My dear, good little Manfred,

We were very happy with your letter as always when we get mail from our darling.  Would that your letters sound as satisfied as Lorle’s.  If it would only work out for you to join Lorle.  I want to see if there is an answer from Toulouse.  Tomorrow I will talk to Dr. Malkin.  At Whitsun, Albert will visit you, as he wrote in his letter this week.  If your directeur gives permission, I am not opposed to your going to visit them; talk to Albert about it, I will write him about it.  You figured that out pretty well with the km, how many more will you cover?  If you want to register to return to the Camp, I am not opposed to it.(X)  Don’t do it yet but wait for exact instructions from us.   All the children are gone, so that it would not take very long until you get out again.  Then I could give you a good treatment as Hugo is supposed to leave soon.  All the youths are supposed to go to a colonie [1] in the Htes Alpes as soon as possible.  They promised them all kinds of wonderful things.  If half of it comes true, I will be satisfied.  He will write to you himself.  Another transport is supposed to go to where Margot is.  Tea Kahn is still here.

Margot will have written to you that she is not as happy with her job as Lorle.  Aunt Vita sent me a work contract.  However nobody is allowed into another Departement[2].  To tell me this, I was summoned to the Emigration Office.  I would not like to be so far away from Papa anyhow.  I hope that I will be permitted to visit him on Thursday.  I had all kinds of trouble with the authorization, would that one does not need that stuff anymore.  Four weeks are an eternity.  Uncle Sally wants to visit us at Whitsun.    Perhaps Hugo will be gone by then.  Then I will be quite homesick all by myself.   Oh, dear little Fred, how happy we will be when we will be together again.  This week the parents whose children are leaving for the U.S.A. were permitted to go to Marseilles; had a wonderful reception from the OSE.  And imagine, a woman from our barrack met Jules on the tramway and he sent his regards with her.  Berta Bär gave a letter along to Mrs. Niedermann with 20 frs. and coffee-ersatz [3].  You will laugh.  She wanted to give Palus along but they would not take him along, neither would Mr. N. take him along.

This week we got a package from Mrs. Lachowitzky[4].  Albert promised a suitcase to Hugo.  Maybe he comes tomorrow so that I can pack his things.   I washed and mended everything this week.  I am never short of work and if the mail does not come on time, then think that “Mama needed to do something else” and don’t worry about it.  Everybody gets a turn at the comité -soup every other day.  In the Secours-Suisse there is mostly mashed peas.  I get it already at 8 AM, at 7:45 AM there is coffee, then Sec. Suisse in (îlot) K and then ORT in (îlot) E.  I am shortening my coat and taking it in in Sewing so that I can wear it again.  If I could only fix your things again.  Are you wearing your blue pants now that it is warm?  Now it is the Eisheiligen [5], a time when it is still cold but after it will get warmer.  Now I have to leave some room for Hugo.  With my best regards and a thousand kisses from

your MAMA who always thinks of you.

Dear little Fred,

Today we received a letter from Lorle which she wrote together with Bob.  She wrote that, for her birthday, she received 5 sheets of stationary with envelopes, 10 cookies, 15 lumps of sugar, 12 half bars of chocolate (more than half a tablet of 125 gr.) 15 candies and a postcard with inscription from her Directrice.   Bob composed a poem for Lorle and gave her a handkerchief and a bunch of lilac.  Mama is in ORT right now.  She will only be able to visit Papa on Thursday.  A little while ago I was looking for wood or rather brushwood.  It is completely dry and lies in the fields between the îlots.  This stuff burns and heats top notch.  Yesterday and today we cooked some asparagus with a little milk.  They were top notch, except that the omelets to go with them were missing.  Will we have them again next year?  We have no other choice but wait.  Uncle Sally will visit us again at Whitsun.  Perhaps I’ll be already in Haute Alpes.  Albert wants to visit you, also at Whitsun. So many regards and kisses from your brother

HUGO

It is very warm here today although it was stormy this morning.

(X) I will talk to Miss H. about this, did not meet her today.
My dear little Manfred,

I am very happy that you made such a nice excursion.  Papa will write you why my letter is so short today.  Yomtov starts on Friday.  Next year, dear little Friz we shall bake such wonderful cheese cake that your teeth will get stuck in it.  I believe that Albert will come (to see you) on Whitsunday.  I’ll be thinking of you and will be happy that you will be spending a few pleasant hours.  With my deepest felt regards and a thousand kisses from your

MAMA who embraces you.

5/20/42

Dear Manfred,

Today I got instructions from Mama to write to you.  She has no time.  Hugo had to leave suddenly with a work unit, supposedly to Barcarès.  Mama hopes to finally be able to come on Sunday, the day on which Sally announced his visit.  For the time being, Albert is not going to visit you because for Shavuot/Whitsun he will go to his brother-in-law’s for 4 days as his wife is there right now.  Here, we did not have any water for several weeks, something must have broken down in the water works.  Yesterday the non drinking water started again in the yard.  As to drinking water, it gets allotted every day 2/3 (liter) every morning and afternoon.  Tomorrow we are moving into our regular ward again.  The ward has been whitewashed.  During the first night that we spent there, it was crawling with bedbugs, then it improved some.  Thanks to the paint job and the move, the bedbugs were driven out of the wooden walls.

One is still alone.  Talk has it that the war will be over soon, at least in Europe.  So it has to come true sometime.  Then we will get together again, all of us, to see how to go on.  Unfortunately we are not there yet.  Until then, eat well so that you grow big and strong.  For the time being, the weather is pretty pleasant, sometimes very warm, sometimes windy.  Your excursion must have been a lot of fun to cook outdoors.  We can do that too in the future.  Perhaps we can take our oven along.  If Mama is all by herself right now, she will not be able to bring everything along.  Perhaps Mama and I will be together if Sally manages to get us out, so that we can live somewhere in the unoccupied territory.  Jules and wife left Marseilles for Spain, will go to South America, did not send anything ahead.

Richard[6] is still in Switzerland, perhaps he will remain there.  Sigmund Wagner[7] wrote that he ordered a colis Suisse.  I think that he ordered 2 or 3 such packages which come via Toulouse.  I have already eaten a lot of cherries and oranges this year.  Yesterday we got cherries and oranges from the comité.  I am in satisfactory condition.  I could use a lot of extra packages.  Well, the summer will pass and hopefully we won’t need to be here anymore by winter.

Kind regards and Kisses  your

PAPA

Enclosed a postcard from Margot.


5/24/1942

My dear little Fred,

By now you must have received my report about Papa.  Tomorrow I’ll visit him; I already have the laissez-passer [8] and Hugo is here too.  So we’ll go on an early hike for Whitsun.  We’ll meet Uncle Sally at Papa’s and the day after tomorrow both will visit me.  Mrs. Weil told me today that all the children have a Home outside the Camp and the OSE removes the children from the other Homes.  So it will be your turn too but I would be happier if you were with Lorle.  No answer yet from Toulouse.  Will Uncle Albert visit you tomorrow?  Just visit Lorle once, you can manage it you enterprising young man.  I am happy to hear that you made such a nice outing and you probably speak pretty good French and will learn Spanish.  I am anxious to see how Papa looks.  It is late already and I am writing in bed.  Papa will finish the letter.  Most affectionate regards and many, many, a thousand kisses from

Your MAMA


[1] Home for children

[2] County

[3] Imitation coffee

[4] A friend of Richard Wagner whom he married after his wife died.

[5] “Ice Saints”, May 11, 12 & 13

[6] Richard Wagner, Papa’s cousin in Switzerland.

[7] Papa’s cousin in Switzerland.

[8] Permit