I’m cracking on now with the early, fictionalised letters. The girls are really getting their personalities and stories formed now. I’m really also getting a very strong feeling for Hanna Braun, their former teacher. I guess I’ll be on to the real letters by the time I go back to work on 8 August.
When I get into the 1941-1944 period, I’ll use actual facts from the real letters but assign them to the most appropriate character. Hanna Braun is, however, herself, so I have to be quite careful about how I use her. At the moment, she is almost being a commentary on what is happening. She doesn’t give too much about herself away.
As a separate project, the letters ought to be translated. And wouldn’t it be great if we could find volumes I and III?
Today’s work has posed some more questions: I need to find out more information about the Hitler Youth movement, the Bund Deutscher Mädcehn, military service – including what it was called – and conscription. When I do find out more about these, I may have to weave some extra material into the text so far. Such is creative writing research.
I’m very pleased that the Wiener Library has got in touch with me via Twitter, offering help. I’m certainly going to visit once they’re open again.