Elisabeth (Lisi) Gartz, Jan. 1943

Elisabeth (Lisi) Gartz, Jan. 1943

Ebner’s mother was undoubtedly finding that writing her son in English was so difficult, she fell back to writing to him in German. Below is a translation into English of what she wrote, but she’d soon find she had no easy way out of her struggle with English. After Ebner received this letter, he requested that no one in the family write future letters to him in German. It was, after all, the language of the enemy. 

(To see my father’s own run-in with anti-German sentiment during the war see the posts “War and Bigotry,” “An FBI investigation,” and “Anti-American Hobbies.”)


Translated from the original German, edited for length and interest.

Feb. 11-43

Lieber Ebner…

Dear Ebner,

I have to ask whether you have received the money that on January 31 you asked me to send. I sent you the money on the same day—20 dollars—with a letter from me and also from Bill [brother Will]. On Feb. 1, 1943, I sent you the underwear about which you asked. Now 11 long days and nights and I wait to at least hear whether you received everything. Are you sick or haven’t you received it?

On Feb. 3rd Will sent you a letter with a few lines from me. Haven’t you received that either, or what’s going on? I have the receipt from the money order, so I can get the money back.
Your two girls, LaVerne* and Shirley ask about you on the telephone––not once but several times, twice a week up to now. What do you think I should tell them with my heavy heart. Not once a word [from you]. So I ask you, if it’s not possible to write a lot, just write a few words how it’s going for you.

I only wish for a few words. From Frank [ probably Von Arx] I received a long letter. It made me very happy, but I would much prefer a letter from you. Papa had the flu.

With a thousand Greetings and kisses from us,

Ma and Pa

Don’t let me worry or be troubled in my heart any longer.

* “LaVerne” is the birth name of Ebner’s high school sweetheart, whom everyone called “Cookie.”

Original Letter