My dear Lorle,

Today I received your letter with great pleasure and so I want to write to you right away a long and detailed letter on a double notebook page exactly as you want it.  Mama wrote me already the approximate contents of Papa’s letter which you sent me, but I still enjoyed it very much.  I am going to enclose a letter from Papa which Mama sent me.  Now I want to start right away to write to you absolutely exactly what we do all day long.

In the morning at 8 o’clock the bell rings for us to get up, wash and open our beds.  At 8:30 AM the bell rings again for breakfast.  There we get cereal cooked in milk and 1 slice of bread.  Tastes very good.  After that we have to go to school right away.  The school is divided into 4 groups.  I am in the top group.  We are in school until 10 o’clock.  There is recess to make the beds from 10:00 to 10:30.  The older boys and girls have to make their own beds here.  There are children here from 3 -14 years.  From 10:30 until 11:30 we have to do our homework in school.  At 11:30 the bell rings again to wash hands.  At 12:00 it rings again to eat.  I will write to you later about the food.  At approximately 1:00 when we are done with the meal, we have to lie down until 2:30PM.  Afterwards we, the big boys, have to do some work on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until 4 o’clock.  Either in the kitchen to clean and sharpen knives or to carry wood or to help in the garden or to sweep the yard or whatever needs to be done.  On the other days, when we don’t have to work, we take walks in good weather or we look for dandelion which winds up in a salad.

Yesterday we took a walk to a small lake close by.  We climbed up to the mountains.  On the way up a Spaniard caught a rabbit.  There are such yellow flowers here and violets also.  We came back at 4 o’clock.  At that time we get 1/4 liter milk with a slice of bread.  Afterwards we go to school again until 6:30 PM with a 10 minute recess at 5:30 PM.  Then we have either German or Arithmetic or Geography with Ilse Gottschalk.   On Tuesday and Saturday we take a shower at that time.  I had a bath once.  That was very nice.  At 6:30 PM the bell rings again to wash hands and at 7:00 to go to supper.  At approximately 8 o’clock, when we are through with supper, the older ones are allowed to

stay an extra half hour in the yard if the weather is good.  We mostly play cops and robbers.  This week we had several days of nice weather, however tonight it is overcast and one hears the wind whistle.  We did not go back to play in the yard.  After the games we have to go to bed right away. The light stays on till 9 o’clock.  Like you, we have one mattress, a bolster[1], a sleeping bag[2] and 3 big heavy blankets.  I put 2 double.  I am always nice and warm and sleep well.  Now I want to write you our menu as far as I know it.

Yesterday evening we got cereal soup like in the mornings only spicier.  Tastes very good like grünkern[3].  Afterwards there were turnips and a slice of bread.  Today for lunch there was that same soup again, turnip vegetables, a slice of bread and 3 sardines.  Tonight we again had this soup, turnips, a slice of bread and jam.  Usually there is meat twice a week.   This week we got egg once. Sunday for lunch there is always this soup, noodles and a slice of bread and meat.  Sunday morning there is always cocoa and a …….[4]pastry.  Sometimes at lunch there is chocolate to go with the milk.  When it is hot we play in a tower of the house.  My French is already pretty good.  There is a boy here who does not know any French at all.  Sometimes I have to translate for him.  We sleep 24 per room here.  Now it will soon be Pessach.  This Pessach you and I won’t be able to eat matzos.

The laundry does not get mended much here.  I always wear my boots so that I don’t tear my socks.  How come Mama wrote your name on your letter.  I can understand that you cannot manage that I join you because if you could you surely would do it.  Now I don’t know anything more.  I already wrote you a very long detailed letter.   That Margot weighs only 40 kg I knew as she was weighed for the Secours-Suisse food supplement while I was still in camp and Hugo is in a convalescence barrack which is supplied entirely by the Secours-Suisse.  He will have written it to you.  I am writing fast because I still

want to mail the letter today and that is why my handwriting is not so good.  If there is nothing to do about my joining you, then there is nothing to do.  It would be so much better if I were with you as you would not be alone then and me neither.   Today I will receive mail from Mama as 8 days have just gone by.  The greatest pleasure is to receive mail.  Now I don’t know what to write you anymore as I have written so much.  With the kindest regards and kisses from

your brother

MANFRED


[1] A wedge shaped bolster instead of a pillow (French style).

[2] Two sheets sewn together.

[3] Green rye, from which soup is made in southern Germany.

[4] Illegible.