March 6, 1949
Haltingen, March 6, 1949
Dear Helen and family!
You will be astonished to receive a letter from Haltingen, after having no correspondence since such a long time with my father. I got your address from your brother Emil in Milford. Because my father in earlier times has written to you and your parents I you write this letter. I hope you will not have too much difficulty to read this letter. I am sorry, but I cannot good the English language and therefore I cannot ever say I think but I hope you can understand me. Read I can better. Now I'll try to write, you perhaps can interest.
We also living in Haltingen in a distance 2 km from the river Rhine and 3 km from the Suisse. During the last war we had to left Haltingen, because our village lies in the fire-zone near France. Haltingen is a village of about 3000 inhabitants. The half village was destroyed and burned by bombs and artillerie. Haltingen lost 200 men in the war. My father was soldier from 1941 till the end of war. During this time he was spezialist for Rontgenapparate (umlaut over the o) and electr. works. For 2 years he was in _______* and 1 year in Italien. At the end of war he was imprisoned by the American near Wein. After 2 weeks at home we received a card from the Rote Kreuz.** There we could read that Vitus Fahrlander was killed in Italia by Partisans and there was buried. You can think, we were glad that he was home, when getting this card. Yes, such mistake can be terrible for a family.
1944 I had to go with my school-fellows as soldier at the anti-aircraft near Mulhausen (umlaut over the u) at the Rhine. There we had to defend the Kraftwerk Kembs.*** Sometimes we were bombed by the Lancaster and Spitfire. Some school fellows were killed. In the meantime we were not attacked we had to learn our works in the Latin language, Mathematik, Chemie, Physik etc. When finished the war I was away 150 km from home. In night I fled and arrived happy at home, so I was not prisoner. Now I try to visit a school for Ingenieur (bridge building) in Karlsruhe. Now I am 22 years old.
The business my father is working the half was destroyed by bombs. The house of my grand-mother in Rheinweiler**** also was burned in 1940 and then erected again in the year 1945.
The son of a sister of my father also died as prisoner in ________* We are glad this terrible time is over. After the war we lived in a hard time. Since half a year it better.
I suppose you will have read in your newspaper what a time was in Germany (Europe) after the war.
Now I will finish.
I hope this finds you and your family in good health. Please let me know if you receive my letter. I will be very glad to have a letter from you, telling me all about yourselves.
With the best regards we remain
*Uncertain as tot his country or town, possibly Rome.
** Red Cross
*** I wonder if he means a cement works which he showed me in 1965, a short distance from Haltingen.
****Rheinweiler is on the Rhine, 15 or 20 miles north and west of Haltingen.