20th July, 1915

My golden Else! I have fetched my book from its hiding place and I don't intend to return it there in the near future, so I will write more often again. You can believe me that during those long days when I did not write anything in this book I thought of you fervently and often. And how I thought of you! I think I was never before so much in love, and certainly not with a married woman. But you can also believe me that this love-frenzy is very, very painful as well because it makes the yearning boundless.

During the day, when the monotonous, soul-destroying everyday life with its so very limited possibilities passes me by, I have now always a feeling of internal emptiness, a hopeless emptiness. But in the evening when I lie in bed, and I go to bed early, and in the morning when I get up, and I get up very early, I am always with you and I embrace you and kiss you - ardently, madly, passionately, and often I am near tears because I love you so much. Darling, although time passes and although this great hard time necessarily leaves its traces on my personality, my heart remains young, young for you, my happiness, my sunshine! I have now so much time at my disposal to live in my thoughts through all the beautiful blessed hours, the individual events of our joint emotional life again and again, and I make use of this time in the sophisticated manner of an expert and a hedonist. And then I make plans for the future and this is a joy too. So even though my spiritual life is at a fairly low ebb, my emotional life is sybaritic.

At times, however, you must retreat and let the children step into the foreground. What nice conversations I have with the girls, and how I hug and play with the boy! But when all the others wake up and one hears the splashing of water in about 100 washing basins, the buzz of the kerosene cookers, the confusion of voices, calling and shouting, then the beauty of the day has gone since, in this medley of noises tender thoughts cannot thrive, the soap bubbles burst and the images disappear leaving behind only the empty place for new ones. Oh, if only the others slept much, much longer, I can't get up much earlier because I am anyway out of bed at 4.30am everyday. In one of my recent postcards I asked you for a photo of you and the kids. God, what a feast it would be to get it! I hope you will receive the card and give me that pleasure.

The post is still a sore point. I receive only very, very few of your postcards. Yesterday I was again unable to hold back and sent you a telegram. Life is beginning around me, the silence is at an end. Therefore enough for today. Now, when it will not be difficult for me to get hold of this book, I shall write more often. Come darling, give me a kiss to fortify me for the long, ugly day.

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