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Letter from Oskar Speck to his friend Sonja

Date: 25 January 1937
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0534[006]

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    Description
    Letter from Oskar Speck to his friend Sonja handwritten in German over two pages with text on both sides of the first page and only one side on the second. Dated 25.I.37, the letter mentions reports of him race ahead of him and he is made to feel welcome where he goes, he is getting a film camera which he hopes to make some money from filming parts of his journey. He plans to reach Surabaya February 10th, Australia by august or September and to be in Sydney for Christmas. Questions how things are in Germany. Suggests he may go to japan after he reaches Sydney. Mentions Javanese girls and their attributes.
    Translation
    • Semarang 25.1.1937 Dear Sonya, Today‘s my writing day, so I’ll be able to answer your letter. How is the “courting”/Minnedienst? getting oncoming along? Hopefully a little “Hitler Youthjunge”xx will develop from all that. My youngest sister gothas become married, too. I don’t know with whom or what. Recently I’ve had more luck. FinallyT the film camera is actually going to to becomee a reality at last. a ndIn addition our compatriots have changed tremendously. Reports about me racehurry on ahead of me, and everywhere I go I’m celebrated as a guest of the German colony. The Cconsul Ggeneral of Java took me on a drive into the mountains over the nNew Yyear period. He will report to the government about my journey and I expect our compatriots in Australia will treat me there as I have been treated here. By the way, the party leadership does quite a lot for me. Hope to be in Surabaya on 10th .February. That will be the last major town before I reach Australia. I’ll stay there for approximately 3 weeks. I have much to do in Surabaya. Have to get waterproof suitcases and then waterproof containers for the film camera and the films. Will Ssend you a magazine from Surabaya. I published an article in the “Deutsche Wacht” [German Guard]. Perhaps a newspaper in Germany will take on the article. Surabaya will be the last pointlocation of contact. After that there won’t be any bigger town for a long time. I’ll probably make a stop on Timor for a while. I should be in Australia by August or September and be in Sydney by around Christmas. I really can’t tell whether I’ll return home. A lot depends on howwhat the film will turns out to be like and if I can build up an existence on that for a couple of years. If the film turns out well I might be able to show it in our schools. But perhaps I might go to Japan. The trip would go via New Guinea, The Philippines, Formosa, and China to Tokyo. This trip would arouse more interest, as Tokyo is to host the next Olympic games. Perhaps I’ll even train for the 10km race. Well, those are all still very distant plans. How are things with you? Enough work, I supposexx - but I’m being told people in Germany are havinge to sufferlive with hunger again and that they give you food ration -cards. But you can’t believe what the trashy newspapers write. The Javanese girls can be a problemgirls of Java aren’t fair dinkum. ManyA lot aren’t saidupposed to be afflictedOK and so you have to be terribly careful. I can’t allow myself to get certain diseases in a collapsible boat. Otherwise they look beautiful and are well built. It’s supposed to be even worse on Bali, so the only ones left are the Papuan girls. But I’ve been told that they might still eat you up out of love. There are a number of quaint customs still in practice on the smaller islands. After all, being eaten is an honourable death, because at least [illegible]xxx fellow men. Please answer soon. My address is: Surabaya, German Consulate. I’ll finish up for now as I still have to write some more letters. Kind regards to you, your parents and all friends and relatives, Oskar Semarang 25.1.1937 Dear Sonya, Today‘s my writing day, so I’ll be able to answer your letter. How is the “courting”/Minnedienst? getting oncoming along? Hopefully a little “Hitler Youthjunge”xx will develop from all that. My youngest sister gothas become married, too. I don’t know with whom or what. Recently I’ve had more luck. FinallyT the film camera is actually going to to becomee a reality at last. a ndIn addition our compatriots have changed tremendously. Reports about me racehurry on ahead of me, and everywhere I go I’m celebrated as a guest of the German colony. The Cconsul Ggeneral of Java took me on a drive into the mountains over the nNew Yyear period. He will report to the government about my journey and I expect our compatriots in Australia will treat me there as I have been treated here. By the way, the party leadership does quite a lot for me. Hope to be in Surabaya on 10th .February. That will be the last major town before I reach Australia. I’ll stay there for approximately 3 weeks. I have much to do in Surabaya. Have to get waterproof suitcases and then waterproof containers for the film camera and the films. Will Ssend you a magazine from Surabaya. I published an article in the “Deutsche Wacht” [German Guard]. Perhaps a newspaper in Germany will take on the article. Surabaya will be the last pointlocation of contact. After that there won’t be any bigger town for a long time. I’ll probably make a stop on Timor for a while. I should be in Australia by August or September and be in Sydney by around Christmas. I really can’t tell whether I’ll return home. A lot depends on howwhat the film will turns out to be like and if I can build up an existence on that for a couple of years. If the film turns out well I might be able to show it in our schools. But perhaps I might go to Japan. The trip would go via New Guinea, The Philippines, Formosa, and China to Tokyo. This trip would arouse more interest, as Tokyo is to host the next Olympic games. Perhaps I’ll even train for the 10km race. Well, those are all still very distant plans. How are things with you? Enough work, I supposexx - but I’m being told people in Germany are havinge to sufferlive with hunger again and that they give you food ration -cards. But you can’t believe what the trashy newspapers write. The Javanese girls can be a problemgirls of Java aren’t fair dinkum. ManyA lot aren’t saidupposed to be afflictedOK and so you have to be terribly careful. I can’t allow myself to get certain diseases in a collapsible boat. Otherwise they look beautiful and are well built. It’s supposed to be even worse on Bali, so the only ones left are the Papuan girls. But I’ve been told that they might still eat you up out of love. There are a number of quaint customs still in practice on the smaller islands. After all, being eaten is an honourable death, because at least [illegible]xxx fellow men. Please answer soon. My address is: Surabaya, German Consulate. I’ll finish up for now as I still have to write some more letters. Kind regards to you, your parents and all friends and relatives, Oskar
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