Dear Children,

My postcard acknowledges receipt of your package and I wish to thank you sincerely once more.  As to the contents: you spent money for the small chocolate goodies, that was unnecessary.  If you already save up some money, I want it to be for something quite worthwhile.  You saved up the bread, part of which was moldy and so I could not take advantage of the whole thing.  If you have the opportunity again to send some bread, you must let it dry out thoroughly before you wrap it.  Perhaps you could also proceed this way, i.e. you give back the saved bread and eventually you would receive a whole loaf but not fresh.  When we went to Brest, we kept a loaf for almost 14 days and it did not get moldy.  With regard to the slippers, I did not write you that you should make me some as I still have slippers with heavy soles that are made here .   Yours came out very pretty but the opening is a little tight.  But I’ll wear them little as I still have the others.

As time goes by I’ll sort all the letters.  Some of them can be thrown out.  If you don’t need the books, you can take them together with the letters from my suitcase because then Trudi would only have to take the empty carton in which she could pack her own things.  The cooking does not work out that well right now as it is forbidden to cook big things in the kitchen.  I don’t have to cook that much extra right now anyhow, as I still receive the food that I described previously.  Beans keep a long time so that I keep them as “emergency ration”.  I still have the dry beans.

Trudi wasn’t here again.  She probably won’t come before Thursday (visitors’ days) but  could  come  another  time.  There  is, however, a change in the security.  Instead of the guards there are city policemen but they are not stricter.  Of course, the uniformed police commands more respect and so the bread business occurred.  Trudi did not tell me much yet about you.  Perhaps you can tell me all about the visit in your next letter.  It would even be better if Schalom came as we would have a better chance to meet.  The other fathers still haven’t been informed about their children’s visit.  As already mentioned, I received  another letter from Sigmund.  I should transmit regards to you.  Among other things, he writes that the head of the colis Suisse returned the money to him as they can’t, forward any packages.  Then he writes that he tried to send a package through a different source and hopes that I will receive it within the next few days.  I want to see if this works out.  I received a letter from Margot which I enclose.  I would not have recognized Ilse.  She is already gone for 5 years and at that age one changes quite a bit.

Margot writes that I should buy a lot of fruit.  This week I already had pears and tomatoes.  We receive apricots for dessert, each time 2 or 3.  The pears have the advantage that one can’t eat so much at a time as they are hard.  If one lets them ripen for 2 or 3 days, they become nice and soft.  One can eat a whole kilo of apricots at a time.  You should see the loaded trucks pass by.  Soldiers stand on the back of some of them.  Do you have apricots and how much do they cost?  Here the kilo goes for 8 Fr. but the expenses to mail them are very high.  If one could only ship great quantities.  Mrs. Kirkheimer sent a whole basket from the depot of Puy-de-Dome, it cost 12 Fr., express 43 Frs for 5 Kg of fruit.  Unfortunately, that is too expensive.  I’d rather mention that the Madame received a letter in which she was informed that Notheiss’ was very happy to hear from me and that she sends me regards.  That’s all I found out about her.  You, dear Margot, worry about fleas.  There are two trends here: when it is cool there are fewer and in cool weather one sleeps anyhow.  The other way is to burn the bed.  We have our metal bed frames on which we make a fire.  Then the fleas creep out if they still can move.  But one can’t burn the mattress, the walls and the ceiling.  Almost nobody bothers to buy pesticides.  But we are not so tired and so it does not matter if one does not sleep through the whole night.  During the day they abound too and then there are the flies but one can cover oneself against them.  Set your mind to rest, the flea period is also only temporary.  Once again about the package.  There were eggs in it which I will enjoy in the next few days, and writing paper.  Now I don’t have the excuse that I am short of paper.  One could buy some lately.  It seems that some farmers now sell some of their stock.  Then there was a drawing in the package: the three little pigs.  Is this an original drawing, Manfred, or a copy?  I liked the sergeant.  Too bad your spring outing was rained out but this used to happen in other times too.

It was very hot here on Whitsunday[1], cooler on Monday but still humid as it did not rain.  When Trudi was here this week, there was a cool day with thunderstorms and some rain.  Sometimes one looks forward to some rain when it is so hot and humid.  Dear Manfred, I hope that you behave to the satisfaction of the teachers in your present school and Margot will become a whole philosopher, I believe.

Again with many thanks and love and kisses

Your PAPA


[1] Pentecost or Whitsun is a two-day Christian holiday celebrated seven weeks after Easter.