Sent from the Russian Front to his family in 1944
Today is New Year's Eve and since early morning we've been hearing
the alarms. It is likely that the Russians with attack once again.
But we had peace and no fighting on Christmas. It shows on all
of our faces and in our bodies that this is the beginning of the
6th year of war. We see the destruction all around us, and it
gives us an idea of what must be going on back home. We soldiers
don't want anything for Christmas, only to hear that you are all
Here in the bunker on Christmas Eve there were 6 men inside and
one on guard. We made a small tree of gathered branches and underneath
it stood 2 candles. Some writing paper cut up into strips serves
as tinsel, and some cotton from our first aid kits is spread across
the tree as our decoration. There are plenty of cigarettes for
a change and there is a pot full of rum. Every man keeps company
with his own thoughts. The last letter from home is pulled out
and reread, since no mail has arrived here in weeks. The photographs
of wives and children are taken in hand and looked at for the
hundredth time. Such a quiet here that you could hear a needle
fall. Only in the distance rages the thunder of the heavy artillery,
and that brings us out of our trance. Someone asks "How much
longer?" and our hearts goes weak. Will this be it for us
out here almost alone? So much for Christmas.
And how was it at home, Henrietta? You, my dear wife? Did you
at least have enough to bake a cake? And above all are you still
healthy? I'm sure you pulled something together for the children,
only there won't be anything for you. I can send you nothing this
Christmas. But despite that, we should drink a toast that we'll
be together soon!
How is your mother? Did my brother Kurt write? I know he's somewhere
out here too.
Well, for today that will have to be enough. I send my love and
kisses to you all.
And many wishes for a happy New Year. That I wish you from the
bottom of my heart, my dear wife, and a thousand kisses.
| 93 Berry Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
| October 2000 | Volume 8