1915 - 1916 Letters From Germany

The following letters were written longhand in German by relatives of Hermine Maas. We are indebted to Christiana Dussa who graciously provided the English translations.

[The accession numbers (A/N) are for reference and cataloging purposes.]

A/N 44 - Translation of a letter from Fritz Grieger written to Hermine Maas

Berlin - Reinickendorf
March 28, 1915

Dear Cousine!

I received your lovely letter March 10, we were very happy to hear from you again. I'm still not in the military, Jan. 25 I had been to the second "war-inspection," but I was reserved as disabled. Cousin Richard had been again in the combat but he became ill, he's laying in the hospital and feels already better. Beside this nobody else of our family is gone. You are writing that the German government has confiscated everything and that everything will become expensive but that is not true. The confiscation is only to settle how much food there is in the country and to stop the extravagant prices which the wholesale dealers are asking from the retail dealers. The government fixed prices, and nobody is allowed to sell the food for more than these fixed prices. Only food which we get from foreign countries will become more expensive. Here in Berlin everything is still like before the war. I'm working now in a propeller plant as instructor. I already had read here that your newspapers are split into the [parties?]. Hopefully this letter will reach you. We are still all in good health which I hope from you too.

The warmest wishes from mother, Erna and all the relatives to you, your husband and your children.

Your cousin Fritz.

Please say hello to your parents and your sisters and brothers from all of us. First I wanted to write them too, but I hope it'll be okay this way.

A/N 45 - Translation of a letter from Fritz Grieger written to Hermine Maas

Berlin Reinickendorf
Sept. 25. 1915

Dear Cousine!

Please forgive me for answering your letter written May 18 so late. I received this letter June 20. I'm still at home. Mother and Erna are both fine. In July, mother was ill, she had had diphtheria, but she soon became better. On June 16 the military reserved me finally as disabled. Cousin Richard is now in Russia with the motorist drivers. We didn't hear from him for a long time. Emil, Aunt Schmidt's youngest son, is in Strassburg with the canoniers, I received in July a Postcard from him. Since then we didn't hear from him. Emil will be 22 years in May. Our third war loan (?) had proven 12 billion German marks, the 4 allies never would have dreamed that Germany still has so much money. Italy already seems to be sorry to fight against us. What have submarines to perform, you really have to be astonished over it. Every day you can read in the newspaper of torpedoed cargo ships. Germany also seems to be ahead with the aviation. England already had to made [sic] this experience with different bombings. Uncle Jahnke is in Warshau with the ambulance unit as a driver. Uncle and Aunt Grieger are spending all summer with Aunt Jahnke to help her run the business.

Hopefully everybody is healthy in your family. I hope that the war will be soon over. The warmest wishes to all of you from mother Erna and

Cousin Fritz

You don't have to wait with your answer as long as I did. Please answer soon.

[Editor's Note: Warshau is probably the city now known as Warsaw, Poland.]

A/N 43 - Translation of a letter from Fritz Grieger written to Hermine Maas

Berlin - Reinickendorf
April 14. 1916

My dear Cousine!

I received your lovely letter last week. A few days earlier I received a letter from Emma. We had been very happy to hear from you again. Thanks a lot for the map you sent to mother. I have sent to Emma three of our pictures. Richard had been home for a few weeks for vacation, now he is back in Russia. We have heard much less from Emil, he doesn't write and if, he only writes to his home address. As to my illness, I have already had it since I was 16 years old. I have to avoid every excitement and over exertion. Everybody else is still fine so far. Hopefully everybody is healthy in your family. Our weather here is true April weather, the sun is shining, then it is raining and then a terrible wind is blowing.

I'll close with the warmest wishes for you and your family.

Your Cousin Fritz

A lot of greetings from mother and Erna.