Dear Children,

It is true, this time the mail went fast.  I sent the letter out to you on Monday and on Sunday morning I already received your answer.

I thought that you might have been sent to pick up children as you would then have been in the neighborhood.  If not, we just have to wait until we get together again.  You can’t get bored for sure with so many children running around.  Then you don’t have time to mope either.  I don’t do that either as one has to remain in good spirits.  Tomorrow is the beginning of Pessach.  We don’t know yet whether there will be a Seder.  We are supposed to get 1200 gr. of Matzos (last year 2 kg).  Rabbi Silberstrom wrote that you also receive Matzos.  I want to see whether that is so, whether a committee inscribed you on its list.  Our comité makes bigger promises than they keep.  We still have not received the March subsidy even though we are already past the middle of April.  The leaders at the top need it more than we do and it will be impossible later on to get an accounting from them.

You can surely remember that our little Fred was a cute little boy with curls.  You all were like that like on the picture we had on which both Lorle and Margot were curly tops.  Now you are still cute even if you have no more curls.  If Margot could join you, that would be wonderful.  Could you talk about it with somebody with influence or could your godfather arrange it.

Dear Manfred, you seem to be more interested in astronomy again.  One should learn whatever one can.  A smart man who attended many lectures once told me that one always learns something.  Since your teacher seems to know something about it, you can learn a lot.  Wolff in Heidelberg was or still is a famous astronomer of the Heidelberger observatory.  Next month you intend to go into the upper grade.  Won’t you get promoted to another class in any case or is the upper grade something different.from the normal promotion to the next grade.  Is the Certificat [1] something different as there is no such thing in Germany.  As far as I know, there is only the Abgangszeugnis [2]and then the so called Einjähriges-Zeugnis [3] after attending 6 years of High School.

The weather is quite nice but our walks are just circles in the yard.  It would bother less if one would only know for how much longer?  The food is also somewhat better lately as there are no more navets [4].  Today there were mashed potatoes again.  There is a cereal such as maizena in addition to the  the Quaker soup.  Twice already my neighbor gave me his portion because he does not like corn cereal.  He also gave me some cake baked by his wife.  I don’t refuse anything.  I don’t have to cook much for him as he should not eat so much and because he gets extra.  There is a new electric burner in the office so that the cooking is faster than before.  I haven’t cooked in the yard as I don’t cook for myself.  For if one has to buy everything and one lacks ingredients (fat), it is not worthwhile.  There is no more cauliflower but a lot of salad and other green stuff, also asparagus for 20 frs. kg.  They used to sell veal heads in Germany, whole or in pieces.  But I believe that the Jews did not buy much of it, maybe brains[5] for the sick or veal shanks for a thick gruel soup.

I don’t know what you mean, Margot, with the boy or girl at Richard’s.  R. does not know him.  Sigmund visited once with his mother when you already had your green room, which he liked a lot.  There were all kinds of relatives at Oma Löb’s birthday, from Malsch, from Karlsruhe and the fancy and conceited Direktors from Mannheim.  All of them are in North or South America now and may be thinking once in a while how we are and that’s it for them.  Candlemass is no more because this type of holiday was abolished.  In the big cities, people always worked on these holidays   Wolf received money and a colis Suisse from his wife.  Liselotte sent a picture which shows that she is taller and thinner.  She knew how to pose to her advantage.  She is standing next to a tree and laughs.                                                                              Lichtenstein is a small country near Switzerland.  It used to be a smuggler’s paradise because one could immigrate there without trouble.  The man from the big house on B….. street and his son were there.  What I do in the morning?  I stay in bed.  After coffee (8:30) I get up.   Everything has to be put on the bed as even the corner gets swept, then I wash.  When this is accomplished, the floor around my bed has been swept, and I put everything down again and go back to bed until the bread comes, which I presently cut for my group.  I’ve been doing it only for a few weeks, then back to bed.  Around 10 AM the mail arrives and sometimes also the doctor.  Sometimes I read and at 11 AM I get up.  Everybody can stay in bed for as long as he wants.  Our woman doctor was here again on Friday (after a 10 week vacation).  She thought that I had fat cheeks.  She also saw me when I was skinny.  We are 32 in our part of the ward (28 Jews, Germans, Viennese, Poles), 4 non-Jews (Italians, Rumanians, Belgians, Armenians).  One doesn’t even learn French because there are always people ready to translate.  Mr. T. is still here.  The Swiss Schwester from Elne was here again on Wednesday.  I showed her your pictures.  She wants to bring Mrs. Maier along some time.  I think that you have a lot to read today.   I wish you nice holidays, perhaps you can even organize a small Bar Mitvah celebration.

Best regards and Kisses from your                             PAPA

Take this to heart

To my dear brother Manfred

for his Bar Mitzva

April 24, 1943

in Pringy, France

My dear Manfred!

Today should be a big day for you, your Bar Mitzvah!  You surely remember your brother’s, how he spent a day full of festivities.  But for you it will be a day like any other.

Our dear Papa, everybody else hoped that I would  make up for the absence of your dear ones.  This I am doing  as far as I am able to, but as you know, this is very little.  So take this trifle which I put together for you, as small as it is, it comes from the heart.

Your sister

HANNELORE


[1] Certificat d’études primaires: School diploma after the 8th grade.

[2] Elementary School certificate.

[3] High School certificate.

[4] Turnips.

[5] Sweetbreads.