It’s against our education

This is Part 7 in a series of letters written by my grandparents to each other in 1945.

This letter from my grandmother refers to letters my grandfather wrote that I don’t have, but don’t worry, because she lays it all out (and she can’t wait to tell him that she is very angry with him). In fact, this may be my favorite letter of all written by my grandmother. Her imperfect English really shines in this one. It also really gets at the person I knew, especially this line: “there is in every American a childish side that we, European, cannot understand.” Even after many years in America, she never stopped being a European.

29 August 1945

Wednesday 12H

Mani my darling –

I received your three letters dated 20th 21st 22nd August – as well as the 2000 fr. Frankly I don’t understand why you sent me that money.

I think of you very much too and wish to be with you for ever as things are going it will take a little time but we are young and full of hope.

I cannot wait to tell you that I am very angry with you. You tell me that you spoke to that German woman who is in love with an American officer and you told her our story. I have not enough words to tell you how I mad I went when I read that. How can you speak to such person? She is a Nazi as well as all the others. People like that are responsible of the suffering and the death of our relatives, my parents and your family. And you talk to her about us even if she would not be a German. I don’t see why you should tell it to everybody. You could as well broadcast it on the radio – I am angry – terribly angry – I know you are alone and need to talk to somebody. In future don’t do that again even if I cannot know it. I speak very rarely about us – it is deep in me and I leave there and am happy.

Excuse me darling I might be hard sometimes but there is in every American a childish side that we, European, cannot understand – it’s against our education.

Today somebody offered me to take a Parfumerie – not to buy it, but make it run – you get regular wages – a percentage of the sales – I am going to see the owner of the shop and take a decision. I am afraid because it is a new shop – not opened yet on the Avenue de l’ojera. I know that it won’t be hard to have customers but it is very hard to find merchandise – and the house is not yet introduced to the factories. It would be a good thing if I would be able to receive American products. Tell me if you could ask friends to send you some. This is very serious and I am going to think that over.

Last week I received a letter from my cousin who is in Italy – I told you that before but what I did not say is that, when you’ll be in London, I don’t want you to ask them anything for me. If they give you something you can take it. They are probably going to ask you if I need clothes or food tell them that they should not worry I’ll do with what I have – Lew said that after all what my family did for me I don’t even write them – he reminds me that they kept me 6 months and sent me to college. It is clear so I don’t want them to help me anymore and I hope to be able to pay them back what they spent for me. This is between us I don’t want them to know that – be nice with them but don’t forget not to ask. Of course you can bring me things you buy in shops and don’t tell them for whom it is – here is a list of what you should look – shoes, slippers, shirts (my size (a little bigger) and nice colours) to make blouse cloth for a tailor – and food in tins. I can’t remember right now what I would like but I leave it on you. I hope you’ll have a nice time there they are nice people but there are always troubles in a family. I had photos made and they are very nice. In my next photo I’ll send them to you.

I am very sorry but, as I told you before, I could not have the little apartment but I have a good hope to have another one soon. But you must let me know when you are coming.

Let me tell you that I am very disappointed with you – your letters are really short.

This week I am starting to take courses with a teacher – I read your little grammar it is really funny.

Darling I love you I don’t know why, because you are bad. Don’t talk to the Nazis – there are people who are going to reeducate them they know their job and let them do it alone. I cannot forget the lovely time we had last week and I am waiting to kiss you…


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