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Letter to Oskar Speck from the Domselaar family

Date: 7 February 1939
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0537[030]

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    Letter to Oskar Speck from the Domselaar family handwritten in German. The letter consist of three pages with writing on both sides of the pages. Dated 7 February 1939, the letter states money from Scherl Publishing has yet to arrive, they have been having trouble obtaining money to send to Oskar. The consulate refused to give any money, Mr Liesenfeld also refused but Bergner finally accommodated some money. Last page has a list of expenses.
    • [Hand written letter, no letterhead] SoerabaiaSurabaya, 7 February 1939 Dear Mr.Speck, We received your letter in response to our telegram and money order today. I will tell you about all the events one after another and later, at the end of next year, we shall have another conversation about all this. I didn’t really deserve all thosee reproaches you made in your last letter and I won’t talk about them here, since I have been in situations like that myself and I know how lost and godforsaken by God and the world one can feel then. I have also had sleepless nights, too, about you, Mr. Speck, and I think that anybody with a bit of an idea of what was happening to you would not have had any peace either. Even Mr. Liesenfeld told me: Settle down, Mrs v. Domselaar, if it won’t work, it won’t work! But let me get to the heart of the matter. We hadn’t received anything from Scherl at the time your letter arrived, so we couldn’t send you anything. So I phoned Mr. Liesenfeld again, in order to try to get the money from him in response to the letters from Scherl. He promised to come over that same evening. We waited for him the whole evening, but he didn’t arrive. Then we sent your letter to the Consul General on 18 January '39, asking them to respond by 22 Jan. They didn’t, they respondeding on 28 Jan instead. In those days I was seriously thinking of getting a loan ofborrowing the money. After a lot of running around theyI finally was promised me that I could go and pick the money up on 23 Jan. I was in seventh heaven then, but when I got there that day I was told that they had changed their mind about it and wouldn’t give it to me after all. I was told toshould wait and see what the Consulate had to say. In response to the letter from Scherl they would have been boundobliged to help. I was extremely disappointed, since a the refusal on those grounds was untruebaseless, and I could sense that, and when I protested the man said that surely I hadn’t told anyone about this and I had better not. There was still no answer on 28 Jan.. My husband and I were really worried about you. We had tried everything and it had all failed;, the Consulate refused to respond, so what now? Then at half past eight in the morning Mr. Liesenfeld appeared was standing beforebefore me. He said he had been very sick and that was why we had waited for him in vain. Mr. Liesenfeld really looked miserable., that was true. I told him all about the whole story and Mr. Liesenfeld also thought it was strange that the Consulate should not respond for over 10 days, especially since a prompt responsequick answer had been requested. He promised me he would get an answer as soon as possible and he would do what he could, except put up the money, thatwhich he couldn’t do. That same evening the response from the Consulate in Surabaya arrived, including the letters from Scherl, but the y were devastating, i.e. no money. I can’t begin to describe my disappointment to you. I could see you in my mind’s eye, out there with your hands hopelessly tearingpulling at your hair out , sitting in suspense out there all that time, [illegible] we couldn’t do that, and with no money, we had lost hope. The next morning I spoke to Liesenfeld again, beseeched him to help, andor asked whether I should I try, as a last resort, to ask for money again at the consulate here in person. Mr. Liesenfeld said that I could try, of course, but that I should take his advice, that it would be futile. We talked about many more things;, that it was, after all, for a compatriot after all and, that I didn’t have any peace of mind, but in the end no-one could give any more money. Talking didn’t help, either, and the worst of it was that the last hope of getting 100.- guilder had been lost because of the delay. We had chalked upreated expenses for the car, spent money driving around, nothing, now what? So I went back to the personone who had promised something at first, that was Bergner, and then withdrawn this later, i.e. Bergner. It was a difficult decision, Mr. Speck, but there was no other solution, allnone of the others wouldn’t do it. He asked for time to think about it, then he asked what security he was being offered., ohOh, Mr. Speck, it took another few days, then again the question, like so many times before, about why doesn’t the Consulate wouldn't help, and I didn’t know the answer to that myself. In the end I told Bergner that Speck was our guest, that we got to know himconsidered him to be as a kind and decent person, and who, as far as we kneow, never showed a glimpsehint of dishonesty. We would neveer loset our faith in him or his honesty. Did o youhe want to help, yes or no? As soon as the money from Scherl arrives, we promised, you will get everything back, and at last he said: Yes, I want toshall give him the money, but only underon the condition that no-one other than Speck and you finds out about it, since I am a party member and a in the governmentpublic servantice. So tThat was why there was no name on the telegram. I promised Bergner to write to Scherl and also to you, both of which I have already done, as he wants to get his money back if you are in a position to do that, since he said he has to work for it, too. So, if Scherl won’t send anything, then you’ll have to pay Bergner back one day when you are able to. I am attaching various copies of all the letters and all the films I have received. I wish you a pleasant journey and send you our best regards Yours tThe Domselaar family. P.S. Unfortunately my husband is away on a business trip, so the letter from Toeal is in the following mail, since he kept all letters from you. [On the back of the page there is a list of expenses] f 12.60 films and parcel “ .85 Air Mail letter, Berlin, with all copies “ 2.- for taxis looking for money “ 1.50 or thereabouts for Hollandia --------- f 16.95 the parcel, but you will hear about that later 3.36 for telegram and postal order -------- f 20.31 f. 115.- Bergner f. 50.- Domselaar -------- f. 165.- 5.31 too little --------- f. 170.31 total loan Please don’t worry about whether the money from Scherl will arrive or whether it will be enough or anything. Try to forget all this unpleasantness, just as we will. We’ve learnt so much in this time, Mr. Speck, but we’ll talk about that later, at home. The exact calculation will be contained included in our next letter. Best regards again, F. V. Domselaar

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