Wednesday 29 November 2017

Gerda, 16 March 1941

Another letter taken out by request. Gerda generally gives us some insight into what it was like on German farms.

Dear all,
So good to hear from you. We’re all so busy and we’re all growing up, aren’t we?
My time at the agricultural college will soon be at an end. I really have learnt so much. I’ll miss going there, and the friends I’ve made. But I won’t miss all the homework and now that I’m not going to and fro all the time, I’ll have even more time for the farm.
Just as well, really. Hans has been called up and has now been in the army since last September. He didn’t want to go.
“Those people who can’t wait to volunteer have no idea what it’s like,” he said. “It makes working on the farm look easy.”
He was worried that he would go straight into active service as he’s already done his basic training when he did his military service. Well, true enough, he didn’t have to do the basic training again, but he hasn’t been involved in any fighting yet. We don’t know when he will get some leave.
He and Thomas had the most dreadful row just before he went. Thomas said he ought to be proud to fight for his country. Hans said Thomas hadn’t got a clue what he was talking about. They ended up having a scrap and father and I had to pull them apart. They still weren’t speaking when Hans left the next day. Mutti keeps crying. At least Thomas seemed to be sorry for what he said and he has sent Hans a post card to say so. We don’t think he’s got it, though, because he hasn’t mentioned it, actually.
I’m a little worried about Thomas generally. He seems to relish all the nastier things they do in HJ. The other day he even asked father if he could use one of the pigs that were going to be slaughtered for bayonet practice! Father said no, of course. And Thomas greets all of the animals with a Heil Hitler!
Still, at least he works hard on the farm now. He does have a lot of energy. This is good, as father has to spend a lot of time with the Heimwehr.
The vegetables are doing well now – we too grow spinach, and cabbage, carrots onions and leeks. There’s plenty for us and plenty left over to sell, though lately we’ve been giving a lot away. If you’re short of food and could get to the farm, you’d be very welcome to our surplus. I’m able to put much into practice of what I’ve learnt at college, so the farm is becoming quite successful. All very scientific!
Well, I must go now. Time to do the milking!

All my love, Gerda

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