27th March, 1915
Shkotovo

My sweet little mouse! My comrades are surprised by the persistence with which I go on writing to you. If they only had the faintest notion of the wonderful effect it has on me when I have chatted with you in this way for half an hour, how everything in me is invigorated and more confident when I have written, they would all follow my example. The days pass so woefully, so sadly, and in this mental desert these letters are my oasis where I find strength and comfort for the whole day. Is it not a divine gift when in these difficult times one has somebody of whom one can think with love and devotion, a human being that is so close to one's own soul.

It is a special feeling to wallow in memories, to live once more through everything that binds us together so closely and permanently. I go back in my memories; I think of the time in America where my longing for you was nearly unbearable. Then, when I thought of you as an ideal in its purest form, when I sat for hours looking at your picture and making plans for the future. I loved and I suffered, I lived with one aim only, the aim that was the essence of my life; to win you over as the most precious treasure I could ever gain. How I felt then, that only the thought of you can influence what I want and what I do. Today, when I am even much further away from you, I am sitting in front of your picture again and let my thoughts roam freely and unbridled. Then it was the prospect of the future that gave me strength, today the past is added to it. God has been good to me! I achieved my aim, you became mine! Did not from the moment when we moved into our own young home, the sun of happiness smile at me? What an abundance of joy and bliss was given to me! A succession of happy days, weeks, and years!

How I learned to esteem and revere you with all your good qualities which are rarely concentrated in one person! To the inalterable love which had long bound me to you, was added respect and esteem. I often made fun of your pettiness and solicitude but deep inside I always admired you. Surely we had no need of an additional link between us since I believe you know the sincerity of my love to you and I also always felt how much you liked me. Still, our lovely girls form firmer cement which holds our happiness together even firmer. My sweet beloved girls! Of you my dearest I think with love and sadness; of the children I can think only with tears! How much joy do they give us! Looking at the photo in front of me I downright hear their chatter. I could cry out, so great is my pain and happiness! Happiness because I know these are my sweet girls, this is my sweet beloved wife. And now, when the cruel breath of history has separated us by thousands of miles, even if we have to wait for long weeks before we are reunited, I cannot give up the belief that we shall be together again.

In the field I have already done my duty in battle, I have many times seen death and met it with defiance, I always valued my duty to my Fatherland higher than my life although I am tied to life by such precious fetters. But God's will saved me in the rain of bullets. And so I sit here hoping, fearing and pining but always supported by my trust in God. Disease is all around me, there is not space enough anymore for all the ailing, any minute I can be thrown down on the hopeless sick bed, feverish fantasies are tearing my brain, but my hope that we shall be reunited will not be destroyed. I know how you suffer, I know what is in store for you in the near future and how you worry about me. May the Almighty's will guide you through this new danger. My love, be brave, I shall thank you for it by my unquenchable love and devotion. Dearest, today I am in a festive mood and I am happy because I believe in God and in you. Good bye for today my love! I embrace you, the children and all the loved ones at home.

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