My cute, darling little Fred,

Today your letter arrived which made us all very happy especially that you, dear child, are so well off.   To get positive mail from my dear ones who are so far away is my only treat.  A letter from Lorle came too which I am sending to Papa.  I am expecting mail from him.  Mr. Wolf[1] wrote that he found him doing better.  I sent him a small box of dates with Mrs. Wolf’s laundry.  He will also have received something from Lectoure[2]. He is on a milk diet and could use some bread pieces to soak.  The main thing is that he is getting better and we hope this with all our heart.

Today I was at Hugo’s,  he wants to write you too.  Your picture was wonderful, I sent it to Papa together with your letter, he will certainly be very happy with it.  I also showed the picture to your teacher who wants me to write you that she enjoyed it very much.  People here rave about the Home, as somebody from OSE  was there who described it in favorable terms.  Therefore more children are supposed to be sent there.  No boys transport has been organized by OSE and I am, therefore, happy that you are better off in the meantime, even if I miss you a lot.  Things are better for you even if you don’t always eat your fill.

Liselotte wrote that Palavas is very unsatisfactory, it is not clean nor do they ever eat their fill.  She is now in Couret where things are better, a religious home, clean and the food is good.  However, she is also homesick there.  Well, my cute little Fritz, you are most likely also homesick but because you are a brave boy, you don’t write about it in order not to cause me pain.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this proof of your love.  Self control is the greatest victory and you know how to use it as you never caused me pain by complaining about being hungry.  That was heroic.  Now my darling little Fred when we cook together again, I will leave plenty in the cake bowl, we’ll mix and bake together, for each his favorite dish.  I wish it could be soon that we are all together.  But first I have to be satisfied to hear from you that you are OK.  It is good that you are learning French as you can use it everywhere.

Do you make your bed nicely?  How about your laundry?  Do you wear your sabot?  Who darns your socks?  I wrote to your directeur regarding Margot and Hugo.  The rumor is that everybody to age 22 will get out of the Camp.  That would include them.  You are right, this way we get more[3].  It is very sad that you and Lorle had to leave us so that we would have more to eat.  On the other hand you are much better off too.  Today we cooked beans, also for tomorrow each one gets 2 cups.  In barrack 23 the OSE provides soup.  On the average, each person gets a turn once a week.  The soup is very tasty, thick and one could use more of it.  Therefore we don’t get fresh food anymore which was better for us with the good grapes and chickpeas.  Today there was salad and tomorrow there is supposed to be herring.  At the Oneg Miss Weil distributes, without special food tickets, mostly little fig paste bars and the children who attend religious class get two.  I also get two.  Neumann is completely cut out.  4 people from our barrack were transferred to No. 7, a convalescence barrack, but not as good as Hugo’s.  Well, my dear Manfred, it is getting dark and I can’t see anymore, so good night.  We huddle pretty well (with only two), and for the time being, it is warm and not so windy.  With my most heartfelt regards and a thousand kisses, from

Your MAMA

Dear Manfred,

I was very happy with your letter.  Keep writing with as  much detail as in your last letter.  Since Monday, I am in the convalescent barrack No. 15.  Our food comes from the Swiss barrack.  In the morning at 8:30 we get 1/2 liter coffee with milk, 1/8 bread with jam or cheese.  At 11:30 we get lunch.which is served in a cooking utensil.  You know it is an army utensil which many people use here.  It is round with insert and filled up to the insert.  The food is thick.   Today there were tobinambur [4] with rice and wheat germ and as dessert 6 dates.  Yesterday it was almost the same only fewer tobinambur and more wheat germ.  Instead of the dates, there were black olives.  On the day on which I got to this barrack, there was rice with cauliflower.  Afterwards, at about 2:30 we get half a liter of milk with Blendine and 1/8 bread.  Dinner is approximately at 5:30.   As much and as thick as for lunch.  Yesterday evening we got excellent noodles with rice and wheat germ and meat.  On the first day, rice with Blendine and jam.  I mixed the jam under the rice, it tasted just like at home.  It was the good orange marmalade.  With this food, one can regain some strength.  My face is healed and the feet are already better.  I am on a break as we are allowed to sit in the sun after lunch until 3 or 4  o’clock.  I can’t finish this letter today as Mama came unexpectedly to pick up the letter which should be mailed today.  Therefore for today many regards and kisses from your brother                                                                                                    HUGO

Dear, good Manfred,

I just come from Hugo, he’s better. Today Papa wrote.  Two letters came at once.  I worried so.  Now I am content.  He is better off than here.  I sent the letter to Lorle and write you the gist of it.  “Friday I had a good day,  sunshine came in through the window and I got a second portion of  coffee and also a little more bread than usual.  Then I thought that I would get a package and sure enough the mailman brought a package from Richard W. with Catkas [5] and a tonic to be stirred into the soup or the milk”.  A lady from the comité brought  “Malke-Moser”(?) as distributed quite often by the Secours Suisse .   He gets a bottle of medication every two hours, an expectorant, the bottle remains next to him.

This week he is supposed to get an increase  in the 1-1/2 liter of milk which all the milk drinkers get.  He thinks that we have room now to set up a living room and a bedroom in our Hasenstall (see footnote #2).  Then he writes to you: Dear Manfred,  We liked your old castle.  In any case its walls are thicker than those of the barrack where you stayed up till now.  According to your menu, you should have no trouble to accustom your stomach to the better fare.  When they weigh you, write us your weight.  Don’t you worry about me.”  Well, my dear child, now I wrote you a lot, so I embrace you now and send you my heartfelt regards and kiss you most sincerely.

Your MAMA

Dear Manfred!

I am just coming from washing my hair.  They fixed it very nicely.  Today it is beautifully warm.  I rolled down my stockings and am wearing a short sleeved pullover and my new suit.  You can imagine what juice came out of it (the hair).  Uncle Sally expects to visit us on the 19th.  Little Salo is the boy with the very long curls.  Walter and his mother boast all the time that he is the best in school.  Nebbich [6], of the children.  Herbert also received good marks.   Your sweat suit wouldn’t help you at all anymore.  Today for lunch, the children got so many potatoes and noodle soup and they had to finish their bread.  They couldn’t say “Poooh” anymore.  Walter ate 5 potatoes and 3 noodles. Supposedly everybody under 22 will get out of here.  I registered again.  Many people went to Marseilles, also Ilse Preis.  What do you play?  Do you draw?  We cuddle well.  Sec. Suisse is always good.  Today we had peameal cereal and then black olives.  Keep writing with so much detail. Love,

MARGOT


[1] Liselotte’s father.

[2] French town

[3] Contents of packages have to be shared by fewer people.

[4] Topinambour, French for Jerusalem artichokes

[5] Yiddish for useless little objects

[6] Big deal!