12. September 1938

[380912–2–1]

O., on Sep­tem­ber 12, 1938

Dear Mr. [Nord­hoff]!

I wan­ted to wri­te you yes­ter­day, but my girlfriend’s visit kept me from it. I was a litt­le annoy­ed by it, espe­ci­al­ly sin­ce my par­ents were visi­t­ing grand­mo­ther yes­ter­day — I would have been plea­s­ant­ly alo­ne and undis­tur­bed. Some­ti­mes I am envious of your soli­tu­de. I had to think of you a lot yes­ter­day, in the morning — in the after­noon. We also went for a walk, but not out in the coun­try­si­de. Lui­se was more inte­rested in the new fall fashions in the city. A won­der­ful film was play­ing, and we wat­ched it. ‘Mag­da’ star­ring Zarah Lean­der, an actress with a very uni­que voice; if you have the oppor­tu­ni­ty, you must see this film. They ope­ned the new are­na at the Jahn House, I didn’t go.


Zarah Lean­der, Hei­mat, 1938, Quel­le: F. W. Murnau-Stif­tung, her­un­ter­la­den August 2013

I think that you still are home­sick for O. The area all around does not real­ly suf­fer sce­ni­cal­ly, even though it is indus­tria­li­zed, and it has its own charms that some perhaps do not appre­cia­te at all. One must also be some­what appre­cia­ti­ve of natu­re. When you dis­co­ver a place on your own, wit­hout being told about it by someo­ne else first, then it is dou­bly dear. Even if the­re are no signi­fi­cant sights here like the­re are in other pla­ces, I respect this part of the coun­try, it is still the place of my child­hood and youth. I am hap­py that in the time that you spent here, you grew to love my home­land. In my free time, I also go out, whe­re one can real­ly look far out into the coun­try­si­de – pre­fer­a­b­ly alo­ne.

You so beau­ti­ful­ly expres­sed in your let­ter what kind of fee­lings one has when one is con­fron­ted by the gre­at won­der of natu­re. I love it right now in the fall when the sun sets. It is then that I am very quiet and hum­ble, and I am asha­med of the ina­ne things I often worry about in ever­y­day life as if sal­va­ti­on depen­ded on them. Should one not be hap­py and thank­ful that one may expe­ri­ence all of the magni­ficence with a healt­hy per­cep­ti­on?

I don’t like being out­si­de with the wea­ther we are having right now. End­less rain. I am afraid when I go through the woods. The trees sigh in the wind, it is fog­gy in the val­ley, and the rot­ting lea­ves on the ground are remi­nis­cent of decay. Then I must con­stant­ly think of death. I sigh in reli­ef, arri­ving at home in warm bright rooms.

It is nine o’clock, my par­ents are alrea­dy asleep, much to my liking. It is so nice to know you are the only one awa­ke. I will mail your let­ter tomor­row on the way to work.

I am too afraid to go to the post office this evening, it is too sinis­ter out­si­de. You will laugh. The street­light on the inter­sec­tion is bur­ned out, pro­bab­ly becau­se of the storm. If the wea­ther is still like this on Satur­day, going out won’t be very enjoy­a­ble.

I am gra­te­ful to you for your trust. But the only gen­tle­man, for whom an invi­ta­ti­on would even be a pos­si­bi­li­ty, won’t be com­ing. I do not want ano­t­her.


Fritz Bey­er, Deut­sches Mädel. Dein Beruf: Füh­re­rin im Reichs­ar­beits­dienst. Bewer­be­rin­nin im Alter von 17–35 kön­nen sofort ein­ge­stellt wer­den. Bezirk XIII: Mün­chen, Schack­stra­ße 4. Anwer­bungs­pla­kat, o.Dat., BArch, Plak 003–013–001, her­un­ter­la­den August 2013

I also read about the Women Workers [of the Reich Labour Ser­vice]. I was at one point very clo­se to vol­un­tee­ring. Just ima­gi­ne, I wore such a uni­form just last Satur­day after­noon, it fit like a glove! An acquain­tan­ce of mine, who is in a camp near Bran­den­burg, visi­ted me brief­ly. She real­ly enjoys it, except for the field work, whe­re you are requi­red to work with far­mers or fami­lies with many child­ren. Well, I’ll get over it even­tual­ly.

Tell me, are schools being vaca­ted in your area as well? Sol­di­ers are being housed ever­y­whe­re. In L., K., and H. and so on. Not­hing is yet known about O. What does that mean?

I’m alrea­dy coun­ting the days until our parish fes­ti­val. I can come, do not worry. Whe­ther a visit comes true, I still don’t know. I must con­fess some­thing! My girl­fri­end knows now who the secret per­son is that I always tra­vel to. It couldn’t remain a secret. I had to tell her after I was in Dres­den the last time, sin­ce her par­ents invi­ted me over for the after­noon. She was gobs­ma­cked (as we say). I got her to pro­mi­se not to tell anyo­ne – and I am also not wor­ried; she has, up to this point, not disap­poin­ted me. – I now end this let­ter in the hope that you are healt­hy, well and send you affec­tio­n­a­te gree­tings from my par­ents.

Yours tru­ly, [Hil­de Lau­be].

Plea­se fol­low and like us:
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