Letters from Hermine

With one exception, extant letters from Hermine are in the form of notes written at the end of other family letters.

Letter: 30 May 1936, added note


Tost, 30th May 1936

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,


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

Letter: 7 November 1936, added note

7th November 1936 - page 4

7 November 1936

My dear Werner,

Many happy returns from me as well, for your birthday. Above all I wish you good health and a generous salary quite soon and that you will soon be a Professor, so that all the time and effort you put into studying will have been worth it. Enclosed is a packet of cigarettes and 4 DM. It isn’t much but perhaps you can go to the theatre and not just smoke. I am glad that you are happy, the beginning is always difficult. Your efforts will not have been in vain. Well, have a great celebration on your birthday.

I remain your loving


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

It is possible that the following was included with Else’s letter, above – which would explain it apparently being unfinished – although I can’t be sure about this.

5th November 1937, page one
5th November 1937, page one

Tost, 5th November 1937

My Dear Werner,

Many happy returns of your birthday from me as well. You are not yet 30, but you have experienced much trauma in your life. I hope the future years will be much more blessed for you, as well as meeting new friends, and especially good health. Mother will have told you all our news – the papers are also full of it. I am enclosing a little something for you; perhaps I will get the chance to let you have something bigger, sweets possibly.

Now I want to wish you a Happy Birthday again, and give my regards to your companions for me.

From your loving Grandmother

Dear Werner,

I have just been reading dear Grandmother’s congratulations, and I find them so wonderful they are bringing tears to my eyes. Save the congratulations – you don’t know what the future will bring. There are no oranges here; I expect there will be plenty over there. I’ll send you 1M for them and a recipe. Then you can try and find out – it will be a success. Ask Mrs Str to make you a tasty cup of coffee in the afternoon of your birthday and to give you some cake – she can share it. We will toast you with coffee.

Lots of love and kisses – I hope you enjoy the cake.


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

Letter: 2 August 1938

2nd August 1938
2nd August 1938, page one
2nd August 1938, page two
2nd August 1938, page two
2nd August 1938, page three
2nd August 1938, page three
2nd August 1938, page four
2nd August 1938, page four

            Gleiwitz, 2nd August 1938

Dear Werner

Thank you for your congratulations for my 85th birthday. I can understand that you were not able to send a message in poetry. I had great pleasure in receiving your letter. So much has happened since my 80th. Uncle Kurt, Aunt Frieda, the children were all here then. Now there was no one. Kurt Niklaus did come to congratulate me. He was helping his former boss with the cucumbers. He still hasn’t succeeded in organising his emigration. Aunt M wrote a card with a pretty message. She was in a good mood. Thank you again for your kind thoughts. [Leg?]* and partner are in London and [Melfry?]* would like you to know that he would be happy for you to find successful employment.

Much love,


Twenty-five years ago everyone went away – we had conscription. Today is just like that – they are all leaving for other countries. So far, M hasn’t been able to obtain a visa. Uncle Fedor sent me 20 marks. Margot has been working in the hospital since June 1st, she likes it there. Heinz will take his exams in September, he is studying very hard. We received a card from a steamboat trip. I had many messages congratulating me from my nieces and nephews; they all wished me a long life! Life is in God’s hands. I hope you will have great luck and satisfaction in your future career.

N.B. If I were a teacher I would give a very good grade for this letter written by an 85 year old. Grandma thinks you should mark it, so you don’t get out of practice [this section from Else]

1 reply coupon enclosed.

*Note: the translator isn’t sure about names here because Grandmother Hermine’s writing is getting difficult to read now that she is 85.

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

Letter: 8th February 1939, added note

Gl_08-02-1939_page 2

Gleiwitz, 8th February 1939

My dear Werner

At last you will escape from your unfriendly surroundings [trans. note: I think it might say ‘released from imprisonment’]. God will be with you in your future plans.

Love Grandma

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