21st March, 1915
Shkotovo

My Love! It is again Sunday! The first day of spring! I got up early to go for a walk and that took me home again! I thought of my Sunday morning walks with the Langers in Scheitnig. How it hurts remembering this; how miserable one feels here! Easter is approaching, at home everybody starts preparing for that beautiful time; the beautiful time will come here as well but only in nature. For us, for our soul, for our spirit it is getting worse all the time the longer the war lasts. And no end is in sight. The fighting goes on, nobody thinks of stopping it although the whole world surely longs for peace. When will all this misery end at last? How may things be at home, I wonder?

I see you in front of me, pining away with grief, worrying and bitter in your difficult time. Your suffering transfers itself to all those at home, to your environment. And all that because of me! Am I worth it that so many good people suffer so terribly because of me? But little mouse! Lets go on hoping that in the end we shall survive, and then it will be in our power to shape our lives. How happy and content shall we be then, enduring easily and without grumbling about the light blows of fate in everyday life! We who shall have been through such a hard school of suffering. And will it not always be in our minds like a symbol: having survived this terrible time, what could still frighten us. And I, my dearest, will always do my utmost best to recompense you for all you have suffered for me. You know that I often reproach myself and accuse myself with regard to you! Now two such thoughts often bother me and I am absolutely determined to do everything better. How much more shall I value you and love you if it is God's will to return us to each other.

Thank God I am still in good health. Among the troops, the epidemic takes its course. Yesterday there were 11 new cases and 2 dead. This morning I saw new graves being dug in the hill- cemetery. Nothing new has happened yet at our quarters. A few people have fallen ill but hopefully it is not serious. Perhaps it will be possible to save us after all, even though it is not very probable. As God will ordain!

We have now every Sunday divine service. Since there are here a Protestant senior minister, a pastor and a Catholic, services are always held. I go to the first of these. It is wonderful how one can find strength and edification in this primitive celebration. An introductory song, a sermon and singing at the end again. Last Sunday I wept. The minister spoke about the well-known picture "The Guardian Angel". A child is walking on a narrow decayed path above a deep abyss, above him hovers the guardian angel who ensures that the child is safe as God has ordained. He then related this picture to our own children, to our next-of-kin, to ourselves as God's children. God, who counts the hairs on our head, leads us and our people. We are in good hands; He will lead us in our best interest as He decides in his wisdom. As I said before, one can find edification even in this worship which is alien to me. And so, little mouse, I want to hold on to the thought that we are in the Almighty's hand who does with us what he thinks is good.

I have not written for a few days, as all I could have written was sad, but now I am more comforted again. I think of you with infinite love, I pray to God for help and sometimes I imagine how wonderful it will be when all this misery is over. My dearest, be strong as well, persevere and hope with me for a better time. Let the children not forget me, tell them often about my immense love for you and them, and they will not forget me because they will learn that I love, esteem and revere you who is now their all. So till tomorrow my treasure; farewell for today. Remain in good health, physically and in spirit as well, for me. Thousand kisses.

© The estate of Otto Feldmann: Monica Lanyado, Tzafrah Shushan and Aya Shochat