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Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Horst Pohle

Date: 23 March 1936
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John O'Donnell
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0535[016]

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    Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Horst Pohle. Typed letter on Horst Pohle letterhead, in German over one page with text on both sides. Dated 23 march 1936, the letter talks about activities which have been occuring in Calcutta.
    • HORST POHLE 3 Camac St Economist Calcutta, 23 March 1936 Lecturer at the “Deutsche Akademie” Munich My dear Speck, My brother and I have been delighted to get such a long and detailed letter from you. Thank you very much for your kindness. I appreciate it all the more as I am aware that you have to write a lot [to other people]. In two months' time my brother and I intend to move camp, away from India. Moppel is going to stay home but I shall resume indoctrinating these brown-skinned crooks with the German language once again, starting in autumn. No doubt it will cost me normous amounts of blood, sweat and tears. Moppel attempted to find a position here but we fell flat on our faces with that. We had half expected it, anyway, after so much time had gone by. My kayaking efforts are going pretty well at the moment. The engine keeps bubbling along to my content and the skin is still in reasonable shape. We cruised around Diamond Harbour, eventually paddling against the tide, covered in sweat because we had run out of schnapps. At least we got a first class sunburn. Close to the Outram Gates we took to the water because Moppel held on to the mast while getting into the boat. Bloody mess, but we didn’t lose anything because we went after the stuff like ducks in a pond. It wasn’t exactly refreshing, filthy would be more appropriate. Also, I got to know your little rose from Kings Garden, Ms Goshal. She is pretty bright and keeps asking about you. Biren Roy and his brother are coming along with us to Germany. Our Germanic comrades booted me out of the party recently because I was not active enough as a member. I wonder what their activities are like. Little curs imagining they are St Bernards. They should be locked in a kennel and have their hides thoroughly tanned as it befits little puppies which haven’t been house-trained yet. Another one of these car expeditions is on its way. Some people here are carrying on, wagging their tongues endlessly about organising a reception, tea and speeches. Why is that? Well, those people from back home have their pockets full of foreign currency and throw it around like there is no tomorrow. Some here have been asking around whether people would be able to provide accommodation, to drive dozens of kilometres to meet them half way and pick them up, etc. Isn’t it amazing how people can bust their guts all of a sudden. As far as the developments in Germany are concerned, one wonders what they are aiming to achieve. They seem to be intent on destroying their last chances. The mood here is not at all “pro”, quite the contrary. Biren Roy devotes himself to the females and they keep leading him on as they always have. My little cuddle bunny has accepted her fate, too. That stops me from visiting the brothel and helps me to save my dough. Saving is the motto guiding my life completely at the moment. Counting all the concessions and the “registered Deutschmark”* I am entitled to, I will be able to live in luxury like Barcar Sahib once I’m back home. I do know how to live as you might have guessed. I am planning to make my journey back to Eastern Prussia for a total of RM 69. This will be paid in the popular “registered currency”. In other words I will be travelling for a pittance. Whether or not I will be able to go to the Olympics is undecided. I lack the time due to other plans, namely to sail into the harbour of marital bliss. It would be nice, though, since at the moment I can’t imagine that I will have the means to travel to Japan for the Olympics, together with wife and possibly a child in four years time. I would be really happy if I could hear from you again occasionally. If so, please write to Lisztstrasse 7 in Bayreuth, Bavaria. If you can’t remember the address, please write just to Bayreuth – almost everybody knows me there. Right now I have to get back to work and find my way through the swamp of German grammar and irregular verbs. All the best for your future journeys. Get soaked – hooray. Yours truly, [signature] Translator’s note: *apparently a “replacement currency” for the Reichsmark (RM.).

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