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#23- Ostern, Eier, Zigaretten und Esbit-Pillen- 22/4/43

Part of The KB41 Collection On This Day Series

This is the 23nd letter in the series of Feldpost's that Herbert writes home to his family whilst away from home. This Feldpost being written on the 22nd April 1943 and sent the very next day. This letter continues Herbert's stay in the hospital in Braunschweig (Brunswick) as he recovers from his pneumonia. Herbert keeping his family updated with his condition as previous letters Herbert writes of his laziness to write letters to his family, so this would be a much welcomed letter. This letter like previous being shared exactly 80 years on this day since it was sent!

The Feldpost in German reads as:

Braunschweig 22.4.43

Ihr Lieben!

Heute morgen erhielt ich dankend Euren lieben Brief, sowie

die beiden Päckchen. Die Plätzchen kann ich gut gebrauchen, denn

momentan habe ich ja Bettruhe und da kann ich mir ja anderwertig

nichts zubesorgen. Ich glaube und hoffe aber, daß ich Ostern wieder

"auf Draht" bin. Ich halte es schon garnicht mehr aus, das ewige liegen und

Herumsitzen. Es ist ganz schön, daß Rönnebergs, die Leute die meine

Betreuung übernommen haben, mich Mittwochs, Sonnabends und Sonntags besuchen.

Gestern war hier im Lazarett der Osterhase in Gestalt von den

Mädel der Landortsgruppen. Jeder von uns bekam einen großen Teller

mit Kuchen, 20 Zigaretten, 1 Zigarre und 13 Eier (drei gekochte und zehn

frische), alle hübsch bemalt. Nachdem wir das auf den Stuben empfangen

hatten, war noch eine kleine Feier mit einem ganz netten Varieteprogramm.

Es war ein ganz angenehmer Nachmittag. 2 gek. Eier habe ich

gestern gleich zum Abendbrot und eines heute morgen zum Kaffee mit aufgegessen,

ein Zuckerei habe ich mir auch schon gemacht. Es also nur noch 9 Stck. da.

Hans Jürgen hat es dann ja doch noch geschafft, der war ja auch

weitaus der Beste von seinem Jahrgang. Mit seiner Nervenlähmung, ist es ja

weniger schön. Damit ist nicht zu spaßen.

Die Blechkästen, 2 Stück, habe ich vor einiger Zeit abgeschickt mit

Zahnpaste, Schuhcreme und sonstigen Sachen, die müssen inzwischen schon

angekommen sein. Die "Esbit-Pstillen" bewahre mir bitte auf, die kann ich

vielleicht später noch mal gut gebrauchen.

Den Lichtbogen bekomme ich immer noch mit der Schulter geht

es soweit ganz gut. Es knackt noch immer etwas; aber das wird sich sicher

auch noch verlieren. Ich habe bloß noch keine Kraft wieder in den Armen.

Aber wenn mein Hals erst wieder in Ordnung ist, werde ich mich schon mästen.

Dann wird sie schon wiederkommen.

Du schriebst, daß ein gewisser Mohr gefallen ist. Ich kann mich nicht

erinnern wer es sein könnte. In unserer Kompanie ist er jedenfalls nicht


Sonnabend wird es wohl nichts mit dem telefonieren, hinaus

darf ich wohl noch nicht und hier auf der Schreibstube sind private

Telefongespräche verboten. Vielleicht Ostern über. Es richtet sich ganz danach,

wann ich wieder aufstehen darf.

Herzliche Grüße

Euer Herbert

The Feldpost in English reads as:

Brunswick 22.4.43

Dear ones!

This morning I received with thanks your dear letter, as well as

the two packages. The cookies I can use well, because

at the moment I am on bed rest and I can't get anything else.

I believe and hope, however, that I will be "back on track" at Easter again

I can't stand it anymore, the eternal lying and sitting around.

It is quite nice that the Rönnebergs, the people who have taken over my

care, visit me on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Yesterday the Easter bunny was here in the hospital in the shape of the

girls from the local groups. Each of us received a large plate of cake,

20 cigarettes, 1 cigar and 13 eggs (three boiled and ten fresh),

all nicely painted. After we had received this on the parlours there

was another small celebration with quite a nice variety program.

It was quite a pleasant afternoon. 2 boiled eggs I ate

immediately to the supper yesterday and one this morning to the coffee, and

I have also made myself a sugar egg. So there are only 9 pieces left.

Hans Jürgen made it after all, he was too

by far the best of his year. With his nerve paralysis, yes it is

less beautiful. That's no joke.

The tin boxes, 2 pieces, I have sent some time ago with

toothpaste, shoe polish and other things, they must have arrived by now.

Please keep the "Esbit pills" for me, I may need them later.

I still get the arc for my shoulder, and it goes quite well so far.

It still cracks a little; but that will surely

be better soon. I just don't have the strength back in my arms yet.

But once my neck is okay again, I will fatten up.

Then it will come back.

You wrote that a certain Mohr fell. I can't remember

remember who it could be. He certainly wasn't in our company.

I don't think I'll be able to make a phone call on Saturday.

I'm not allowed to go out yet, and private phone calls are prohibited.

Maybe during Easter. It depends entirely on

when I can get up again.

Best regards

Yours Herbert


The Feldpost seen here is written on the 22nd April 1943 and this letter like unfortunately so few from the collection of Herbert has the Feldpost envelope attached. The Feldpost envelope shows the address of the Hans Tank family (Hebert's father who has just recovered from an illness himself) is addressed to the head of the family but addressed with best wishes as always to the whole family. The Feldpost envelope has a Feldpost cancel with the Reichsadler and what can be made out as information relating the the Reserve Hospital in Brunswick. The reverse of the Feldpost also details the sender information that Herbert writes so his family and others who whish to address letters to Herbert whilst he is recovering in the Brunswick hospital.

Herbert addresses this letter with thanks to his family for sending letters and packages to him whilst Herbert is recovering in hospital. Herbert details how the cookies were great use as he couldn't currently get up and do much as he is currently recovering in his bed. Herbert then goes on to address how he hopes that at easter he will recover and be back on track. This comes as Herbert writes how he is getting frustrated just sitting around, "I can't stand it anymore, the eternal lying and sitting around". Herbert also gives insights into his routine of care, this is mentioned by the detailing of the "Rönnebergs". The "Rönnebergs" taking over his care and visit Herbert in hospital on "Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays". This being regular care that Herbert's family would really appreciate knowing that Herbert is getting regular treatment.

Herbert continues the letter by addressing Easter, this is seen by a mention of "Easter Bunny" was at the hospital in "The shape of the girls from the local groups ". This suggesting that Herbert has seen local BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel) girls who have visited the wounded Soldaten at the Hospital. These BDM girls belong to the female branch of the Hitler Youth, the visit of these girls would have given a morale boost to the wounded Soldaten. Many being fathers themselves would relate to seeing the young girls how are visiting them, to fight to get to better health for their families. These girls from the local groups gave gifts to the patients. Herbert details "received a large plate of cake, 20 cigarettes, 1 cigar and 13 eggs (three boiled and ten fresh)". This being a great gift for Herbert as the treats of cake and eggs would benefit him and his morale but the mentions of Cigarettes and a Cigar wouldn't be of any benefit to Herbert's heath. Herbert himself mentioned in previous letters that he was hoping to quit his smoking habit as it was having a clear affect on his health. However as expected Herbert had not stuck to his previous goal of cutting out smoking, this is seen with Herbert previously asking for cigarettes to be sent to him besides being told smoking is prohibited in the hospital.

The eggs of which Herbert has received both fresh and boiled would be decorated and nicely painted.

Herbert then writes about "Hans Jürgen". This name has not been previously mentioned and there is now clear indication as to what he meant by this but Herbert details that Hans was injured and "made it after all, he was too

by far the best of his year. With his nerve paralysis, yes it is less beautiful. That's no joke.". Likely as a comedic referral to a friend of the family as Hans may have "Gotten on peoples nerves" and now ahs recovered from nerve paralysis.

Herbert then adresses some items he aquired and sent home to his family in Kiel. These being "Two Tins" which were sent some time ago (Herbert hoping they would be with his family by the time they read this) Herbert noting the items in this package but asking them to reserve the "Esbit Pills" for him as he will need them later. Esbit was a small burner that contained "Esbit pills" a form of firelighter that could be light by matches and allow for a small combustable fire, when used within an Esbit stove could allow for boiling of water and cooking. Often used by Soldaten in the field to cook from Their messtins, but also on the Ost Front to start a fire and keep warm. This is clear why Herbert has sent these items home to his family, so that when Herbert is back to bettet health and re deployed to the Ost Front these items will be of great use to him.

Herbert then details his treatment, as mentioned in previous letters such medical procedures of arc treatment, Herbert detailing some discomfort with this but Herbert doesn't have strength in his arm. However Herbert is hopeful that his strength will return in time.

Herbert then writes addressing something that his family detailed in a letter "Mohr". This being the surname of a Soldat that as unfortunately fell, known to the family. Herbert details that he isn't familiar with "Mohr" but is sorry to hear the news, when possible Herbert will call but is written that phone calls are prohibited at this time. This is where Herbert closes the letter that when he feels better he will male contact, Euer Herbert - Yours Herbert

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