2nd April, 1915
Shkotovo

Little mouse! Today I am writing immediately after breakfast so that I don't run out of time. Today is Good Friday, the weather is dull, dull like our minds! Easter in two days, proper Easter. It is hard to believe how quickly the time really passes, and how in spite of that it drags on for us. We frequently count how long this may go on still, the result is terrible. The optimists believe we could be home in July "already", the pessimists maintain that it will be much later. I belong to the latter group and count on the end of October. However, let us assume the first group is right, so four long months remain! That means 4 months in the most favorable case; unimaginable! Irrespective of what else can happen during this long time, the mere fact that I must live 120 more days in fear and sorrow for you is sufficient to bring me to the edge of madness. No struggling, no resisting helps, one has always to think of the frightful length of time till our homecoming. If one on the other hand considers how quickly in reality, time passes, one feels temporarily better, but only temporarily. (Another dead is just being carried past our window).

Some days are horrible. One wakes up with a very peculiar disagreeable feeling, one is in a foul mood, cannot decide to do any work, is irritable, quarrels with everybody about everything, hangs around and goes to bed in the same bad mood with which one woke in the morning. Days like this are really horrible. On other days, again one feels so well, so free, so hopeful. Since yesterday I feel somewhat easier. Not that I have any concrete premonitions, but something is in the air! God grant us an end of the cruel war and that all those close to my heart should survive the crisis.

Today at 11 o'clock there is again a Protestant service. I shall pray in quiet devotion for you, for me and Hugo and Viktor. I can't get rid of the thoughts of the two. So now I'll go for a walk, my love. Thousand kisses!

For my Liesl and Edith.

In the Far East where I am near the sea
Where my ears hear a foreign language's sound,
In your little picture in front of me,
New hope and strength I have always found.

In my mind I see you happy at play,
Your eyes with pleasure and fun so bright,
I think of the tears I shed that day,
On your hair when I had to fight.

You sit on your beds and mama is near,
You fold your hands and get ready,
For your prayer which I can almost hear:
"Dear God send us back our daddy".

You are always with me where-ever I go,
Speaking to me in your voices fine,
I feel so rich and am happy so,
That these lovely children are mine!

You see my little mouse! This is how I sometimes feel! Shouting to the skies with delight! At the moment I suffer again from poetitis. I work presently on a longer poem which, when ready, should follow after the one on the previous page. The reason is that last night I spoke to a few gentlemen, who have been in captivity already since August, about my modest war-adventures, and this gave me the idea to ride Pegasus once again. What the outcome will be I do not know yet but in any case it will be rather long than good. But then it is only meant for domestic consumption. This morning I was in town and bought some things for "bringing home". How provident, isn't it? I hope the war will not last too long any more so that I can deliver the presents to their recipients. God how I pine for you and the kiddies! But surely it must end one day soon.

Our first officers who had typhoid have returned in good health today. Five new Austrian doctors have arrived today as well. Perhaps God almighty will help us once more. So much or so little for today. Many kisses.

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