Two last letters

 

04These 2 letter are truly heartbreaking. The 1st one because it was written by a young boy showing appreciation for a gift, not knowing what fate waited for him after his mother had sent his letter. This one actually tore my heart to pieces.

The 2nd one from a young man who knew exactly what was waiting for him and yet he was able to comfort his family. A real Hero

Zalman Levinson was a nine-year-old boy who lived with his mother, Frieda, and his father, Zelik, in Riga, Latvia. They stayed in regular communication with Frieda’s sister, Agnes, in Israel, who would send gifts to Zalman.

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Frieda sent Agnes a postcard from Riga in April 1941. After that, the letters suddenly stopped. it is known  now that the family’s names were included on a list of inmates at the Riga ghetto, where about 30,000 Jews were held captive.

In late 1941, Germans declared that they would be moving the ghetto’s inhabitants and settling them “further east.” Between November 30 and December 9, at least 26,000 of these Jews were killed southeast of Riga along the Riga-Dvinsk railway. It is likely that this is where the Levinsons, including Zalman, were killed.

The last letter that Frieda received from her nephew was a colorful drawing of his house and a brief letter he had written himself. The letter to his aunt was signed with his name and a brief, “Thank you for the present.”

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Wolfgang Kusserow and his entire family were under close watch from the Nazi secret police because of their religious activities. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, he believed that God—and not Hitler—was deserving of his loyalty.2-wolfgang-kusserow-family

 

Even after his father and mother were arrested for this, Kusserow continued to hold illegal Bible study meetings in his home. Like Gerhard Steinacher, Kusserow refused to join the German military effort and was arrested in December 1941. He, too, was tried and sentenced to death.

My dear Parents, and my dear brothers and sisters!

One more time I am given the opportunity to write you. Well, now I your third son and brother, shall leave you tomorrow early in the morning. Be not sad, the time will come when we shall all be together again. Those who will sow with tears, will reap with joy. “Those sowing seed with tears will reap even with a joyful cry.”

 

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How great the joy will be, when we see all of us again, although it is not easy now to overcome all this, but through belief and hope in the King and His Kingdom we conquer the worst. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

So we confidently look forward to the future.

Dear Papa, I am sorry that I was not allowed to visit you early in December. Exactly one year ago from tomorrow I saw you and Hildegard for the last time. In the meantime I have visited Lenchen. It was a special joy for me to see Mummy once again. Well, dear Mummy, Annemarie read me your dear letter during her visit… It is fine that you are busy in the baking factory (prison), so you are at least in a warm room and you have something to eat. Lenchen is now in the concentration camp.

Thus we are all separated, but everybody is steady. Yes we shall be rewarded for all of this. Read this in James 1:12: “Happy is the man who keeps on enduring trials, because on becoming approved he will receive the crown of life, which Jehovah promised to those who continue loving Him.”

“Dear Annemarie, once more special thanks to you for all your endeavors. May this our Lord reward you. I have you all constantly in mind. That was a life, when we were all at home together! – And suddenly separated!

Well Satan knows that his time is short. Therefore, he tries with all his power to lead astray from God men of good will, but he will have no success. We know that our faith will be victorious.

In this faith and this conviction I leave you.

A last greeting from this old world in the hope of seeing you again soon in a New World.

Your son and brother (signed) Wolfgang”

Wolfgang was killed on March 28, 1942. He was 20 years old

 

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Saw a bird of paradise today

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Contarry to the title and the picture above, this is not going to be a piece on ornithology.

“Saw a bird of paradise today.”were some of the words that,Stanley McTacket wrote as  prepared to go into battle on the Kokoda Track on August 19, 1942, Stanley McTackett took a moment to write a letter to his mother.

“Mum, we all write these letters and leave them at the base to be posted in case we are killed.When you receive this letter, please don’t grieve too much as we will know that I died trying to help save Australia.I am sorry I will not be able to help you in your old age and repay you for all the trouble I was”

Few of the young men, if any, were expected to survive the enemy’s onslaught.But Mr McTackett made it through one of the toughest battles of World War II, and his letter was never sent.

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Not everyone was as fortunate as Mr McTackett, he passed away in 2011 aged 92.But his words are still poignant and reflect the mindset and emotions of those brave men who were willing to sacrifice their lives.

Below are some farewell messages and death notices of those who were less fortunate then Mr McTackett.The letters are from both sides of the divide.

Captain Kuno Last Letter to his Children

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Dear Masanori and Kiyoko,

Even though you cannot see me, I will always be watching you. Obey your mother, and do not trouble her. When you grow up, follow a path you like and grow to be fine Japanese persons. Do not envy the father of others, since I will become a spirit and closely watch over you two. Both of you, study hard and help out your mother with work. I cannot be your horse to ride, but you two be good friends. I am an energetic person who flew a large bomber and finished off all the enemy. Please be persons who rise above me and so avenge my death.
From Father

This letter was written by a Lt. who was with the 34th Bomb Squadron, 17th Group

My Dearest One,

Nothing much new and also it is quite late so as usual a short shorty to say hello and to let you know how much I love you.
At present I am listening to Bob Hope guess I forgot to tell you that we now have a radio. It is an Italian job, we bought it from Bohlan. He is going home so we took it off his hands. Spent a very busy day. Can’t remember doing a thing but I guess I did manage to stay on my feet.
Say I believe that a tan is developing, not sure as yet but the red seems to be changing color. At present I am quite a two tone job, imagine I will remain that way too because I don’t dare chance getting my rear sunburned (spend too much time on that thing) Hope you don’t get frightened when you see this two toned job advancing toward you in your boudoirs. Certainly hope that time isn’t far off.
Well sweetheart I must say goodnight for now and a million kisses. Write often sweet I love so much to get your letters and I haven’t had any for three days. I love you darling with all my heart, body and soul.

Always your husband,

HG Johns – War Department Letter of Death Notification – 17 July 1945

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The Acton Family

The letter was sent from the Minister of War Transport to Mrs Evelyn Acton of Whitehaven, Cumbria. It told Evelyn one of her sons was ‘supposed drowned’. Another son, William Acton, was also lost on the same vessel.

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Berkely Square House, W1
19th May 1943,

Dear Madam,

It is with the deepest regret that I have learned that your son, Mr George Acton, who was serving in the Merchant Navy as A.B. has been recorded as supposed drowned whilst on service with his ship.

By command of His Majesty the King the names of those members of the Merchant Navy who have given their lives in the service of their country are recorded in the Merchant Navy Roll of Honour. I am now adding Mr. Acton’s name to the Roll of Honour, and, as I do so, wish to express my admiration for the services he rendered and to convey to you and your family my profound sympathy in your sad bereavement.

Your son worthily upheld the noble traditions of the Merchant Navy and I may perhaps hope that the realisation of this fact may help to soften the heavy blow which has fallen upon you.

Believe me,
Yours sincerely,
‘Leathers’
Minister of War Transport

Mrs. Eveline Acton,
93, George Street,
Whitehaven.

Frank M. Elliott

June 5, 1944

Darling,

. . . This is a beautiful summer evening, darling. I am sitting at the kitchen table (and not even noticing the noise of the refrigerator) from which place by merely lifting my head and looking out the window I can gaze upon a truly silvery, full moon. It’s beautiful, dear — really beautiful, and it has succeeded in making me very sentimental. I had begun to think that I was becoming immune to the moon’s enchantment — so often I have looked at it without you and to keep myself from going mad told myself “It’s pretty, yes — but, so what?”. . . That’s not the way it really is though, darling — the sight of that shining moon up there — the moon that shines on you, too — fills me with romance — ; and even though it’s just a dream now, it’s a promise of a glorious future with one I love more than life. The darned old moon keeps shining for us, darling — and even as it now increases that inescapable loneliness, it also increases my confidence in the future. I truly love you . . .

Frank was killed the day after on D-Day