Monday, November 9, 2015

July 19, 1940: A Real Letter

Letter from Ella to Opa


Nr. 31
Berlin, Charl.  19 July, 1940
Droysenstr. 14

My much beloved boy, Finally, after more than one month your letter of July 2nd arrived.  How happy I was about it! I had been so terribly worried about you. Now I have calmed down, knowing that you have survived the harvest-time there well, and can start your studies again. The exam results were quite decent (respectable). I was happy about the good grades, and the knowledge and assurance, that you can stay there another year, where you feel happy and where people like you.  You will conquer hearts everywhere, when you are decent, comradely and truly yourself. You are after all the Best Boy. If only I could get to know my other boy. (She must be talking about her new son-in-law) Write to me about everything you hear from both of them. Where did Pattilein get the money to continue her studies? I am very happy, that it was made possible. Is she with Maurice? And where?  Are you corresponding with Erna? She wanted to write to you, something about her mother.  Have you heard from our Herting? I think often of that child, I am longing for her and wish I could help her. Most of my thinking and worrying is about Papa. I cannot understand that he does not write to me, not even once.

Hilda had a note from him. Even to the news of Patti wedding he did not write one word to me. How much that hurts me, you can imagine!!  But I have to accept it. He does not have a relationship (connection, or tie) to me, I think. If only I had you Two!!! Kurt wrote, the letter sounded a bit more happier, he is doing much better now. Now back to you, my Hunschenchild. I imagine you wrote to me about your friend’s wedding, but I did not receive the letter. Please write about it again, I am very interested. I would be happy if you could write about it again. Naturally, my boy, when you are tired from your work, when your fingers are stiff, do not write to me then. You need that free time to sleep. Then just send me a short note, so I will know you are doing fine. For my birthday I wish for a REAL letter. Perhaps, then on the 4th. You will sit down and write about all the personal things and thoughts, you could say to me if you were here with me. I will think of both of you the whole day.

I embrace and kiss you,
Your Mama

I just love how much Ella loves her son. She is so sweet and mothering and caring and neurotic like the rest of us. She is actually relieved that Opa has survived the harvest work, and I suppose it is better to worry about that than to focus in on her immediate surroundings. She is relieved that he did well on the exams, which she is late in discovering.

I forget that Opa is everyone's only source of information. I wonder why August is able to write to other people but not to his family. He has not written to Patti, Ella, or even Opa. I could perhaps understand his not writing to those under Nazi control- but why couldn't he write to the USA? It is breaking Ella's heart that August doesn't write. Not that she pines after him- but I feel like for her it demotes her to being completely forgotten and discarded- as she must feel on many days by herself in Berlin.

Her birthday is coming up- August 4th. Her birthday is just two days (and many years) before mine. I hope Opa fulfills her request to write her a long long letter full of his inner thoughts and cares. My mother often makes a similar request - she just wants a note from us showing how much we care. For Ella - this request gives her something she is utterly lacking: human connection and interaction. Nurturing, kind, loving words are not easily found. I hope for her birthday, Opa wrote her a "Real" letter. 

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