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Letter to Oskar Speck from Harlin

Date: 1930s
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0537[032]

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    Description
    Letter to Oskar Speck from Harlin handwritten in German, consisting of one page with writing on both sides. Dated 15 November, no year, the letter mentions learning other languages.
    Translation
    • [A hand written letter in broken German, dated 15 November, no year] Dear Oscar, I was very disappointed to learn that you are still in our country. I’m also glad that you received my card. I didn’t expect to receive news from you. But I’m very interested about what you are doing in Veles! Have you got a job or are you probably still waiting for a folding boat, which is more likely. Where aredo you livinge? Do you have to pay a lot of money? Surely life is cheaper than in Germany. But there is no amusement in such a small town. The surrounds are no doubt much prettier than here inat [illegible, starting with S]. I believe in [illegible, starting with B] And what about the company? Do you mix with the locals or are you in the company of Germans? Surely there are some colonists. It is very nice that you appreciate our language and you will be able tocould easily learn it easily in your spare time. I’ll send a few books in the next few days, but it will be very hard to learn in the beginning without personal [illegible]. I recommend you find a Serbian person who can give you oral assistanceadvice [sic]. But I put my hopes in your great willpower – and [illegible] that you will learn to read in a very short time. [Illegible] has a talent for languages. Do you remember how many words he learnt in one afternoon? But it’s a pity that the whole [illegible] was built on sand. Go to Skopje! How did you feel there? Nis was a typical oriental town. [Back of page] [Illegible] in [illegible starting with B] is working. I ordered a Telefunken [TV set] through the school. I often listen to northern German radio programs. The best program comes from Hamburg. It’s from aboard a ship. Departure music. Our transmitter is at Belgrade and is [illegible] melody from our national instrument, played very often. It’s a bagpipe, “gajde” (in Serbian). In Veles you hear “Zurle” (in Serbian), that’s the Southern Serbian national instrument. I planned a trip to Skopje a month ago, but it was cancelled because of a [illegible]. I was inat Zagreb. What is the weather like there? No doubt it’s a mild climate without a lot of wind and snow. Here we had the first "Jewish feather" today, that’s what we call snow. Please write soon since I’m curious about several things I’ve already asked you about. Do you understand everything in my letter? Did I get another step further with the language? There’s a lot missing in conversation and also in correspondence. We were together every day in the holidays and in conversation the whole day long I constructed a lot of sentences. You were a lot easier to understand thant those guys chaps from Ulm (Swabians). I read diligently read a lot of German books, even in complicated style. Just today I finished reading a philosophical work by Fichte: Speeches to the German Nation. Difficult text and complicated sentences. Next summer I plan to visit some cities in Southern Germany and to study at the Museum of National History inat Munich. But these areat’s only plans, and warm wishes. Please excuse the dreadful writing, I was diddoing it while walking. Best regards, Yours, Harlin

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