Gustave Grupe to Marie Grupe, April 18, 1911

English Text

page 1 Hamburg, the 18th April 1911. My dear good aunt! If you expected a letter from me last Christmas, you were justified in making this assumption, all the more so, because this had been the case for many years; it was not only my duty, but also a pleasant thing to have an aunt in my years with whom I can talk as well as possible. In order not to immediately "fall into the house with the door", I will continue to give the reasons why I was prevented from writing for so long. I've built a lot again in recent years. But I wasn't particularly lucky, so that I got off it completely. We live here so completely for ourselves, we don't have a large following, which costs a lot of money, my greatest pleasure is when I can be in the back of my country, where there is a lot to do in spring now. I don't have one either rich past behind me as you have it aunt, so I haven't always just walked in the sunshine; and then I am on my country, with a view into the distance, into the infinite, in solitude and the silence of a sublime nature, one is brought closer to his creator, and this again distracts from unpleasant experiences of which I have not been spared lately, but later more about that. The two children are growing up. to our delight just this morning I took the boy to a high school. The girl is 12 and the boy 10 ½ years old, we are taking care of them in the best possible way. especially for a good school education, which is known to be the best what you can give a child. The latter costs a lot of money, but we are happy to donate it, but in return they are attached to us with all their love, but also respect me as your father - the boy was 6 months old when the producer left - it just happens sometimes with time and opportunity, they argue page 2 about which of them I should accompany to school. So if one perceives such attachment with silent joy, it compensates for many injustices that we have undeservedly suffered. Today we ask for absolutely nothing more than such a quiet family happiness, which our age brings with it. My wife is still working tirelessly. She is already 62, but still full of inner strength and agility. With that she has a lot in common with you. Aunt I have often told her how diligently you looked after your large family back then and were still busy outside of the house, e.g. with the cattle - with the calving - etc. When 3 fat pigs and a fat cow were slaughtered in autumn, what did you not have to do with the storage of all the meat, with the production of light and soap. You see, I still remember all of this very well, despite the many years. almost a generation has passed since then. We have a big house, but now that we are getting older, it is legitimate to want my wife to have an easier time of it, we want to sell it. It will of course keep this a little difficult, so maybe a year or two can go by. We then intend to rent a floor. so not to live in a house of our own again. Then everything is on the same floor, everything is more comfortable, and it will be much easier for my dear wife to have what she has deserved to a high degree through her many years of extraordinary activity. Otherwise we are well and healthy. at least we can be quite satisfied with it at our age. Of course our Agnes with the two children. Today the beautiful Easter holidays come to an end, tomorrow they have to go back to school. In their free time I have to page 3 always go on excursions with them, which are still possible here. They ask a lot, I have a lot to answer, and that's how you get young again with the young ones. Now, dear aunt, I would like to tell you something of human ingratitude, in a way that I have never experienced it before, never thought possible. On the one hand, there is even something reassuring for me to be able to communicate it to you, I know that you feel for me and with regard to your rich experience understand me too. So to the point. A son of my wife's sister - the latter a good woman died 4 years ago - knew how to win my trust in such a way that I just got a great affection for him, as it turned out since the end of last October, he abused this trust in the meanest way. He has received large sums of money from me through false information. through further fraud, I took on guarantees for him and have had to pay for him up to now. According to your money over 20,000 dollars for another 25,000 dollars that I am supposed to pay, I go to court. If I lose now, and if this sum is to be paid, we can still eat our fill, but then we have to restrict ourselves very much in our entire attitude to life. So this has to happen to us at our age. I was always cautious of strangers and was generally known for this. with a relative, such a monster, you have to "fall into". The fruits of decades of hard work my wife and I have been wasted by this person shovel by shovel. That hurts. and made us old within a short time. At the turn of the year we were in deep misery. We have never experienced such a sad Christmas and New Year. I couldn't write you with my heart in my throat. the words didn't want to flow out of the pen. I tore up a letter that I had already started. Today I have calmed down, but my good wife is still tormenting herself a lot. Page 4 I would like to see you again. It was about to happen now, I was so much looking forward to seeing you again, when misfortune intervened, but still. if the lawsuit turns out to be only reasonably favorable for me, I will get over for a short time, as I said, dear aunt. I would love to see you again. I thank you for your generous disposition, which you indicated in your last letter, to consider me old boy as one of your "loved ones", I thank you for it. The fact that an accident happened in Henry’s family, like it did with us 10 years ago, has affected us very much, we know that. Let Henry know, and unknown to his dear wife and her very pitiful daughter, that we take a deep interest in their fate. Hopefully everything is fine with Amelia. The next letter I immediately write is for her, she is always attentive enough to delight me with a few lines now and then. Greet them from us very much. The same goes for the Barthol family, they sent us lovely postcards from California last fall. In our confusion and sadness I did not even thank him for it, but I will make up for it soon. Please tell him the reasons for my apparent ingratitude. - And now, dear aunt, what I have already called to you so often, consider yourself very well, so that you may be granted many more years and in the best of health. I don't want to leave an old man's saying unmentioned here. He was a cooper in Altona. When he was congratulated on his 100th birthday, he said, “He regards the many years as a large number of tires. Which would keep his old barrel of life together” he turned 104 years old. You too are a nature particularly preferred by heaven in this regard. may this privilege endure for a long time. Also keep us in good memory, as we do too, and greetings from your faithful nephew Gustav Grupe and wife