|A youthful Minna Schiebel|
I added the two photos for reference. They were not included with the letter. Both are from an earlier time. The one of Minna and five of her children was probably taken about 5 or 6 years before. Mr Schallner, Hedwig's father-in-law was still alive at the time the Schallner family photo was taken. Minna adds a last note about "pictures" being "for Betty". Those photos were not with this letter, or at least not with the copy that Sr Agnes had. I'm not sure who has/had the original letter, or what the subject of the photos was.
One other item, I've spelled "Minna" with two "n"'s. Growing up, I always saw "Mina's" name spelled with only one "n". However, she clearly signs her name to these letters as "Minna", so that is the way I shall spell it. Her full name was Hermina.
Sr Agnes translated the main body of the letter. The messages from the children at the end were translated by Al Haunold.
|Beginning of Minna's letter|
January 10, 1936
Dear Sister and family,
With thanks I received your last letter. I wanted to write back right away but didn't get around, instead we did send the calendar. I hope you received it, it's not much but a remembrance of your homeland. I also felt glad that you enjoyed my card from Maria Hilf. I really liked this place so much and wish to be [t]here again soon. I went with a large group by bus,we did not have much time to see all the places. Lots of chapels - about almost one hundred in the beautiful landscape invite [one] to pray at this place of grace. Johann told me that he was here together with you when he was a schoolboy - you went there walking. I wish it could come true that we both might be here together. Lots of chapels are gifts of Americans as thanksgiving to see their homeland again.
But now I have to write you the reason of my pilgrimage of last year to Maria Hilf. I've been very sick last summer and had to stay in hospital at Roemerstadt for about 7 weeks, the Sisters of Charity (Barmherzige Schwestern) told me that I should make a pilgrimage to Maria Hilf when being well again. I had the flu and pneumonia and the doctors didn't think I would overcome it, was prepared to die but our Dear Lord did not want me yet.... I'm almost healthy again and hope not to get sick like that once more. Franz knows myt situation because he's more sick than healthy, too. He worries over me and I'm worrying about him. I had a good treatment in hospital, the doctors and sisters did all they could do for me getting me healthy soon. Since June 15, Hermi is at home again, she took good care of everything - I was really surprised when I came home. I also had a real surprise during my illness when I had to stay in bed all the time - once I heard the doctor speaking with somebody; then he came in together with brother Joseph, I still recognized him after 13 years. He stayed with me for two hours then he went back. After a few weeks he visited me again with his wife and family - maybe he wrote you about that, too. I was still in hospital when he was visiting me for the second time.
In your last letter you wrote me that Betty's condition didn't change but she grew up and seems to feel good. The main thing is that she has no pain. The doctors are very good, why couldn't they help her? Our kids talk about Betty and wonder how she is. I hope that they stay healthy and will be able to earn their own living. is as tall as her but skinny, little Gisela is a real nice girl, she talks and is grandmother's darling. Hermi is supposed to go to Schallner's
|Minna & children, about 5 years earlier|
before and after school hours but I don't want to let her go except in the summer holidays, it's too hard for the children to listen to the teachers or to those whom they are supposed to work for. Business was very slow last year, we have to be simple in lifestyle. Last year we had lots of fruit, this helped a lot, we've had honey, too. But we don't know how this year will be, it doesn't look nice, no snow, only fog and rain all the days.
So life is going on. I hope I'll get some news from you soon. Best wishes also to Agnes, how far away is she? If you would come to Germany, it would be a great pleasure for all of us but it seems almost unbelievable. Lots of people are asking about you and send their greetings. Some young people would emigrate now if the world wouldn't have been closed by wooden walls in spite of trains and ships. Now farewell, hopefully we'll see you sometimes.
Your sister Minna"
|Postscripts by the children and Minna|
I also would be very happy if you and Betty could come and visit us. Thus I am sending my greetings to you and to your relatives and also to the uncle and remain your niece
"Dear Betty, come and visit us this summer, we would be very happy.
Best greetings to all, your cousin
"The pictures are for Betty. Franz was here with the children in Proehling (?? unclear) on a very nice day. Again greetings,