My darling sparrow!
My dearest thanks for your last letter. The whole day is different for me when I have a sign of life from you in my hands. If I had known that you would be there for a little longer, I would have sent the things you requested, because if you are far away and have a military address, I can only send 50 grams. Do you still not know which formation you are going to be in? How is it going with the food? Is there enough, and is it good and varied? Please write me about your daily life. I’m really interested to find out where you are going, hopefully not to the East and hopefully we’ll see each other soon.
The children are still doing well, other than that Irmgard has another ear infection, but if she doesn’t get a fever with it then it shouldn’t be too bad. We’ll hope for the best! She’s eating plenty and talking our ears off. She thinks of you often and bemoans the fact that she still isn’t going to school yet, because then she could write you her own letters. When she doesn’t like a rule I’ve given her, she sits down with Elfriede and writes a letter of complaint to you. Elfriede hasn’t forgotten you either. In the evenings at her bedtime prayers she prays for you to get extra guardian angels. The kinds prayers she says for you are often quite touching. When she talks about her Papa, Brigitte echoes her earnestly with a “Papa, Papa!” Recently she’s been going after the radio. Where she can hold on, she marches around to it. I have to deal with a lot of shouting and running around--what am I going to do when there are four of them!
Franz comes by often. Yesterday he brought Irmgard up to his place. He is a bit offended that you still haven’t written him. You know how things are at his house, he probably has to hear that you’ve forgotten about him as a friend all the time.
Eugen wrote today as well. I’ve enclosed his letter. Now I have to tell you something that’s not so pleasant. Imagine that at the prison since you’ve been gone, Frank has done everything he could to get himself excused from military service. Apparently he went to Stuttgart on Tuesday (the 27th of January) to the local command. (Mr. Duerr told me since travel reimbursement was requested, he was quite agitated about it as well.) You can imagine how I took the news. He and Franz said that we shouldn’t stand for it. I thought about it and went last Friday to the lion’s den itself and asked how it came about that Frank was excused. He was clearly horrified. ‘Excused’ is not exactly right, he’s just been pushed back to the next wave on the 1st of April. That basically means excused until then. I told him then directly: “Mr. Bailiff, that is not right, first of all, my husband is here at an established post and not Frank, and second of all, we have three small children at home and he has none. He came back with the ridiculous idea that he didn’t figure out how to get anyone excused from service until after you had left, because if he had then he would have used it for you, you are all as good as the next man and on April 1st, he’ll be losing Frank too. I just said I’d wait and see if that really happened. After that he asked me to give you his best. The whole conversation was very professional and even-tempered, and if it was for nothing, then it hasn’t done any harm either, since he knows now that everyone is talking about it and knows what happened. From there I went to see Mr. Hueber and paid the last bill (16.42 DM). During that time, the boss went up to Frank, who has already set himself up in your office and has even removed your name from the door and replaced it with his own. Mr. Gressler also sends his greetings.
In town, the streets are covered in snow--at home it was two meters high. We weren’t too happy about it. Early yesterday morning, all three men from the Hirsch family marched outside and shoveled everything, even our part. I thanked them each with a cigar, which made them happy. Fred wrote as well and asked about you. I’m enclosing that letter here too, you can send it back when you get a chance because I haven’t answered it yet. Franz brought over some tobacco for you, cigars and cigarettes, that I can hopefully send to you soon.
With much love and many kisses
Your Emilie and Irmgard, Elfriede and Brigitte