My dear Frederle,

It is Friday and more than usual do my thoughts dwell with you my dear children.  I cannot allow myself to think of the beautiful Friday evenings as my heart aches then.  And yet I am happy that I could offer you my dear children these beautiful evenings, that I succeeded with Papa’s help to give you these memories for the rest of your lives.  Perhaps dear Frederle we will have the luck to own our home again.  You my dear Frederle as the youngest had to miss all this so early in life and you are already separated from your dear ones for such a long time.  Hopefully you will soon be allowed to join Lorle, so that our dearest Benjamin is not deprived of the closeness of a next of kin.  I would like nothing better than to be able to spoil you again, after all you passed the test that I did not spoil you too much and you manage to face adversity with courage.  We’ll try asparagus once more, if I cook them fresh from Göggel’s[1] acre.  Lorle will most likely spoil you plenty, I don’t need to worry.  If it would only work out.  I believe that the food is the best there.

The other Homes are not so outstanding.  Many people exaggerated a lot.  Imagine, Liselotte Wolf went on vacation to visit the girl who was her pen pal thanks to Mme Petrisé (YMCA).  She went all by herself without sufficient food or an exact timetable.  She had a long wait in Lyon and in Annecy!! the bus had left.  She had to wait 4-5 hours.  You can imagine how Mrs. W. and I were mad as Lorle could have come to the station or L. to Lorle.  Now they both have each other’s address and I hope that they will meet.  Liselotte raves about the beautiful scenery.  I cannot understand that you are not allowed to go on vacation.  Everybody has vacation.  They are happy in the OSE Homes if the children are invited anywhere.  Did you really ask about it?  Just talk to your directeur or if you don’t want to tell Ilse or should I write? You are a big boy and should be able to handle this.

It is very hot here at present.  The first grapes are here.  Otherwise I am fine.  I think that I already gained weight.  My room is very cozy.  I also have a little mouse or two.  As I rearranged the crate yesterday, one jumped around.  Had I been Mrs. Flegenh. it would have lost its life.   I went to get the hammer but did not have the heart to hit it and so it had enough time to escape.  We have bedbugs ad infinitum.  I am glad that you were spared this plague or do you have some too?  So my cute Frederle Hugo still wants to tell you things too.  Hopefully he’ll come.  With the most tender regards and many many thousand kisses from your

MAMA

Dear Manfred,

I am in Perpignan since Monday and work on building a canal since Wednesday.  I have to help to dig a ditch.  The work is pretty hard.  I make 7 frs per hour.  We work 8 hours a day.  The unit is supposed to pay us after deducting food and bed.  I am not allowed to visit Papa outside of visiting hours.  However I talk to him almost every day.  You are familiar with the place.  You know by the little door in the backyard.  Actually this is also forbidden.  But if one were to observe everything, where would that get us?  I got long letters from Lorle and Margot.  The censor would have sent them back.  For today, many regards and kisses from

Your brother HUGO


[1] A neighbor who grew asparagus.