22nd December, 1915

My dear little mouse! Properly I should be writing today about my life in the new place. But you know how frantically I cling to anniversaries and today is an important anniversary: it is one year since I was taken prisoner. I do not wish to talk about the terrible torment, the agonizing emotions of that day. Indeed they were like pangs of death since I had wound up my life and was waiting only for deliverance. The whole day I had the feeling that some crucial change was imminent; I did not think of being taken prisoner, the only possible solution appeared to be a bullet. But a merciful fate ordained otherwise. Round me death and destruction.

At 3 in the afternoon we had already 300 dead and wounded, I was spared.

I cannot blame myself in the least for not having done my duty. The commander of our 3rd battalion was going past and asked what I was doing here. "There lies my dead company; I am waiting for the opportunity to make those few steps to be there with them", I told him. His answer was "You are mad, disappear immediately from here or you'll be a corpse". I was still around the whole afternoon, always with the premonition: something is going to happen to you. And the disaster came but in a merciful way. I was kept alive for you and the children although we have been divided by a long painful time. A year has passed, a year full of mental torment. But these are past us and we shall get over them. I pray to the Almighty to continue to protect us and reunite us, then all will soon be forgotten.

I do not want to write more today, the day belongs to the memory of the brave men of my 14th company and to my dear Roth. May God protect you and the children.

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