Tuesday, October 18, 2016

May 20, 1941: Don't Leave Him

Letter from Ella to Mary Rogers of AFSC


Berlin - Charlottensburg, May 20th, 1941
Droysenstrasse 14

Mrs. Mary M. Rogers,
20 South Twelfth Street
Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Mrs. Rogers.

Please, accept my best thanks for all your trouble. I hope that, with your help, I shall succeed in coming over to your country and being reunited with Tom very soon. For the moment, I can't do anything but wait, till the Consul will ask me to hand in my papers. You may imagine how I am longing for my children!

Let me also thank you with all my heart for the interest you have taken in Tom. It is a great comfort for me to know that you care about him, and I ask you not to leave him. It is a great good luck that he may live and learn in McPherson College. To judge from his letters, he is in a very good sphere, and I am so thankful for it. He has found real friends.

I hope I shall be able to help others as you help us.

With heartiest thanks,

Sincerely yours,

Ella Döppner.

For some reason seeing Ella's handwriting in perfect English makes me nearly weepy. Ella is a class act. Ella writes a beautiful thank you note to Mary Rogers for her care with Opa, and her continued work to help with her own hopes for emigration.  

This line: "It is a great comfort for me to know that you care about him, and I ask you not to leave him." A felt a thud in my heart. It sounds almost as if Ella is passing the responsibility for Opa to Mary if something should happen to her. I don't want to be melodramatic- but doesn't it feel that way? 

As I would expect from Ella, she signs off with hopes that she can help others as Mary Rogers has helped her family.

This letter taps into something emotional for me. Gratitude and sorrow. Ella's moment of recognition that she might not get to reunite with Opa, so she needs to feel as if someone will keep watch over him. Can you imagine having these thoughts in your brain? Some of you may know what that's like. I cannot imagine.

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