Temporary Refuge

Hopeful Letters

“Love and kisses, Ilse,”

"[My grandparents] did correspond with [my mother and Aunt Hiddie] quite a bit, and the last letter – I have a copy of it-- it told the girls in England that they had a lot of faith in God, that the girls-- Hilde and Ruth-- shouldn’t worry about them, that they would be fine, that they should be strong and work very efficiently, and that their family loved them very much. Then there was a postscript from my Aunt Ilse-- 15 by then-- saying how much she enjoyed hearing from the girls, and that she was as tall as her mother by that time, and she wanted them to send her a picture of them in England, and asked my Aunt Hilde, who had graduated from the schooling that the hostel had provided, and sent her on to become a beautician, how long her training was. And she signed it, “Love and kisses, Ilse,” and that was the last time they heard from them.

There were several letters that went back and forth. But at one point they stopped coming, and my mother and Aunt Hiddie feared the worst."