O., on May 28, 1938
Dear Herr [Nordhoff]!
By now you will have received the greetings from our jovial get-together at the bridal shower of our fellow choir singer Ilse Wend, which we held at the Restaurant “Germania”. Today, now that I have slept off my small buzz and the wedding nuptials are over, I want to answer your lovely letter.
It might interest you to hear something about the goings-on in your former hometown. Our own Minister Ebert will most likely hold his farewell sermon in 14 days. It is namely the Sunday when the festival in A. is being held. Herr Kantor thinks this would be a reason for an urgent cancellation of the the party and has already sent a letter to Leipzig. Now comes the big secret — we will, of course, be compensated with a wonderful suggestion by our Herrn Kantor should the plans for this trip fall apart. But I might stay mum about it until I can tell you about it in person.
I was able to identify with your descriptions of man’s relationship with God. Yet, I will admit, only after I read those lines twice; but I don’t read them just twice, because I never tire of reading your letters again and again. It is as if I have finally found a peaceful anchor after all of the trials and tribulations. You have a peculiar effect on me. Everything is written so simply and truthfully and yet every sentence has a deeper meaning; a purity, a power emanates from these lines, and I return to my duties with renewed confidence, with a feeling of security. I often entertain the desire to immerse myself in issues which have nothing to do with everyday life. But I have too little self-confidence, I fear my girlfriends will misunderstand and ridicule me. In short, I lack a guiding hand. I dislike the way in which my girlfriends and so many other girls my age lead their lives. Most of them love reeling from one pleasure to another — looking to get some degree of mileage out of it and in doing so unknowingly sinking ever deeper. I do not in the slightest find it conceited and snooty when one segregates oneself from them because one has the will to better oneself, to enrich one’s knowledge not with empty, base things, but rather with things which are necessary for fulfilling completely the assigned duties that life brings us — so as not to fail when challenged by tempestuous times. When one is young and healthy, there is nothing more beautiful than learning — to explore the world with all of its mysteries.
I am pleased that we have agreed to become better acquainted, and yet this joy is mixed with a little fear that I do not have the strength to become a true companion for you. — My vacation days are at the end of July this time; since my boss is undertaking an exemplary upgrade of the factory, we all have to take our 10 day vacation at the same time. I only have three vacation days for Pentecost. I will leave it up to you as to how you would like to organize our reunion.