April 1, 1947
|A later letter from Vitus, of April 1st (1947)
was translated by E.D. Bosma (probably of Milord). Mother copied the
translation and sent to me. I don't recall how it came into my hands, but I
also have what appears to be the second page of the original translation of
Mr. Bosma. I will follow it in making this copy, as it is more easily read,
but will copy from Motherís up to that point.
Haltingen, April 1st (1947)
Dear Aunt Maria & Cousin Emil,
Received your letter the 23rd of March. I thank you heartily for it. I was glad to get a
return letter from you so soon. The letter I could partly read but my son Hansrudi, who wrote you in American, he could translate your letters to me nicely. In the business where he worked with was a salesman who was 15 years in England, was well posted in English language, so the translating goes all right.
I am sorry to see in your letter that our dear Uncle Hermann went home to our Lordís Mansion. This news made us very sorry. I know that he always liked to get news from his old homeland. We could not even write in these long war years. Uncle Hermann got to be 80 years old so he got 10 years older than my father and are now in Heaven together again and we hope to see them there again. I will in our church order Holy Mass for him for his departed soul. Dear Aunt Maria, carry in Christian love for your sorrow for the beloved lost and we will include him in our prayers. It is only a short while and we too must depart from this earth. Godís will is our highest.
Since I am back from the war I am not so very healthy but I can work again. The business is not so very good; short of material, of everything. They can only work a little because for lack of food, also clothing and shoes. Lots wear wooden shoes. In the factories are no new machines made, only for repairs. Machines for woodwork and stone (?). Electric motors are newly repaired and fixed in (on?) other machines.* The building of a new factory that our company started in 1937 they are going to start at now again, so everything goes slowly ahead, its short on everything, mainly on food.* The terrible war has been playing havoc with us. We will never get out of it.
My work is technical drawing and overseeing of the machine parts. I wish, dear Cousin Emil, I could be with you, then I could learn quite a bit. _________** The next time I will write about a certain theme and have it here translated.
Dear Aunt, in your letter you inquired about my wife. My wife had bitter experiences during the war. We live close to the line, so she had three times to leave home, was a long time by oldest sister Rosa in Siegelau. My wife is (to) us a good, dear Mother; she has to repair always our old clothes that we can go on the street. She herself has no stockings and only bad worn out shoes. My wife can hardly fix anything because she has got nothing to fix it with, no needles, no yarn, no wool, no shoestrings, even the smallest things are missing. This winter it was so cold, it was terrible time. We can hardly plant anything because there is no seed. O, God, it is simply terrible. We can earn some money but we canít but anything for it. The value is 0, that is, nothing. The stores are empty or something that nobody can use. You wrote us that you would send us something. Dear Aunty and Cousin, we would be with all our heart thankful for it. I will not for ___________** pray, but some clothes for my wife and me, and some food if you can spare it. When the money is good again I will pay it gladly back again.
So I wish Aunt, Cousin and family, good health and all that is good.
With love to you all,
* The copy of translation with lack of punctuation is difficult to sort out here, and may seem disconnected. I have punctuated on my own in order to make it more easily read.
**The translator wrote on his copy that some words he could not translate, so he left a blank line.
Regarding Motherís copy, she said she had copied the translation for Mamie and was getting tired of writing when making this handwritten copy. Her lack of punctuation, periods, etc., make it difficult to discern some meanings, but the terrible aftermath of war is evident and vivid. We cannot know what it was like. Mother died later this year, Nov. 22, 1947, at 76n years of age, so she did well on this.
I might also add here that in her letter of Feb. 9, 1947, she wrote, ďI am so thankful that my folks made me go to German School...Ē I did not realize that she had gone to a parochial school. I only recall her telling me how frightened she was on her first day of school because she could speak no English, and I was inclined think that her teacher possibly did not speak German, so assumed that she went to a regular public school. Perhaps she had some parochial school before the public school.