Zablotów, December 28, 1938
We received your dear letter and the card, and we thank you from our hearts for your dedicated response to our unfortunate situation. I must first explain to you and apologize to you for our delayed response.
On top of all of our troubles, Papa and Gisela became very sick, and I was so busy taking care of them that I did not have time for anything else. It is amazing that one’s head stays on top. But it’s true that people become tough as iron when they go through difficult times. –
Well, Papa got the flu and was bedridden with a fever of 39-40 degrees, and he is still very weak, though, thank God, he is walking around again. At the same time, Gisel began complaining about stomach pain and loss of appetite until she began having severe colics (2 doctors came). She
received morphine and caffeine injections. A doctor diagnosed this as heart cramps, another would not exclude a gallbladder colic. Both doctors think that change of lifestyle and nutrition are to blame, so mostly mental/emotional, which I also believe. She has been on her feet again since Friday, and, thank God, she is well enough that she has been able to continue her English instruction with two Gentlemen (1 attorney and 1 dentist). She received the first 20 Zlotys of pay and was able to purchase a pair of tall Russian boots (12 Zl.). We will continue looking around whether she might have a chance of working at the house of a rich, charitable family (the attorney’s in-laws), or the people have a daughter married to a Major in Lemberg, where she might work as a nanny. We will see if something can be done. She has already been invited to the house once. –
Now, dear Fritz, you cannot imagine how the prospect of receiving documents for her has revived us. We are in a small town here with no hopes of someone really earning a living. We have to wait until winter is over, it’s -20 to -25 degrees here. We feel so awful, everything is foreign to us, you feel like you have been sent back 100 years. We have support from a committee, [our] relatives here act as though they cannot do more. We also believe that we cannot save anything else from D. [Germany?]. But the greatest luck in our misfortune was having Evchen in L. She was able to close our apartment and send us a few packages, sell some furniture etc. She will surely tell you everything. She was so devoted and brave.
Yesterday, we received the first letter from her and from your family from Nieheim, and our joy of hearing that she is so lovingly taken care of by your dear mother there and that she can rest, helps us in continuing to bear life here. We now hope to God that she will get her visa in Berlin in January, that she can now come to you.
As a response to our detailed letter, our relatives in Brussels only sent a regretful response regarding our situation, with lots of advice for us, and a lot of information regarding their situation (they are not getting permission for a store), about P., brothers that have all gone on trips, etc. My brother-in-law, however, suggests to Dad to help him by purchasing martens and polecats that he wants to export to England via Belgium. He wants to see about finding a moneyman here, therefore would not be an option. He sent us 100 Zlotys (for 6 parts (items?),
that we used for purchases (warm shoes for me, I was wearing grey low shoes. We still hope that P. must [sic] find something so that we can get by, as you wrote. –
Joachim was pretty sad, he had hoped to be the first to visit you. But he has to see that things have to go as you are able to do them and the way you do them. But later, we need to remember that he has to report for duty at age 18, and I have heard from young men around here that they will not be approved for emigration between the ages of 18 and 20. We were also told that this does not apply to us displaced people.
I heard from my sister Messerschmidt, through Evchen, who visited there a few times. M. are now home for good, the business seems to have been sold. All j. businesses are gone.
And generally, we hear bad news from there so that maybe we should be glad to have been spared from an even worse situation.
Well, dear Fritz, I will close for now. You will receive news from us here again next week.
Gisel sent you the information. I assume the card has arrived? To be sure, I will include the information here again.
Be well and stay healthy, much love
from all of us
Nashmau(?) Rath, May 6, 1888 in Borzczóno(?), Leyatin(?) District, Poland
Hedwig Rath, March 31, 1887 in Leipzig, née Birner
Gisela Rath, December 10, 1918 in Leipzig
Joachim Rath, August 23, 1922 in Leipzig