My dear little wife!
For the first time in many years, I have to lie in bed during the day. Even after just half a day of lying in bed, I already become impatient. That’s because my legs are perfectly fine, they are healthy, but the medical officer is of another opinion. I must stay here until Tuesday, and then I’m supposed to go to Paris. I’d like to know what will happen after that. When I have some peace and quiet, the pain is considerably better, but if I were at home they wouldn’t have gotten so serious in the first place. Da würde die gegenseitigen ,,Begrüßungen“ nur so durch die Luft fliegen und ich glaube nicht, daß ich da eine Antwort schuldig bliebe. So I have to simply force myself to lie still and spend the time like a useless old man. I often think of you all at home, of you and of the children.
I can imagine how proud Irmgard must be of her little braids. Tell her that Papa wrote that she should be well-behaved and that you will tell me everything when I come home and that I won’t carry her around as much as Elfriede and Brigitte if she hasn’t been very good and sweet. But Elfriede too must work hard and obey her mother if she wants to set a good example for our little Brigitte and watch over her well and not let anything happen to her. I think often on our little Brigitte. I’m sure she can walk very well and is trying to speak, too. That’s such a nice time, watching children grow into such lively little people and to raise them and show them the way and give them the tools they need to become good and useful people some day. And thus it is a point of pride for you, my darling, to be given the opportunity to fulfill these tasks and to receive thanks for your efforts through the bright eyes of our children. To care for a family as a mother and housewife is certainly more pleasant and gratifying than many other jobs, even if the earnings are not reflected in the sound of jangling coins. And then also the economic concerns that would surely take up quite a lot of your energy, those I have tried to take upon myself as much as is possible. That way, you are better able to do your duties. And you, you have also relieved many of the worries that I have about our family, because I know that you are taking care of everything so well.
In the last ten days it’s gotten colder at our location here. It even snowed a little bit. Now, however, rays of sunlight are shining over the entire landscape. The fields are green and the first blossoms are beginning to bud. It won’t be much longer until spring is in full bloom. And by the time I return here in the middle of April, perhaps some things will have already been decided that we are all speculating on at this early point in the year. One of these fine days, the British will have to finally make a move against Germany or one of the occupied areas. It is not impossible to imagine that they will attempt a landing somewhere. One can assume that it will take place at the same time as the second wave of fighting in the East. But those are all just assumptions. The main thing is that I get healthy again soon. That just depends on this stupid stomach of mine, because the rest of this guy is in perfect condition and all this lying around in bed just doesn’t suit me. If I were at home, I would certainly not be consigned to bed. But on the other hand, I also believe that at home I would not have gotten this ulcer in the first place; you, my love, would already have taken care of it. But that’s the way it is, so away with the ‘what-ifs’--I’ll just huddle myself up here in bed and get better as quickly as I can.
For today I’ve written quite enough, if not on the happiest of topics. If you go to the prison, give my best to Mr. R. R. Greßler and the other supervisors and leaders that are still there.
You, my love, keep your head up like an eagle and be greeted many times and kissed warmly by your Josef, who is far away and loves you so.
Greetings to Uncle Malz and the good Agathe should go without saying.