October 21, 1948
The following is a translation of a letter Vitus wrote to Emil and which he had translated by someone in Milford. Mern sent it to me with letter postmarked Oct. 21, 1948. I do not have the original letter. I have made a few changes in the translator's spelling, paragraphing, etc., for easier reading:
Dear Emil and Family,
It is again quite awhile ago that I wrote to you. One letter I gave somebody along who went per plane to San Francisco but this letter arrived at your place on 28th of July, and I wrote it already Feb. 26. For your dear letter I thank you heartily. Hansrudi could read it well.
In these days a new baby girl arrived in your family. We all wish this dear little girl in good health and God's protection. Such a dear little child brings lots of joy in the family and also lots of work for the Mother, because day and night such a dear little infant must be taken care of. This happiness to have a little daughter we wished also all the time. In the year 1940 expected my wife also a baby, and was for Dr. observation in Freiburg, just at the time when the air raid was. A heavy bomb fell by the hospital on the street. From the explosion my wife who was in the sickroom, got so scared that pretty soon a dead baby was born; it was a boy. Since that time my wife is suffering from inner sickness, and can't expect any more children. These are all aftermaths of a ruinous war. We all wish and hope that another war can be prevented.
Although the outlook between East and West is very critical, a third war would be much more terrible and many millions of people would be killed. Europe would be as an industrial and cultural continent wiped out, and nothing but ruins would be left. I was four years as Sanitarian in Russia and Italy on the front, and have seen war in all its terribleness. God save us from that. Berlin is a dangerous powder magazine. It will be a long time till they come to an agreement, because the Communism is a dangerous tough mass of people who are radically dictated to bring about the Communistic ideology. The hard times are the best help to make the Communist plans come through. The money reform has made us working people much poorer, especially the older people who can not work much anymore.
Our life is just sorrow from one day to the other, without any hope for the future. A person is getting careless for whatever happens, because also through taking away of machinery and breaking down of factories that are so badly needed by us. In the factory where I work is also a cut down for the winter because orders and raw material are short, but our Lord will not entirely forget us. I am not guilty; I help everyone as good I can. In the war I have always my little bread to lone mothers and children divided till I get sick myself. Our Lord helps. Always I could anyway go to my family again and after that terrible tragedy be home again. This summer we had a long rainy season with low temperatures that did lots of harm; the wheat harvest is very spotty. The wine harvest is, because of cold wet weather, not good. Here are only small farmers who mostly can plant as they themselves need. As you write the wheat crop is good. The papers write here that the grocery prices in America also went up. All over the world seems to be inflation.
You write that your son works in a factory 20 miles away from you. What kind of work is he doing, also on radios? Can your son write to our Hansrudi once? Hansrudi did write you too in the English language. He can then practice so good on that. Maybe he will later on go to America too, when he is done with his studies. It is not easy for me to pay for this year's study for him, because now all that we have saved in 20 years through the changing or the money is all gone and nothing left.
Dear Emil, the death of your dear Mother did very much surprise us all, and we are very sorry for it. In your family is a great vacancy now. We pray for her dear good soul. She is now home to our Father in Heaven. We all go in years upwards, and how soon is the line reached, the young lives push us forward, so will the coming and going in God's order always be.
And now I will close and we all wish your family good health, all the good, and the Lord our God takes special care of your dear little daughter.
Note, regarding latter part of third paragraph of letter, referring to “money reform:”
On Monday, June 21, 1948, new currency was introduced into West Germany. All old Reichmarks were ordered to be exchanged for new Deutschemarks at the rate of one new for ten of the old, a measure taken to deal with inflation and black market. The money was printed in U.S.A. And secretly flown to Frankfurt.