Note: This is Part 2 in a series of letters written by my grandparents to each other in 1945.
Here is a picture of my grandparents in Paris, spring of 1946, together at last. My grandmother, at this time, was probably pregnant with my uncle who was born that fall. I’m not sure when they got married exactly – that too was a mystery in the family . Due to the fact that they were married to other people (I know! More on this later!) things were a bit, shall we say, complicated. The letters below were written a year before this picture was taken, both on the same day, but clearly neither had heard from each other in some time.
24th April 1945
Saturday 24 H
Mani my darling –
It is very late but I don’t want to go to bed before having a little talk with you.
You tell me in your letter that you love me more and think of me all day long. I believe you because I feel so lonely too and miss you too – I made arrangements to spend my week end with Micheline and tonight she tells me that she is not free so I don’t know how to enjoy myself but I am sure that the next on will be lovely.
I had a terrible week worked very hard and felt so depressed physically and mentally. I wish things to be settle ones for all I can’t keep on living cutted [sic] in two. I am not exaggerating but I am going crazy and feel so bad.
Things are going to be very hard but I’ll be strong enough. I know you are here and thinking of me.
I am going to find out the hour of the arrival of your train and wait for you if possible. I hope that we’ll spend the weekend in the country. The weather is so beautiful and it is a shame to stay in Paris.
Do you think that you are going to have your transfer? I have only a very little hope. Don’t let yourself go for that and do your best where you are even if you don’t like your job think of me and make good work.
The war will soon be over and things are going to be straightened.
I have a. little reproach to make you – why are your letters so short? Everything that concerns you is interesting for me. It seems to me that you don’t know what to write me. Well you can say the same thing to me but I don’t write well enough English to tell you all my life – but, you, have not the smallest excuse
Denise and I (yes, Denise too) saw KUR. He was worse than the last time I saw him. He learnt through friends of his neighborhood that his father is dead. You can imagine the shock he had, he does not believe it and sent a cable home. I feel so sorry for him. The worse of the story is that he lets himself go. Let’s hope too that it is a mistake.
Yesterday I saw Sergeant York – the beginning is bad and too long but altogether it makes a supportable film. Do you go regularly to the movies? Have you seen a lot of Germans now? I suppose you are in Germany, how do they look? People told me that they are underneath anything we could imagine. Now it is their turn to enjoy themselves – no family, no house, no freedom. We know what it is and live in fear will teach them.
I am sleeping already. It is lucky the week is finished so I can have some rest.
So goodnight, Mani darling. I kiss you and I think of you.
P.S. Could you bring me some lemon powder so I can drink something fresh in those hot days. Thanks, Frida
Somewhere in Germany
24 April 1945
My dearest darling,
Another day has passed and there still isn’t any word from you. I don’t know whether to start worrying or whether it’s just the normal delay in the mail that’s holding up my mail from you. Please, please, let some mail from you reach me soon.
Now that I have this typewriter before me, I have many things I can tell you. First, soon I hope to have a bicycle for you. One of the boys is going to get one here for me. All I hope is that it is in time for when I go to visit you.
Secondly, I am working on a typewriter that was broken and left here by the Germans. I should be able to put it together soon and that, too, I promise you.
Today, I was listening to the radio and heard two songs that reminded me of you. The first was “And the Angels Sing” played by Ziggy Elman who arranged it in America and when he first played it, it was called Freilich in Swing.
Then I heard the newest popular song: “More and More”
More and more this heart of mine confesses
More and more I’m counting your caresses
Warmed by the breath of your sighs,
Cooled by the blue of your eyes.
More and more I find it more than thrilling
To share this dream that needed fulfilling
More and more I’m less and less unwilling
To give up wanting
More and more of you.
Fourthly, you remember that I told you I was going to get you a telephone? Well, I have one for you. You may use it whenever you wish. It may be a little strange to use but I can fix that for you.
Fifthly, last but the most important, I won’t ever forget that I love you. Darling, whatever happens, you must come to me and with me so that I can give you all those things I’ve promised you.
This letter may seem a little disjointed but that’s because I haven’t heard from you for such a long time and I’m just walking around in a daze. Please write, if you already haven’t. Let me know how you are, what you are doing with yourself and everything else about you. I love you so much, I’m surprised at myself that I could be in such a position. I never thought it could happen to me.
My heart, my soul, my everything is yours –
Je suis suel se soir
Sans ton amour
[I am … this evening without your love]