Gottfried's Letters — 22.9.1934
In 1934, my cousin Gottfried Ballin was arrested for involvement in an anti-Nazi resistance cell in Cologne. His letters from the prisons and concentration camps where he was held have been collected and I’m attempting to translate one letter a week. This is the second letter in the series.
Ballin, Gottfried Cologne, September 22, 1934 Klingelpütz
51 letter book no. 6032
(Stamp: Cologne, September 25, 1934 District Court, Section 25)
Thank you very much for your kind efforts , special thanks for appointing a defense attorney for me. Yesterday I received your letter of September 17th, which has the local court stamp of September 20th. I already received my laundry, suit and shaving kit on Thursday afternoon. Today at noon I received the Cologne newspaper, so there will probably be an answer to the question in your letter. You have no idea how much joy it gives me to be reconnected with the outside world in this way and also to have enjoyable reading. That used to be a major problem: having nothing to do:When I asked if I could be assigned work in the afternoon, I was told that there weren't any for prisoners on remand at the moment. So there was nothing to be done, and I therefore had to be economical with the 2 books that I receive from the library each week. Thank God that's no longer necessary. Of course, I gave up the self-catering as soon as I heard that it cost 3 Marks a day. In addition, the food here is quite bearable, and if I can still buy butter, sausage and fruit next Tuesday, it will be completely sufficient. In general, I'm doing quite well, head up and eyes forward, as a person in their 20s should be, but unfortunately the “big end” is coming. The intestines do not want to function. I have not had regular digestion since my arrest. Once I had 2 heaping tablespoons full of castor oil, which was just enough for a long bowel movement, and then it stopped again. However , I hope that I will bring my stomach to reason when it begins to eat fruit again. If he still doesn't want to, I'll get in touch with the doctor. Since you are so kind to ask me to let you know what I want, I will do so: Please send me my garters (top drawer) in the next laundry package (if possible, it should arrive on Thursday or Friday) and also, since it is getting chilly now , my gray sweater and the brown scarf (bottom dresser drawer). Then, my shaving brush just about sufficed when I had warm water available, but with cold it doesn't take any soap; Would you let Wolfgang get me a new one and a small, cheap shaving cup. Also , if you bring laundry , send 2 shirts and underwear etc. directly . 3 pairs of stockings with you, then you don't have to come as often, maybe only every two weeks. As for books I would like, as I already wrote, Lessing's work, then Lichtenberg, Aphorisms (Deutsche Bibli.) Nietzsche, Zarathustra, and any good, lighter book by Schopenhauer. If we don't have the last 3 books you can get me at Lengfeld and have it debited from my account, since I still have money coming for the month of September anyway. As a last wish I ask for 2 woolen or cotton rags for shoe care and sewing kit (needles, black and white. Thread, a few buttons,. about 1 m black ribbon [linen], which I want to sew on the slippers (so that they don't go so limp.) However, approval for the books must first be obtained from the examining magistrate, otherwise they will not be handed over to me here. If you want to visit me , you must also have permission from the examining magistrate , otherwise I will not be allowed to see you. Something else about the financial settlement of the affair: You are not allowed to send me any food parcels; Would you then be so kind as to pay 20 RM into my account at the institution on the 1st of each month or shortly before while I am in custody. 4.50 of that would be paid for the newspaper each month, and I would then have the rest for extra groceries and other small things. You would then for the first time on 1.10. pay , yes ? Many, many thanks in advance. I'm quite happy that Wolfgang is home again, then you have at least some male support; but the fact that Arnold is driving I can only be “flat” about it. I really didn't think that his plans would come true so quickly, so I congratulate him all the more warmly. I had promised him 5 RM; he will have it as soon as I am with you again. Mother , you have no idea how embarrassing it is for me to have to ask you so much. Giving is much easier than receiving. But when I get home I want to try to make up for it . Are Pinettes back from their trip and what did they say to what happened before? I hope Uncle Pino isn't too upset. But talk to him, you can tell him what's going on. Many thanks to Wolfgang for his greetings. Write soon ! Warm greetings to you, Wolfgang and especially to our young one [Helene].