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Letter to Oskar Speck from his sister Grete

Date: 13 April 1935
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John O'Donnell
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0535[002]

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    Letter to Oskar Speck from his sister Grete handwritten in German on blue paper embossed with: G.S. Dated 13 april, 1935. Written on both sides, the letter asks many questions to Oskar in relation to his travels, also mentions things in Germany are not very easy.
    • ANMS0535 [002] Altona, 19 April 1935 Dear Oskar, We received your letter, many thanks, also for the photos. From them we can see that it looks like you are doing well, but your health still leaves a lot to be desired. And yet you are planning to go to Australia. I take it there is no point advising you for or against it, since we are so far apart from each other. And I’m too much of a layperson to have a proper opinion, anyway. The people and the animals keep getting wilder and wilder, don’t they, the further you go? Where do you sleep? At night there are always [on the back of the page] people [illegible] and do you always carry something to eat with you? I could ask you a hundred questions like that. Don’t be so ambitious, I’m afraid you allow people to – how shall I say - sing your praises much too much when you arrive in a town. You want to write a book, well, doesn’t that cost a lot of money first off? And then you can’t be sure that you will be physically capable of it, and it also requires a strong mental constitution, and if I’m not mistaken, you have been suffering quite a bit, mentally. But if you should be determined to do it, I wish you the very best of luck. As for the money, we are all persuading Father, you know what he is like, a bit ponderous, but it’s actually become quite difficult to send money overseas. Now you even need a passport first. Heinerle applied for a sum to be sent, whether it will be approved we’ll have to wait and see. [Reverse side] Your parcel hasn’t arrived yet. The things we are to sell, well that isn’t that simple. Here you don’t get that much for old things. Frieda gets things for sale in Ulzburg from time to time. Father thought I should send a photo of us, it’s not quite new, it’s taken in Sooden. You’ll probably get other letters as well. The others all said they would write, anyway. We are all fairly well, nothing new to report. Best of luck again, and no offence, I just wrote to tell you what I’m thinking, I’m no hero when it comes to writing, but I thought you would be pleased to receive some mail. [illegible] Grete. [above the beginning of the letter:] 2 mail vouchers attached. Please write straight away so that we know that you received them. [the rest is illegible]
    • [Grete Speck], dated Altona, 13 April 1935 Dear Oskar, I have received your letters. Thank you very much for the pictures. We are keen to see you in better shape. [It appears] that your health leaves a lot to be desired – and you are planning to go on like that right to Australia? I guess there is no point in giving you advice either way. We are too far away, anyway, to make a proper assessment [of your situation]. I am too much of a layperson in these matters. The further you go the more savage the people and animals will become. Where do you actually sleep at night? Are there always people present along the coast? Do you carry food with you? I could go on asking a hundred questions and more. Don’t be too ambitious. I am a bit fearful that you might be charmed by the locals, that they want to impress you and give you the wrong idea. I understand that you want to write a book as well. How much will that cost? Are you actually physically fit enough for it? You need a strong mind as well. If I am not mistaken your nerves are quite run down. In the event that you have made up your mind already, I wish you all the best. As far as the money is concerned, we keep pestering Dad about it. You know what he is like, very hard to move. On top of that it is extremely difficult to transfer money abroad. You need to present your passport each time. Heinerle has made an application for a certain amount. We don’t know yet whether it will be approved. If it hasn’t arrived yet, please be patient. Your parcel hasn’t arrived, either. Regarding the things you want us to sell for you – this isn’t quite so easy. You don’t get much for used stuff here. We keep handing individual items to Frieda to take them to Ulzburg and have them sold there. Dad suggested I should send a photo of us. It isn’t quite up to date, taken at Sooden. You will get a fair bit of mail soon - at least that is what people are telling me. We are all reasonably OK, not much news. Once again: Good luck to you. Don’t mind my writing like that, I just wrote it down, as it came out, and I’m not a very gifted correspondent. But I am convinced that you are looking forward to getting mail anyway. Your sister Grete [marginal note:] Page 3 of 31 I am enclosing some international mail vouchers for you. Please write to us straight away to indicate that you have arrived safely. Can’t you fit an engine to [rest illegible].

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