Letters from Else, 1936

Letter: 30 May 1936

Given the date, this letter is clearly a response to the news that Werner has finally been allowed to complete his degree at the university of Breslau.

30_05_1936_002 and 033

Tost, 30th May 1936

Dear Werner,

Hurrah! I just found your lovely letter in the box. Thank God you have survived it and done so well. I am happy and congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. I prayed in the Temple on both days, in spite of the fact that I didn’t know you were having such a strenuous time. It really worked out so well for you. There was only one sentence in your last card that made me think this was what will be, will be. It will be weakened by the reference to the month of June. After the event I am still agitated, so much so that my hands are trembling. If dear God has helped up till now then he will carry on helping you. Now you can sleep during the Whitsun holidays and carry on relaxing when you get home. I am anxious to know details, of course. As for the goods you can’t get into your suitcases – get a large box and send it by train. That will be the cheapest method of transport.

Now hearty congratulations,

From your Mother

Heartiest congratulations from me also, and I am glad that at last you have got it over with. In spite of my retirement I was nevertheless worried. You can tell us all the details when you get home. Your winter sweater, you can place into the box, that way you will have less to carry. A healthy au revoir.

Lots of love, Father

Dear Werner,

Many congratulations from me too. With God’s help you have got through. I hope you will find some employment soon with a good salary. Do you not want to say goodbye to Uncle Martin? He would be very pleased with a visit from you. He will have written to you. Margot is celebrating her 21st birthday with Heinz. Looking forward to seeing you.

Lots of love, Grandma

You will have written, hopefully, to the aunts and Uncle Kurt. You will have to pay a farewell visit by Saturday 6th, won’t you? I tried to recover my strength as a 45-year old, but in vain, unfortunately. Did you like the lady? Grandma would like you to visit Uncle Martin Bloch, on Gartenstrasse, because he is very fond of you and very kind to us.

Greetings, from Mother

(Translation by Helga Brown BA Dip. Ed. née Steinhardt)

30 May 1936, Envelope
30 May 1936, Envelope

Letter: 7 November 1936


Tost, 7th November 1936

Dear Werner,

How, in spite of everything, the years have passed so rapidly; you are a quarter of a century old – the last few years have probably not been bright for you but, with hindsight concerning the general situation, still bearable. You have been fortunate in meeting with kindness and help towards your ultimate aim, and you must be grateful to God and all those who came to your aid. But now I wish you on this day that the fates will continue to be favourable to you and very soon ensure that you will be in the most congenial position, namely, enjoying independence. Furthermore, the best of health, innermost contentment with your activities, and the next 25 years of your life. God grant it!

In order to make your birthday more enjoyable we are sending a little cake and a Jewish delicacy and wish you ‘bon appetit’. The little bottle of 4711 is a present from Frau Weiss. I hope you were pleased for me on my most recent birthday. Some time ago I sold your winter wear as well as your waistcoat for 2.50 marks and obtained two pairs of winter socks for you because your old ones were the worse for wear and no longer of any use to any of us. Frau Fincher, who had spare ones for a birthday present, let me have them cheaper. The quality is not comparable to those we had before, but that is the same with all goods. It would be good if you could now obtain some shoes. Grandmother has bought you the cigarettes and also gives you some money. She fetched some flour from Paul and at the same time congratulations from Frau Weiss for you. I hope you will now manage to obtain all the necessary papers. There is no way of knowing how long it will take to obtain all the required documents. Did you receive your money from Berlin on time? As you are free on Saturday you can celebrate your birthday with joy and in peace; perhaps you can attend the synagogue as well.

Much love and kisses,


P.S. In past years the birthday parcel was more generous; sadly, that is not possible this year. I wish you dear boy all the best again.

I have just received dates from Aunt Hedel regarding grandfather; you probably know the same. I am not writing about school; I have worked it out myself. Grandmother says at that time one started school at the age of 8. All the rest will probably suffice. The Death Certificate will be posted today, so Auntie believes. On Monday evening I sent our Wedding Certificate by Express and hope you have received it.

Aunt Hedel says the package for you is even bigger but her income is smaller. For you this is a pleasant disproportion. I am not as efficient. I am enclosing 10 marks so you can have a happy day. Once again, greetings from the heart and a birthday kiss,


P.S. Don’t forget father’s date of birth/birthday. Change it to the 26th.

(Translation by Helga Brown BA Dip. Ed. née Steinhardt)