My dear, good, darling Honeybunch!

Your letter brought me much joy.  I was sorry that you had to wait in vain again for Uncle Albert.  He visited his family, even sent us a little package from there and one before his departure from Lyon and paid the local committee for another one, so that we received 3 little packages from him.  You will find compensation for your loss in the knowledge that we benefitted a lot from his thoughtfulness.  He will surely visit you, he is truly sorry. I wrote him that he should invite you for your vacation.   It seems that the administration of the other Homes agrees when the children leave.  One has in mind that the children should come for 14 days, that the OSE will take care of them but they must pay their own train fare.  I don’t have a notification from Toulouse as yet.

Today Hugo is here again and I am happy to have at least one dear one with me.  I only regret that Papa could not partake of our lentil soup and Bavarian cabbage as there would have been enough, both of us were full.  By the way, my darling, I have every reason to be proud of you.  You really made a beautiful drawing for Papa.  I would never have been able to do that.  Your illustrations and your kind words,  the symbols of luck are darling and in a very tasteful arrangement, the oven (our oven) the empty box with the Bettstollen [1], the table set for a birthday party (you did not forget any kind of cake!) and the shabby bread with turnips, absolutely great.  I am really proud of my youngest, have shown it to everybody and would have liked to show it to the girls.  Papa said that it was his nicest birthday letter.  I will preserve it well in the zippered bag.  Papa will have finished the letter for you.  He received a transfer of 300 frs from Carlos Wagner, Buenos Aires.  Dear G’d keeps helping us again and again.  Did your tooth hurt you, poor child.  Is it a molar, I hope it will grow in again, otherwise you need an artificial one. .  We visited Papa on Sunday.  He will have written to you about it.  On Monday, Uncle Sally was here.  He has lost weight and works a lot with insufficient food.  Papa looks better.  Mrs. Bertel Wolf and Mrs. Flegenheimer left for Marseilles this week.  One after the other are leaving.  Mrs. Lachowitzki is a friend of Richard Wagner in Lectoure.  She is aware of everything and keeps writing exceptionally nice letters.  She also keeps sending us and Papa things.  I ordered a cook pot from her as ours is broken.  It fell on the ground, spilling water while Hugo# was left with the handle in his hand.  Hugo wants to write to you too.  Therefore, kindest regards and a thousand kisses from

your MAMA

P.S.  Quite a few girls are supposed to be leaving on Tuesday for Margot’s.

# Mama means herself rather than Hugo here.  She did not know it anymore or wanted to pin it on me.

Dear little Manfred,

I am already 10 days with the work detail in Barcarès, away from Rivesaltes.  But today I am for the second time with little Mama and was already at Papa’s.  You sure sent him a wonderful birthday letter. Our Knorzebach (probably local colloquial) is quite capable.  I wrote to Margot today how I got into the work unit.  A girl is taking that letter along.  You will also get it in time.  Up till now I don’t have to work hard.  The food is somewhat better than in Camp.  Your food is much better for sure.  You are quite right that you don’t want to return to the Camp.  The food is worse and there are no more children your age.  If you would only see something Jewish, right?  Shevuot is already over.  It was on Friday and Saturday.  Whitsun was on Sunday.  Uncle Albert went somewhere else.  He again sent us stuff.   Whenever I come, I bring vegetables along.  Cherries are still very expensive 18 frs. the kilo.  Mama cooked so much for me that we could not finish it all.  That is quite a performance here in Camp.  Now dear little Fred, kindest regards and kisses from your brother

HUGO

We are very close to the sea at Barcarès.  I brought a few pretty seashells from there.  An ashtray for our future living room.


Perpignan, June 8,1942

My dear little Manfred,

Mama put me in charge of writing to you and Lorle this week.  However, she did not send me your letters as yet so that I do not know whether there is anything special that needs answering.  Hugo was here Saturday noon.  He traveled here from Barcarès where he is in a work unit and then from here he went to Mama’s.  As he hadn’t as yet read all your letters, Mama did not send them to me.  I did however receive two eighth of bread from her yesterday, Sunday.  Thank G’d, I have such a good appetite, that this will soon be eaten.  On Saturday, I received a package from Albert.  Every supplement is precious and a pleasure.  The fact that I always have a good appetite shows me that my illness is improving.   This manifested itself also from one weighing to the next, approximately four to five weeks later and in particular last Thursday, when I had gained 3 Kg.

Mama thinks that if she could cook for me like she used to, I would put on the weight I have lost in no time.  About 15 kilograms are missing to make up my normal weight according to height and about 21 kilograms for my original weight.  The supplement packages helped me a lot to gain weight.  I received from Mama (but I already wrote what  she brought me for Pentecost)   You too will be able to eat everything except  that your diet  is much ampler than ours. Mama also sent me some homemade goodies made with nuts and chocolate etc…How they would like to cook and bake for your Bar Mitzvah.  Until then we do want to be reunited or we won’t have it before we are all together again.  They say that the war in Europe will end this year.  Then our suffering will be over.  However, nobody is able to give an exact date.  Oncle Sally says until November, other newspaper readers here claim even before then, hopefully they are right.

I think, now that  it is summer, it is better for us than winter.  Then there are vegetables and fruit.  For the time being, one can buy cherries, tomatoes and peaches here.   On Saturday, Hugo took along vegetables and fish to the camp. He’ll cover his expenses that way.  He could take the bus here from Barcarès.  To get to camp, he took the electric (train) and then walked. I was very happy to see Hugo and Mama was already waiting for him too.  He was also at Mama’s the preceding Saturday but they must have written that to you.  About moving away from here, nobody  knows yet.  They say that  another transport will be leaving which should include me.  For a while already, they say that a transport will leave for Noé, which hasn’t left as yet.  It may be that this is something for which Mama registered herself and me.  Dreifuss, whose wife is in B32 in the little room, claimed that his wife and others would be shipped off to a factory 600 km from here.  Already a lot of men were sent off into work details, a number of Spaniards from the hospital left last week.

Did you hear anything from your former friends?  In this regard everybody is in the same boat, everybody wants to save postage and that is, in time, how one loses touch.  The little Niedermann left with the America-transport.  In the end they would have said that you are already 12 years old as the transport left only in May.

As mentioned at the beginning, I don’t have any letter from you here.  I hope that Mama will send me the latest letters and that I will get good news from you.

Looking forward, I send you my kind regards and kisses

Your PAPA

Are you able to read my handwriting?


[1] Some kind of cake