April 27, 1938

( 4 documents, 3 translations )

Page 1

United States Lines On Board SS 27/4 38

Dear Puppiken, you must have waited for a letter from me from the last European nation. Unfortunately, I messed up and could not send the letter, although I had written in time. I am enclosing the letter. Just a few hours after leaving Southampton, the ship’s mailbox was already closed so that I was unable to mail the letter. When I woke up the other morning, we had already left Ireland. I was really angry, but there was nothing I could do.

Pages 2-3

Now, I’m sure you would like to know how people spend their long days on the ship. All in all, I find it pretty boring. Although there are people who act all funny and busy, but it seems so artificial. The cabin is much more cramped than it seems in the photo. In Southampton, another person boarded with me. The two gentlemen who had boarded in Hamburg were very upset that it became so crowded. I was not able to have my hand luggage delivered to the cabin. There was not enough room. I haven’t even been able to completely unpack my black suitcase. My possessions are lying around because there is only room for 2 people and not for 4. During the day, we spend time on deck when the weather is nice or in a large common room – except for mealtimes that certainly take 3 hours every day.

I have not been seasick, and very few people have been. I can already tell you today that you need not worry about that. I always get up at 7, take a shower, take my time getting dressed, have breakfast from 9-10. When the weather is nice, which it has been during the entire trip, I will spend time on deck. I rented a deck chair and blankets. People sleep and doze and go for a stroll until the meal gong sounds at 1. On deck, you can also play games (ping pong, etc.). It’s not as great as it looks in the pictures. In fact, the deck space for the tourist class is pretty small – not to mention the space for 3rd class. The first class passengers have lots of room. All classes are separated. I had a look at the 1st class. It is pretty elegant. After meals, you can watch a movie. Otherwise, afternoons are spent like mornings. Dinner is served from 7-8 – the longest meal.

Page 4

Then another stroll on deck. You spend the remainder of the day in the common room, whether you like it or not. There’s some music (pretty bad), the horse race that people were already talking about in Leipzig. I never participated because I think it’s dumb. I usually talk with a gentleman from Berlin, and there is a nice lady from Berlin at my table. I don’t like everyone on board. Almost all passengers are Germans from Frankfurt, Mannheim and surrounding areas. I don’t know why they are all here together. Almost no Americans. They are not really crazy about immigrants. Like everywhere(?).

And how are you, my dear Puppiken? You will have become used to working again by now. Did you find lots of work after the long break?

Do you sometimes write to Nieheim?

You really should.

The next letter will come from New York, i.e., this one also, but I am writing this one on the ship.

Much love and many kisses from your Fritz