Long may he rest

Because I teach German at MSU Billings, I occasionally get requests to translate old letters that people happen to have around. Yesterday, I translated a letter that a German man wrote to an American in May 1933.

The letter itself was inconsequential: He was introducing himself to a new pen pal in America. He was 20 years old, just out of Gymnasium (which is basically college prep school) and working in a book store. He was looking forward to exchanging letters about German and American characteristics and politics.

I don’t know if any of those letters were ever written. But to be a 20-year-old German in 1933 had to be one of the least promising resumes in world history. Did he survive? If so, in what condition?

Probably, we will never know.

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