Dedication | Introduction | History | The Voices | The Correspondence | Conclusion

November 6, 1940
Vilna, Poland [now Vilnius, Lithuania]


Dear Sasha:

Yesterday, we received your letter of August 25. In the letter you ask for warm clothing. You also write, that you just received my letter from March. I am surprised that my letter took so long to reach you. But I am glad that you finally received it, and that you could write a long letter back.

I understand and I feel that you are in good spirits. I am glad that you are pleased with our letters, so I will try to write more often. But it is so difficult to pick up a pen and write in German. I think that my written German is neither German nor French, and is as full of mistakes as swimming after a rain. But what shall I do? I am writing it as it goes, and hopefully you will understand it.

Also Saschenka, as I write I am reading your last letter, and I have the impression that I speak to you. I feel your presence next to me like you are here before my eyes. I remember all the different experiences which you had in your life: the Army, and the sufferings, and also the happiness which your parents and all of us had together. I remember all the sufferings we had the whole time until we received the news from you that you were among the living. Yes, all that is in the past. Now, we live with the hope that you will return home, and you will be able to thank your parents for everything.

Last week your mother wrote about you to the Consulate of the USSR in Berlin to register you as a citizen of the USSR, so that you should be released. She sent them a notarized copy of your Russian citizenship. Probably, you have already received from your camp Commandant of Stalag VIIIA an application to the Consulate of the USSR. Your mother sent the application to your camp Commandant, and asked him to forward it to you. She does as much as is humanly possible for you. Also, your parents are concerned with all the packages that they send you. They have changed the rules about the packages. For every parcel you need to have a new license from the Ministry in Kaunas. It is very difficult to get one, it takes a few weeks. Your mother has already made several applications, and as soon as she receives one she will send a package. Hopefully, you received the last package.

Yes, Sasha, I will tell you that no parents are bad parents, but your parents are something special, and it should give you inspiration. Thank God, you have a good home to come back to. Should we just live to that time that the war should end, and it should end as soon as possible. From the children Rivka, Benjamin, Rachel we often receive letters. They are all well. Rachel has a pretty daughter and Benjamin a good son. Rivka [pages are missing]

Asher Zitler
[Signature of Shep's father]