Fragments of Memories

The last letter of Elsa Klauber

(written to her daughter Annemarie who had
been taken by kindertransport to England)

An mein Kind, August 10th, 1942

My dearest Muckilein,

I have now lived here for four years and I have endured everything because I never lost the hope to see you again. I wanted, and still want with all my heart to see you after the war will be over. I fear, however, that I will soon be deported. This is very hard and I don't know whether I will survive deportation. I want, I'm willing, to endure anything, just for the price to see you again. Only, in case I will not be able to endure more, I have got means to make an end to it. It will be painless, my Muckilein, you don't need to worry. I only would have loved to be buried next to your dear father. But I still refrain from this decision, for the hope to see you again is too tempting.

In all these years, you have been my "sunshine" without whom I wouldn't have been able to live. You were the best child and you have done for me all you could do. In the year 1939, only a few days prevented me from being with you. The same lot as mine was the lot of [aunt] Lilly, who wanted to emigrate to Shanghai, USA or Cuba. But God loves me because you are in the hands of such good people whom I thank with all my heart. Our grandma has been gone since June 1st, deported, and I have no news about her. The same is happening with Aunt Mina. I hope that God will have mercy upon us.

Muckilein, my dearest, I pray to God that one day you will find a good husband who will make you happy. I hope that you will forget the German language and if you have children, they also should never know this language. Your home is England. There, the people are good. Your adolescence is full of worries, you ought to be happy and content from now on!

Miss Hassel is an angel; she will tell you a lot.

I bless you, you my dearest, and I will love you until my last breath.


Mutti (Mummy)

I'm living with Lilly.

Elsa Klauber did not survive the war. Her daughter was discouraged from trying to discover her fate. However, her granddaughter, Carla Wittes, was determined to know. She learned that Elsa was deported to Minsk on October 5, 1942. From there, it is likely she was taken to Maly Trostinets, where she was murdered.

This letter is published here with the permission of Carla Wittes.