30th March, 1915
Shkotovo

My dearest little mouse! I am now living through hard days! The weather gets better and better, my frame of mind gloomier and gloomier. There is still not even a remote possibility to see when all this will end. How much longer? Tomorrow it will be exactly 8 months since I left our home. 8 whole long months! What lies behind me, behind us, what suffering have these months brought us! And how many months still have to pass before this misery comes to its end. Imagine that we shall need 8 weeks just for our journey back. And how many of us will not take part in this journey. The time has now come when my fellow-officers are falling ill too. And it will get worse as time goes on as there is no prospect of the epidemic being brought under control. The longing and perhaps the impatience too, increases from day to day. One is so worn down by all those hopes and thoughts of the future, the fulfillment of which is so far away.

When I look out to the sea, I always remember my stay in Cuba where I was also so near the sea and so far from my beloved, where my thoughts were also always with you in wild longing, in indescribable love to you! Of course, the conditions in Cuba were so much more agreeable for me! I knew I was striving for you, suffering so that you may be mine. But now! Sentenced to a helpless passive existence, robbed of my free will, one of many who went to war who, however was not rewarded for his sacrifices, a prisoner. What jubilation will greet those who return home carrying proudly their weapons, whatever the outcome of the war will ultimately be. But how shall we be received? Will we not be looked down upon, we - the prisoners. At least for you and all those close to me it will not matter how I come back and that is a consolation for me. When I compare my previous and my present sojourns at the seaside, I always end up with the same wish: if at least now like then I came home in June! Perhaps it may come true! I hold fast to this thought even though it is not very probable. But I always think: perhaps it will! Bye, little mouse! More tomorrow.

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