9th July, 1915

My dearest! I awoke unusually early today, and having taken the book out of its hiding place I want to spend the morning chatting with you. Time passes unchanging, monotonous, but it passes. The occupation one seeks cannot fill the whole day and there always remains a lot of time for thinking, for seeing the world through black or rose coloured glasses. Not much happens that would be worth writing about. Of the 7 escapees 3 were caught after a few days and brought back. They were sentenced to 30 days in prison and are presently spending these in Harbarovsk. The other four were a little luckier but were none-the-less caught by Cossacks a few days ago on Chinese territory and are now on their way back here. Adventurers!

Last Sunday a high ranking general came for an inspection here; he was accompanied by three other Generals. Various complaints were submitted to him but on the whole nothing in our conditions has changed. Now I am very doubtful about the possibility of coming home this year. The probability of it is very low. I can't bear thinking about it! It is now a year already since we walked every evening the streets of Breslau, excited and with our nerves on edge, having a presentiment of the disaster that was going to befall the world. The disaster came and was much worse and harder than even the worst pessimists could have imagined. A year!

And God knows how many more months will have to be added to it! And how will it be when I come home having survived all the dangers and spiritual torments? Are you really in good health? Have you not been damaged by all the heavy burdens of grief and sorrows? And what about our daughters? They will be really big girls when I come back, and there will be a boy on top.

Recently I had such silly thoughts: It occurred to me whether it will not be difficult to find for the little rascal his proper place in my heart. The girls I have known since the first moments of their lives and they have become parts of myself; they have caused me a lot of worries, but also gave me joy and happiness and I hang on to them with every fibre of my being, like on you. The boy however, a dear little rogue no doubt, when I come home, will be a new number in my account. I could not wait for him in feverish anticipation when you were on your bed suffering. I could not see his first smile, I could not take him on my arm when he more or less expressed his discomfort and sing him to sleep. And when I come back I have to love him as much as the girls. You see, destiny has cheated me thoroughly; but I shall be compensated for this, I am already looking forward to the time when I shall teach him turning somersaults and nobody is going to tell me: "Its not the proper thing for him to do". For my son, everything is proper! Kisses my dear! Next time more, and I will be more reasonable too.

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