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Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Sonja

Date: 15 April 1935
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John O'Donnell
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0535[011]

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    Description
    Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Sonja handwritten in German over one page with text on both sides. Dated 15 april 1935, the letter talks about different types of boats, questions Oskar about his new folbot, thanks him for a previously sent picture and wishes him luck on his journey to Ceylon.
    Translation
    • Altona, 15 April 1935 Dear Oskar, I hope you don’t mind me sending a response to Elli’s letter as well. Your letters are always meant for the two of us, aren’t they? I find the content quite encouraging this time. It appears that you’ve had a marvellous time in Bombay, getting the red carpet treatment like that. I am surprised that you actually had the desire to carry on at all, going to Ceylon of all places. Didn’t they tell you that they are having the worst malaria epidemic of all times in Ceylon at the moment? Hundreds are supposed to have died already. You are getting yourself right into hell on earth. For the life of me I can’t work out what your business in Ceylon is, anyway. You would have to return to the Indian coast afterwards, wouldn’t you? I don’t think the way there and back is particularly short and trouble-free, either. Well, you know what you are doing, presumably. You do know how to keep us in suspense in any case. How is the new tub? Is it as resilient as the first one? I went to a water sport exhibition at the end of March and found the “Pionier” brand more appealing than the others. “Klepper” is too wide, “Kette” too narrow and LFB has recently taken to using ribs and framework with sharp edges. That doesn’t seem like an advantageous solution to me. If I ever win the big one in the lottery it’s got to be a “Pionier” boat. Until then I will go on paddling my “Racker”. It has never failed me yet. “Kette” is about to release the Olympic racing boat in individual and twin versions. That gives an indication of the paddling races to be run at the Berlin Olympics. Why don’t you take part in that? You would be in a condition to win a trophy in Germany, wouldn't you? I joined a different club recently and my boat is now stored at Fischer’s boat shed where yours was before. I even got the same locker which was previously yours. Mr Schmidt told me that when I met him down there with his wife the other day. They are expecting a baby soon, but they are planning to go on paddling regardless. All of a sudden I remember my sins, like not saying thanks for the photograph you sent along for me. I can’t bring myself to do it the normal way. Casting my gratitude into a few stiff words on an indifferent sheet of paper doesn’t come easy and I am not allowed to do it any other way. But I’m sure you are aware of how very happy I was. You have only changed a tiny little bit, maybe a tad more mature and slightly skinnier. However, nobody would have noticed the strains and the illness you have been through from your appearance. I guess we can be duly proud of the autograph. I mean - such a person of world renown and prestige. The weather is still nasty here, with several weeks of rain and now a bit of sunshine, but cold. I am looking forward to warmer days. It would be a shame if we couldn’t make use of the Easter holidays. Otherwise, nothing of importance has been happening here. Your neck of the world is certainly more exciting. Please don’t forget to send us the newspaper clippings along next time you write. We are all very keen to see them. I shall keep all my fingers crossed for the next stage of the journey and I hope you get as great a reception as you did in Bombay. With the kindest regards Sonja

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