Wednesday, November 11, 2015

August 4, 1940: Happy Birthday Ella

Letter from Ella to Opa


Berlin, Charlottenburg, 4th of August, 1940

My very beloved boy,

You can imagine how much I am with you today, and how much I miss you! It is almost midnight, and I want to quickly send you a greeting. The “DEAR ONES” here did everything to create a nice day for me. Early in the morning there was a beautiful birthday table set up with flowers from Mrs. R. and Lotte, and in the afternoon many friends and relatives came by. They all send greetings to you, and Egon brought the enclosed picture for you. I have already written to you that he will continue school.

7th of August, 1940

Hunshen, I was too tired on Sunday to continue to write, and I also wanted to reply to your birthday letter. But no letter came, no matter how much I expected it. I know that you have written and that you were thinking of me, and hope that the letter will still come. I know from Ellenruth that you are in contact. Rose also wrote that she received a note from you. I on the other hand have not heard from Rose or Ellenruth directly, but Martha was here on Sunday and had some news.  Hunschen, do you think it is possible to get a hold of $70 for me? (perhaps this is a typo, in other letters the amount was much larger, like $700)  Maybe then I could possibly go to Shanghai. Please write immediately if is possible, then I will send a cable with the address. Is our Pattilein really doing well? I received a very nice card from Aust, which made me incredibly  happy.  

Honestly I will write to your friends soon now, I plan to do it this Sunday, hopefully  nothing comes up in between. Yesterday evening Tilli arrived, she will stay til Saturday morning. I have not really talked to her yet, only saw her briefly, she comes and goes a lot, here and there and everywhere, and comes home exhausted. But I am still happy to have such a dear person with me again.

Hunschen, good night. You must be terribly tired all the time! I kiss you sweetly, my dear big little one.

Your Mama

Ella finally gets a letter from August... perhaps for her birthday? How is he able to write to her and not to Opa? I'm glad he got a letter out. Maybe this was an exception for her birthday. I'm not sure why he couldn't write like Ella and Patti have been writing. I'm sure Opa is missing word from his Dad. I can't imagine just not hearing from my Dad after a major event like an invasion. Luckily Ann'chen, August's sister, and the United Press is able to keep tabs on him and supply information about his well-being.

I'm so glad Ella had a nice birthday. Mrs. R is her neighbor. Lotte is the mother of Kurt's baby, Renate. We still speak with Renate today. I love that her family and friends came to celebrate and didn't let her feel alone on her birthday. Ella needed that.

It wore her out so much she couldn't write more for two days! Ha. She is sad that she hasn't received her requested birthday letter- she waited to receive it to finish her letter. In this portion she asks Opa if he can figure out how to get her $70 for her way to Shanghai - out of Berlin and into potential freedom. The translator is right- I thought the amount was more... however- I can't imagine Ella asking Opa for $700- even her request for $70 seems odd. I wonder if she has requested small amounts from multiple people. It shows how desperate Ella is to get out of Germany- I just don't see her asking people for money unless it was absolutely necessary. This is still the story of how Martha and Erich (Ella's sister and brother in law) are planning on leaving the country. They've been planning this for a while- and Ella even mentioned in her last letter that Martha would be leaving her soon. I wonder when the time of departure is set for?

Happy Birthday Ella, I'm glad you had friends and family to show you how much you mean- and how grateful we are that you were born.

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