gisela and some of Anni's- otherwise we would have nothing of his voice in this time.

Ella's letters keep coming because no one else is writing as much, and I do believe Ella was clever in keeping her pen pals connected so that the Nazis knew that she was not isolated, people paid attention and cared about her.

Opa must have immediately cabled his mother that he could provide the money so that she could leave. How his heart must have jumped at the possibility of her being able to go! She seems strangely relaxed about it- but it has to be nerve-wracking. She wants to make sure that the money he sends does not keep him from going to school. That's still so incredible to me. I know that ultimately if he finishes and is able to get a job and provide an affidavit for Ella- there is a slightly increased chance that she could emigrate. However- I don't think that's her main concern. I really do think she is thinking of his freedom, his education, his dreams. If he gets educated and gets a job- he can stay in America and stay in freedom. She will not risk that for her own gain.

Ella shows us an unusually vulnerable moment when she describes her reaction to getting a letter from Patti. She shook and cried. She loves her, she loves her new son-in-law and all she wants is to embrace them, to show them how much she loves them. Ella can't write to Patti- my guess is because Patti is trying to hide as a French woman- and certainly hide as a half-jew. 

Ella's mood throughout the whole letter seems a little lighter, and little less anxious- and I think it's because she's heard from Patti. She makes the joke that she always receives Opa's letters the day after she sends hers - so she'll look forward to getting his letter tomorrow! 

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