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Jools mckenna

German letters.

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Jools mckenna

I have about 8 German letters(lots of other postcards which are now illegible) from a lot and after a year of having them, I wondered what they said. I'll post 1 for now and wait till that is (hopefully) translated, then post the others 1 by 1, so I don't clutter this thread. Thanks for reading. 

First letter:(sorry about it being in PDF form)

Scan0005 (1).pdf Scan0006.pdf Scan0007.pdf

 

 

Several of the letters seem to have been written by the same person. I believe these letters were sent to the Treschhaus family and the letter from Reinhold is also from this lot.

 

 

 

Edited by Jools mckenna

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Jaeger6

The handwriting is quite difficult to decipher, the first page (0005) is quite okay but the longer he writes, the worse the handwriting gets. I only read the first page completely but this handwriting seems to be different from Georg Reinhold's. Georg uses Latin letters and writes in large upright letters while the long letter is written in Sütterlin, the old German handwriting, the letters lean to the left and look much more compressed than in the first letter.

On this first page, he thanks his family for a parcel with tobacco and soap. He can use this to share it with his comrades. He asks if the children already have wishes for the Christ Child [it brings the Christmas gifts in some German areas] and talks about another parcel with woolen clothes. He tells his wife that he doesn't need that many woollen clothes and that the army takes care for winter clothes, so all soldiers have received two more pairs of winter socks.

So far the information on the first page, I try to decipher more of it.

Best wishes

Markus

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Jools mckenna

Thanks Markus. I know the letter isn't from George as only one of the lot comes from him I believe. I'll look at the envelope to look at the absender.

Thank you for the translation of the first page, and the bit about the 'Christ child's is really sweet.

Edited by Jools mckenna

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Jaeger6

Here is the transcription (with all the mistakes of the original text) and the translation of the first page. I had to include a verb in one sentence to make sense of it and the writer does not believe in punctuation. There are two terms which are not translated correct, I'm afraid, because I lack the necessary vocabulary:

Normalhemd: my translation is simply "undershirt". The word - and the garment - is no longer in use in Germany. It was a long-sleeved undershirt, usually with buttons on the left shoulder. At the waist it was much longer than t-shirts or undershirts nowadays and ended at the upper thigh. So it looked similar to what the Vikings called "skirte", the word that became "shirt" and "skirt" in English for the two garments that you got after cutting the skirte in halves.

Armstaucher: not a normal German word, usually you would call it "Ärmelschoner", a kind of gauntlet that was used in offices so that you won't smear ink on your sleeves. Here it is a winter version to keep your arms warm in uniforms .

And as you may notice, my first interpretation of the Christmas scene was wrong nut it's nevertheless a nice description.

Best wishes

Markus

 

Transcription

Liebe Frau und Familie!

Mit Freuden ergreife ich die Feder, um dier und den meinen den Dank auszusprechen für das Paket mit dem Tabak u Seife, denn du glaubst es gar nicht was das für eine Freude ist wenn des Abends unserer Unteroffizier zur Stube rein kommt, und einem von den lieben zu Hause einen Brief oder gar ein Paket [bringt] sei es noch so gering freuen tun wir uns wie die Kinder wenn die Weihnachten vom lieben Christkindlein beschenkt worden, aber so geht es uns. Das Paket mit den Wollsachen ist noch liebe Frau nicht hier, wird wohl nicht mehr lange ausbleiben, brauchst dann auch nicht mehr Wollsachen zu schicken, denn ich hab doch neulich schon geschrieben daß ich schon ein Normalhemd bekommen habe. Gestern abend habe ich und alle Kameraden 1 Unterhose 1 Normalhemd 2 Paar Strümpfe Ohrenwärmer Faustwärmer und Armstaucher bekommen alles Liebesgaben aus der Heimat Ihr glaubt gar nicht was in Deutschland ...


 

Dearest wife and family!

Gladly I grab the pen to express my gratitude to you and my loved ones for the parcel with the tobacco and soap. You don't believe what a joy it is when our NCO comes into the barracks parlour and [delivers] a letter or even a parcel from the loved ones at home. Be it as little as it may be, we are as glad as the children who receive at Christmas a gift from the Christ Child, but that's how it is. The parcel with the woollen clothes, my dear wife, has not arrived yet, will probably not be long in coming. But you don't have to send more woollen clothes. I have already written the other day that I received an undershirt. Yesterday evening my comrades and I all received a pair of underpants, an undershirt, two pairs of socks, earwarmer, mittenwarmer and gauntlets. All of it charitable gifts from home. You don't believe what in Germany...

Edited by Jaeger6

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Jaeger6

The longer the letter gets, the worse gets the syntax, grammar, spelling, and handwriting. I think, it is a good example how much strain there was on the soldiers. The more the author writes about the daily life and action the more mistakes he makes. His writing gets blurry, the sentences lack congruity and the conjunctions don't fit so that it is sometimes hard to follow his ideas. He misspells the most common words like "Auto" and "Brot" and his thoughts are jumping: eg what has the royalty to do in this context?

Again, I give you the transcription with all the mistakes and a translation which tries to stay as close as possible to the original.

 

Transcription:

... an Liebesgaben an uns herüber geschickt wird, alle Tage fahren die schweren Lastautto mit solchen hier durch unsern Ort für uns und die fechtenden Truppen, denn die Auttos die neulich unsere Brod zu unsern Truppen fuhren die haben jetzt mit solchen zu tun und wir müssen jeden Tag 8 bis 10 [am] Morgen das Brod nach vorn schaffen das sind von uns ungefähr 2 bis 2 1/2 Stunde von uns, und da sind es nur die fahrbar Kolonne ab welche es bis in die Schützenlinien bringt, dort sind auch noch 2 Stunde erzählte mir gestern ein Kamerad, denn gestern habe ich nämlich Brod gefahren. Da war auf einmal ein feindlicher Flieger über uns flog über uns hinweg und als er vielleicht 1000 bis 2000 Meter von uns war warf er eine Bombe, ob er sich versehen hatte musste wohl sein denn auf der Ecke waren gar keine Truppen, also ohne einen Schaden für uns anzurichten, da konnte man sehen wie Gottes Auge über uns wacht. Sonst war heute auch seine Majestät hier wo wier alle recht begeistert waren jagen einhalb Uhr kam ...

 

Translation (starting with the beginning of the last sentence on scan 0005):

You don't believe how many charitable gifts are sent over to us from Germany. Every day the heavy lorries drive with them through our village for us and the fighting troops because the lorries which drove the bread recently to our troops have to deal with those now and we have to get the bread to the front line every morning between 8 and 10. It is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours away. And up to this point it is only the way the convoy can drive. From that point on it takes again 2 hours, a comrade told me yesterday because yesterday I had to deliver the bread by lorry. Suddenly there was an enemy aircraft above us, flew over us, and when he was about 1000 or 2000 metres away he threw a bomb. Was it a mistake? It must have been because there weren't any troops in that area, so it went without causing us any harm. There you can see how God's eye is watching over us. Furthermore, His Majesty was here to go hunting, which we were all quite excited about. Half past twelve...

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Jools mckenna

J6, thanks. Very interesting about the plane and the royal visit...

 

Thanks for doing the translation in this style as it is nice to see the actual message on the paper and not just paraphrasing! Thanks again.

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