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Letter number 12

Dear kind Werni, who I love above all!
Today I would like to write a long letter to you on the typewriter and tell you everything in detail because since 31-12 I could only send you a small letter, in which I included a kind greeting from our parents. I am now back in Saarfeld and it is an old-fashioned dreary dull day. In spite of the heavy attacks, the days in Berlin were a joy. On 31st December we went to church after dinner where father Nebel held a nice sermon. If I would be in Berlin all the time, I would go to Nebel and the sermon all the time. It was a cold and very windy day and everyone went straight home from church. Schutzes came to us in the evening and we had just finished our evening bread when the sirens went, full alarm at once! This went on from 18.30 till 19.45; they were "only" fast bombers. It was a stiff attack. The underground was blocked from the western end to Beussel Street, also from Siemens Street to Spandau. It was enough for me, but we were fortunate. After the attack I could not find any peace and went to see if at our place and your parents' place everything was alright. At my place only some plaster came off, which I cleared straight away. I shortly spoke to Simns and Mirs. Meiniger. All the windows in our place were intact. On my way over I had already spoken to a couple, who came from Haeseler Street, if everything over there was alright, which they confirmed, and thus I went back again because there were explosions all the time because I believe there must have been used many delayed time bombs again. Even in the second night we fell asleep quickly only to be awakened by a loud bang. We then stayed up because you could not sleep so soon after an attack anyway, and we also listened to the Führer. On New Year's Day your parents wanted to come over and we wanted to have a nice day together but everything went differently. In the morning your father came by and told us that all the windows and the doors of your house were broken, my father would also come by and give a hand. Mister Schaffroth also said he would be willing to help. We ate in the afternoon and what shall I say, again sirens! and back in the cellars. Both times we went to the maternity clinic where you can sit more comfortable in a narrow hallway and not hear everything so clearly as in Pulsstift itself. Berlin was lucky this time, too, because although there were heavy formations coming, we were spared this time. The afternoon was hardly over, but still our whole day was wrecked. At three o'clock we three went to your parents' and the man manage it at six. In between I checked the damage at the corner of Soor and Haas Street. All that's left from the small coachmans house is a pile of rubble, and the two great houses on the corner are completely gutted although they're still standing. The wooden fence on the right side of Gottfried-Keller Street is completely charred and also the small villa has only its walls still standing. At our Linden Lane the roof is completely gone, the doors and windows broken, all according to Mrs. Dientrich, who came back from Berlin today. At six the sirens went again, and we ran home. I had to support Mr. Schaffroth because of his stiff leg, and because there was still some snow on the streets, before New Year's Day we had a nice pack of snow in Berlin. Apart from this we had fine winter weather. We got home safely; there were no more air raids. I was alone with my parents on New Year's Eve, and on the 2nd Jan. I had to leave again. This made New Year's Day a busy working day, but one must be grateful that one survives these attacks. Kanal Street and Rich. Wagner were bombed again, and two days after people were trapped in the cellars, people still gave tapping signals without rescuers getting to them. Isn't that terrible? Further there are on the corner of Christ and Danelmann Street two more blocks completely destroyed by bombs, so that now only the corner of the butter shop is intact. These bombs fell while we were in our cellar, my dear Werni. On 02-01 I went to our shoemaker, who made me a nice belt from leather and colored it blue. But I'll write to you about that later. Also the stockings I ordered I got in Berlin, we then ate in the afternoon where mother cooked us a nice pot of green peas. We then wanted to go to your parents', but as I told you, we only got as far as the corner of Spandauer Street, whent hey came and met us on the way. We then all went to my place because I did not want to go back the whole way. Mrs. Schutze gave me some onions and biscuits. She is always very nice to me. At four o'clock we all went our way again. Going away is always hard and I hope the day will come when we will both be together in Berling again, my dear Werni. My father wanted to go to your parents' once more to put some planks on your parents' windows so that thank God your parents will have everything in order also. As I came to the station, there were a terrible many people at the ticket window and, I thought, it would not be so bad the 2nd of January! But I was lucky again because I was able to get on the extra holiday train to Augsburg that left the station at 17.36 where I, albeit in the 3rd class, got a corner seat; the 2nd class was all taken. But because we were the 1st car behind the engine, it was nice and arm, it even became too warms, but only till Weissenfels: when the electric engine took over, there was no more heating. But I soon reached my destination. When we were in Jüterbog we heard the sirens, and I immediately thought: surely these planes are for Berlin. The next day I also heard it in a military bulletin and everything was very worrying to me again. I requested a call to Simons in the afternoon when we suddenly got a call at the Lindenallee that we could inform if the attack was on Charlottenburg, which they denied. Apparently it was mainly on Neukölin. That put my mind at rest for a bit, and I cancelled my request. I hope I will soon receive mail from my dear parents again. I was in Saarfeld at 12.00, and back in my room at 12.30, so it is a good connection with the railroad. At home to my joy I found a nice letter from you, my love, it was nr. 7 from 25-12/26-12, with which you have made me very happy. At my parents' place I had already read your lovely letter from 27-12. On top of that there was a parcel voucher on my desk, so that I can get a parcel from my dear Werni, I also had a letter from the Rockstrohs', the first since we spent our holidays at their place. They lost all their windows and doors again, but Arthur "organized" with great difficulty glass and doors again and put them in himself. You really could not ask for a better man, but he feels well doing this. Mrs. Nic. Also wrote this new year. I didn't visit her this time. But one cannot go to everyone every year. From Berlin I rang Aunt Auguste and Erna who could not come on New Year's Day as well because of the blocked railway; they only cleared it on New Year's Day.
A sugar sweet kiss,
Your Herti