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Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Sonja

Date: 5 March 1933
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John O'Donnell
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0535[006]

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    Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Sonja handwritten in German over three pages, text on all sides except the last page. Dated 5 March 1933, each page numbered upper left corner. The letter comments about some correspondence which may not have been received, Sonja's social activities, and some money and gifts being sent.
    • Altona, 5 March 1933 Dear Oskar, Another letter from you after long last. We had assumed that you had been locked up in some harem where many beautiful eyes keep watch over you to keep you from sending letters to unknown females. But before I continue, first of all my sincere good wishes for your birthday, which was yesterday. May you be successful in all your planned endeavours in the coming year. You may think the good wishes are fairly late, i.e. why were they not sent earlier? I’ll tell you how this came about. I think some letters have in fact gone astray. You wrote that you had already confirmed receipt of my Christmas parcel. I don’t know anything about that. There hasn’t been any mail from you since the card dated 22 December 1932. Elli didn’t receive any, either, although she wrote to you for New Year. You don’t seem to have received that either. [page II] I wanted to write to you in the meantime, but I thought you might have considered the Christmas parcel a bit kitschy or inappropriate, since you did not respond to it. It occurred to me that you might have disliked the fir twig and the candle and be cross with me, so I didn’t write. On top of that, Elli met your brother, who told her that you were not in Veles anyway and would only come back later. You write that the parcel was badly damaged. Was there any Quinine in it still? Or was it nicked? It was not due to lack of time that you didn’t receive any mail. The business where I work is going backwards and I have been given notice effective of the 31st of March. This is due to a general reduction in its staff, but also because of the floor manager. I just couldn’t sweet-talk him well enough and tip-toe around him as the others do, as he so likes. Your assumption that there is something going on in the heart department is not correct, either. That stupid creature has been pensioned off for the rest of her natural life. She doesn’t have any input in anything that might come up. I find that very practical and one can have a nice conversation without her being involved. On 4thFebruary our WVN [club] had its annual “Zille” party [bohemian Mardi Gras]. It was all very funny. Everybody was fairly tipsy. Even Hans Kunau, in his usual quiet manner, had taken off his jacket and painted his face so that one could get quite a fright. A variety of drinks were on offer, eg. Raw Sewage, Delayed Suicide, Rat’s Blood and 15 Year Old Virgin’s Milk. It all came from the same bottle and was a concoction of Kümmel and raspberry juice. A glass was only 10 Pfennig, so consequently copious amounts were consumed. I went to Hans Kunau’s sailing club's masked ball as well. Unfortunately, Elli and Hans were unable to go because they have to save a lot. The new vessel is meant to be ready by Easter. This year I will be the woman in charge of the wigwam. If someone were to suggest to me that we go on a trip together, I will ask him or her what they know about putting up a tent, brewing coffee, peeling potatoes and washing the dishes. That should be enough to scare them off. I’m glad to hear that you have regained your tub. I’m just a little bit surprised that they did not fit keel strips. One would think that it would be necessary by now, considering what it has been through. I’ll keep all my fingers crossed that you make it through the [Vardar?]. There is a certain attraction in removing the veil of a veiled woman I guess, but at the end there may be great disappointment. Shame that your financial situation is so poor. Didn’t you write recently that you were receiving money from home? Has that come to an end already? Maybe you will discover a gold mine by accident during your travels. Unfortunately, the negative is fairly flat. Shame. It looks like a good shot. I’ll have it developed tomorrow anyway. After that I will get the Altona city flag. That will be your belated birthday present. I’d imagine that it looks really flash when you travel with all these little flags. All of Veles will show up. Since you have been getting on with these people so well they will donate a few beautiful things as well, one would hope. I’m glad to hear that it is warm there already. At least you won’t have to freeze in your tent. There is not much spring to be seen around here. We had frost and snow up to a couple of weeks ago. Today is the first reasonably warm day. Anyway, the time is moving along and I’m looking forward to the kayaking season. I’m hoping for a really nice summer. You won’t have to complain about a lack of heat, will you? I sincerely hope that the luck which has accompanied you so far will last. All the best, break a leg. Kindest regards Sonja NB. I am sending you two novels as well, wrapped in the flags, plus a postal order for ten emmys*. Don’t be cross with me – I can afford it. I’ve saved up a bit. You can pay it back to me later if you like, including interest. Please let me know if you have received the parcel. If not, I will get it replaced by the post office. But please, don’t write it on a card, as my parents shouldn’t find out about it. Yours Sonja _______________________ Translator’s note: German version of “bucks”.

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