|THE LEAVES are falling, falling as from far,|
|As if far gardens in the skies were dying;|
|They fall, and ever seem to be denying.|
|And in the night the earth, a heavy ball,|
|Into a starless solitude must fall.||5|
|We all are falling. My own hand no less|
|Than all things else; behold, it is in all.|
|Yet there is One who, utter gentleness,|
|Holds all this falling in His hands to bless.|
Werner Saxe (Sachse?) who fell on the eastern front... I did Ask Anni about detals of his death but other than that he fell with a Straf Batallion, a punishment military unit, she either didn't know or didn't want to tell me. ...(we have a copy of) his father's last letter before his execution in Ploetzensee, Berlin... As I recall it, I think Anni told me that Werner did not want to marry while the war was on. Perhaps he was aware even then that he would not survive. She also told me that he loved his violin.So Anni's love died, unmarked, on the Eastern front in a punishment military unit. I'm assuming (but don't have a paper trail to confirm) that his placement in this unit was a result of his being half-Jewish, which enabled him to be sort of what we might called cannon fodder- front line folks that Germany didn't mind sacrificing. This was the very type of assignment that Opa was escaping when he left Germany. This was the death that very possibly awaited him if he remained in his home country.
But Opa doesn't know all of this, as it all hasn't happened yet. But I doubt we'll hear about Werner in the letters much again. Opa's focus then switches to Gisela in a nurse's uniform. Because, she's his friend. Right? What a flirt.
He talks about his new best friend, his move to University of Kansas, his old job doing cool engineering things (first I've heard of this!), his job at the library, etc. He catches Gisela up on all the details of his life. His letters must give her a joint feeling of gladness that normalcy exists somewhere, and sadness that her life has been sort of usurped by the war at hand. She continues with everyday living, but everything is shaped by the war.
So Opa continues to write, to speak hope, to work hard, to keep himself busy, "so I won’t have too much time left over to think stupid thoughts."
No one can rest too long, because they were born into a generation that demands a lot.