My dear little wife!
I received your letter from 15 March today. I want to answer it immediately since it contained so much that requires an immediate answer. Your first question about whether or not I received any mail from you in Paris, should have been answered by the letters I’ve sent to you since. Your letters from 8 March and 10 March came into my possession on the 12th and 13th of March 1942. At the time that you wrote your letter on 15 March, you had only received my letter from 11 March. On that day I hadn’t of course received any mail from you yet.
My dear Mama, I’m sorry if you felt offended by my not asking about your condition earlier. I think we’re both equally at fault for that. Before mid-February I figured there was no point in pressuring you with questions abuot it, since you wouldn’t have been able to give me any answers with certainty. Then later I was waiting with every letter for you to share with me the state of your condition. Each one of us was waiting for the other to speak of it first, and then to our misfortune, your letter from 4 March 1942 went first to my assigned post at Quimper and took quite a roundabout way of reaching me. There weren’t any cruel intentions on either side, just an unfortunate chain of events with reasonable explanations behind them. I love you so much, my little one, and have thought every day and at every opportunity about you and the difficult time you must be having. Ich mußte ja mit meinen persönlichen Verhältnisse in der Fremde fertig werden und Du hast mir dauernd gewissermaßen als mein leuchende Ideal vorgeschwebt. Ich habe mir gedacht, Du als Frau mußt mit dem Leben fertig werden, wieviel mehr liegt es an mir selbst dies zu tun und zudem noch Dich zu unterstutzen soweit ich dazu in der Lage war. Look, we always lapse into this mistake of seeming like egoists, but it only looks like that from the outside. I know too, though, that you have an understanding heart and that we love each other with a love that is rare for these times.
Something we still have to wait and see about is how long I’ll have to stay here. I can only say to some extent what will happen after I’m released from the hospital. Shortly before my release, I’ll drop by the supervising doctor’s office and ask him for his opinion on whether or not I should be worried about a relapse into my condition due to troop fare and the heavy exertion of infantry service. Dann gibt das eine Wert, das andere. It wouldn’t make sense to do that now, since we’ve already had three changes in supervising doctors. In my experience, patients who pressure the doctors too early with such questions are released and sent back to their troops without recommendation for a medical rest leave. Die g. r. Einweisung erfolgt durch den Truppenarzt. I’ll most likely be sent to a replacement troop. Now, to which one? I don’t know where my replacement troop is positioned now, since I was sent from the RSU to a different troop unit. That just means that we’ll have to wait and see for the time being. How nice would it be to stand in front of our door one fine day or night as a soldier on leave! Don’t expect it to be before Easter, though.
I received the 50 Marks with greatest thanks. It is exciting that the lottery number at least won the supplement. I’m including the explanation for the National Socialist Legal Workers’ Association! Put the membership number in, which is on the membership card to the NSRB, which is located in Leitz. There’s no hurry for payment! Pay whenever you have the time!
The sergeant who paid me the money wanted to send the whole receipt back because it was more than 36 Marks. It wasn’t until we’d argued quite some time that he finally agreed to give it over to me. You solved the matter with our field perfectly! I wish Franz much success--now he can plant his potatoes himself.
My dear Elfriede certainly caused you some awful concern. Tell her I say to get well soon. Leave it in the doctor’s hands until she’s totally healed.
And now a final loving word to you. You don’t even know how much I have always loved you and how much I love you today. You are truly the ideal woman, and possess every quality that a husband could ever wish for in a wife and that children could ever wish for in a mother.
Von meinen Pflichten habe ich nie viel Werte gemacht, and sometimes you deserved more recognition than was given to you. I always held you in the highest esteem, but more on the inside--you have no idea how much. I was of the opinion selbst ein Leben der Pflicht vorzuleben and you can believe me, there was more recognition of your capabilities in my utter silence than some would be able to say aloud with words.
I hope that my dear Elfriede gets well soon.
For you to give me a report on your condition up until now would fulfill an innermost wish of mine. I hope that you are doing well.
For now, your Papa and Sparrow sends you his love and many kisses, and to the children as well.