23rd March, 1915
Shkotovo

My little mouse! As can be seen from the date, I did not write yesterday; I just could not. We were all depressed by the fall of Przemysl. The incomplete news which reached us, the reports about the attitude of the "neutrals", the ups and downs of our emotions grind down the spirit. We all are already half mad. One of the comrades said to me yesterday; "most terrible is the crowd", and he was right. One suffers again from nerves, gets easily excited and irritated. Our thoughts do what they please with us, lead us into chasms from which one has to extricate oneself by force; we worry without reason, we are blind against real dangers and fight with windmills like Don Quiyote. One tries by all means to overcome the desolate state of one's mind but the strength of spirit and the energy are gone. And so passes day after day, we are a toy for our emotions and are hardly normal people any more.

How will this war end? How long will it still go on? The prospect of the future is hopeless! Only one hope can still preserve me! The thought that with God's help we shall be reunited keeps me from despair. My love, what ever may happen, I only want to be back with you and the children. The suffering and grief will be behind us and will not matter anymore. More mature and stronger I shall take up the fight for an existence again, being conscious of how much I owe you. And one thing I know: that I will build up my career again, in order to secure a peaceful and carefree life for you soon. In all these trying days I always thought of you and the kids, just as now the thoughts about you are the hardest and most painful but also the most beautiful. All my entreaties to heaven are about good health for you and me. May the almighty fulfill them! This afternoon 11 black coffins have been carried up to the graveyard on the hill. Good night!

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