Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Letter from Berlin, 1949

The following is a letter received by my mother acknowledging some parcels sent to an address in East Germany. It reminds me that several million refugees around the world at this time are also suffering from the effects of war and there is no likelihood that their situation will improve for some time.

18 March, 1949

My dear friends,

         I have to thank you very heartily for the good, nicely packed and rich parcel you sent me!  It is a rare pleasure now, to get a parcel – so much the more we appreciate them! The good honey – the fat – the milk, the cocoa, the buttons and needles – everything we take with hearty thanks from the Lord’s hands and from your kindness and friendship and your faculty of imagination!

         To-day Mrs Rademacher came to see me with the youngest little son, a dear boy of 4 years. He has always been a cause of sorrow – getting all epidemic diseases generally __ and any time – measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria and spinal apoplexia (I don’t know the English name, but it is what M. Roosefeld had suffered from) in one year.

           But then arrived your parcels.   ___ the other children allowed her to give it all to little Burkhart and so he is quite a strong and healthy child now. She – the mother – is awfully overworked – she is the official medical person in a labour district in Eastern Berlin and sees the children only on Sunday for a real good time! ___ she feels ashamed at her not knowing little English. So she was very glad when I promised her that I should tell you, how you have helped her!

    The way in which she is obliged to work as there are very few physicians in the Eastern part of Berlin and people are badly cared for, is awful. The husband is a very clever man too – in war time had to work highly complicated technical instruments in aeroplanes and he did them so that they could not be used well; this boycott was observed and he had to disappear from this place and is now a teacher in elementary schools, very badly paid; but he hopes by a good thesis in the doctor degree in physics to better his situation! So he hasn’t got any spare time for wife and children. So the mother’s burden is rather heavy! Women have a lot to endure and to work now in Germany. But we feel, that patience and endurance are things to be done by women easier than by men. Our men are so wounded in their feelings of manliness and honour they suffer from the poor situation more than we and we must try to make their burden a bit easier!

             I am very well for a woman of 77 years – only lame and cannot easily be brought to the places where I have to do the little work I have to do. But my friends – the political comrades as well as the former schoolgirls, their husbands and children and the brothers and sisters of our denomination spoil me, help me, come to see me and make my life serene and happy – praised be the Lord.

With affectionate greetings
Yours truly
Hildegarde Hegehid….

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