22 February 1942
My dear, good wife!
Today right before mealtime (like every day) was general mail reception. And how much joy did I feel when both of your letters from the 16th of February as well as a letter from my darling wife and Uncle Franz from Untereff. r. Dienst (U. r. D.) were handed out to me! That is the first mail that I have received here, although on the first page of the letter in the corner, the number “5” is written. Other than a postcard and a letter from February 1st, 1942, I have received no letters. The other letters must have been lost in the mail. I will also begin numbering my letters from today on so that you will be able to tell if some of my letters also have not arrived. In February I sent my suitcase as well as 60 RM to you at home. I hope that both arrived in good condition. I’m including the mailing receipt in this letter so that you can look into things if the money still has not arrived. The other thing I wanted to tell you was not to be too conservative with the money. You can spend money on the family with peace of mind--I know that you won’t make any frivolous purchases. Just be happy that you can still buy enough to eat for the three children and don’t worry about money when you’re making such purchases.
The worries that you felt on my behalf are understandable, but they were unfounded. Everything you wrote to me about the children made me so happy. Please write such little stories to me often, as they give me endless joy. It is regrettable that Irmgard has earaches again. I feel so sorry for the little one. Earaches are painful. Now, about my little “Cinderella.” It is a lovely trait of hers that being so undemanding of attention, she is an easy child to raise. However, that trait also means that she may submit easily to outside influences, which could end up being a disadvantage for her. My dear wife, please encourage Elfriede every once in a while to get her own way when she’s up against Irmgard, whether during a game or some other appropriate opportunity.
Uncle Malz also sent me a kind letter recently. Please give him my most heartfelt thanks. His words made me very happy. I will write him a response as soon as I have the opportunity.
Once again, please do not worry about me. Think of me when you sit together on Saturday evenings, and speak of me and of the times that we spent together. But be happy and don’t mope around the house--I also will not let myself focus on bleary thoughts. These times are hard, but we must be harder than the times. Only then can we overcome all of this and be reunited some day after the fulfillment of our duties. I know that when I come home, you will have taken care of everything perfectly. The upbringing and health of the children will stand in perfect order; our house and possessions will have been managed well. I know that you will put forth every effort in fulfilling your many and difficult duties. That will then be something for you to be proud of, to say, ‘I did not fear these duties, I did not allow myself to falter, they could not get me down, but instead I coped with them to the best of my abilities.’ I personally will be pleased then as well, and today I can do my duty in good conscience, because I know that you will achieve all of this.
In this spirit, I send my love to you and kiss you a thousand times
From your faithful Josef, who loves you with his innermost heart
I send my greetings to our dear Onkel Malz, as well as to those comrades who have asked about me. Greetings to Alfons and Liesel as well as Frau Bach. She should give you a nice piece of sausage to remind you all of me.
When the package ban has been lifted, you can all send me something too!