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Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Liesel Rieke

Date: 20 May 1937
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from John O'Donnell
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0535[020]

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    Description
    Letter to Oskar Speck from his friend Liesel Rieke handwritten in German over one page with text on both sides. Dated 20 May 1937, the letter talks about the German club in Surabaya and mentions Oskar’s relapse with malaria.
    Translation
    • Bandung, 20 May 1937 Hotel Splendia Dear Mr Speck, I am not quite sure whether you still remember me. In any case, I am keeping track of your journey in my head. Today I read in the paper that you had fallen ill with malaria. I hope that you are already recuperating when this letter reaches you. In any case, I wish you the best of luck, in particular for your trip to Australia. I take solace in the [old German] saying that weeds never die. You have been right with your prophesies. After you had left Surabaya I decided to resign from the German club. One can’t possibly stand such a large measure of philistine attitudes. I have been travelling for two months. I was in Sumatra for two weeks and returned recently to Bandung, which I find the most civilised of such places. I started a new job as an English correspondent with a [illegible]. She is a native noblewoman, very well educated; we get on well. In any case, I like this woman much better than all the “myvrouws” [Dutch for “ladies”] I come across. We live in a very elegant European house. It’s a shame, really, as I’d prefer to live in a Kampong. Sometimes I wish I was able to live on milk and chocolate. The local cuisine doesn’t appeal to me, but that may change eventually. Maybe I can welcome you in Australia. There are families who would take a German woman along since Indonesians are not allowed access to Australia. If I ever get an opportunity like that again I will go. The world is to beautiful and too wide to remain in one spot all the time. Why don’t you go to Japan? I’m planning to go there soon. We could have a reunion there. [section illegible] a chancellor named Zahn. He arrived with the vessel “Louise”. Give my regards to the family and tell them I am doing well despite all the ill-meaning prophecies. Once again, dear Speck, all the best for your endeavours. Yours sincerely Liesel Rieke, The former maid / dogsbody at the German club in Surabaya PS Would you please send me a brief note or a card so that I can be sure that you are alright.

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