O., on August 9, 1938
Dear Herr [Nordhoff]!
Accompanied by your best wishes for a new beginning, I entered my workplace again on Monday. I must say it was easy for me to begin a whole new year. At first the new surroundings had a pleasant affect on me. We girls are now by ourselves in a bright, airy room with seven large windows. There are containers in each of the windows with plants of all kinds, which we tend to ourselves. Yes, we intend to build our own small perfect idyll under the motto: “utmost cleanliness.” Our male colleagues shall be in awe as soon as they enter. It’s all good and well, the only question is whether everyone will stick to this resolution. The best part is that I have the whole room at my back; when I look up, I look right out into the garden. When autumn comes and it becomes more and more colorful outside until the trees are naked and bald, it won’t be so lonely. I have a clear view and can always see the train. You are not allowed to think that I am lazy. I have to motivate myself with something, must watch, otherwise I won’t be able to stand it. Some sit there and stare at the machine all of the time, I believe what little is left of my spirit would completely whither.
On Sunday we had company from Halle to celebrate my Grandmother’s birthday. Isn’t it quaint that she turned 80 on the eighth day of the eighth month of 1938. She isn’t showing her age, she is still so spry. The relatives were here on Sunday and today, there are so many distractions. I still want to write you today even if it’s almost 10 o’clock — You will wait. You are now in L.; I am so sorry about your mother, that she is left to her own devices with the care of your grandmother. When I read between the lines, I have been able to figure out that she lives in the family home. It is often difficult to appease old people — hopefully her condition will improve.
To come back to the pictures. I know I have sinned, we were both somewhat excited; I will maintain my composure in the future. Good that you asked me for them, they will keep the picture of me fresh; but only this time, next time you’ll get nothing to see. The outcome is also not good whenever one is photographed directly after having one’s hair done. I’ll be getting my pictures that I took the week before on Thursday; if they are good, I’ll send them to you for a comparison.
Whenever you share your thoughts that you harbor about spiritual activity with me, then I am able to understand you better. It is a backwards mindset if one thinks: too many questions are not proper, it is rude, nosy. With the significant caveat, naturally, that these questions, this interest, are brought up in the proper place.
I admire time and again how you understand how to make everything so inspiring. Basically, one just needs to keep his eyes and ears open, and be responsive to all that happens around him. If one then could still live in the environment that he longs for; I believe there is so much to observe and to learn that one does not have time at all to be dissatisfied.
Please don’t ever again say that you blame yourself for burdening my disposition with your sorrows. Do you think that I feel happy when I see how a person is anxious to only give me joy and I should accept it all, without a token of gratitude? No, I cannot do that. I am used to my life and I am thankful that you are teaching me to get to know the other side of life. You must not think that you are making things difficult for me. How can I show my gratitude? When I have your full trust – let me be your companion. I want not only to share joy with you, but also your worries and pain.
A coworker of mine also spent her holidays in the Harz mountains with her bridegroom. Perhaps you also saw the fountain? Please send the card back in your next letter.
I rummaged in my uncle’s bookcase last week. I picked up something very interesting: “Handbook of Knowledge” by Dr. Reinhold Berger. You must also certainly be familiar with it, I once saw it lying on Mr. Hartlich’s podium back in my school days. It was during my break and I was just flipping through [it] a little [when] he came in. He went crazy and ripped it out of my hands. How could I have know that he was wanting to assign a test in Physics? I certainly had not been looking for that. But now I knew where he was obtaining his knowledge. I revisited more closely the topic of architecture, quite a few famous cathedrals and buildings were illustrated, even a Romanesque capital, but there was no trace of a choir screen, is that only to be found in the Meißner cathedral? Oh, one can find so much information about so many subjects; it makes one’s head spin, if one reads everything out of order.
I have just one wish, whenever you have extra time, please write down the songs for me. Ode to Music by Franz Schubert and the folk song, which you talked about in Meißen.
I have included your character description, [I wonder] whether all of it is true?
My parents are grateful for your best wishes and send their best wishes as well.