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Letter written on thick stationery with message in German. Begins, "Liebes Fräulein Gerda!"
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Although friends and relatives of concentration camp victims often preserved mail from prisoners, after the war friends and relatives of camp guards and officials typically destroyed evidence of those persons' connection with Nazi crimes. This letter is an uncommon relic, written by an SS staff member at Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz, Austria. The camp was set up by the Gestapo in a former military barracks complex which had also served as a POW camp in World War I. Mauthausen began operating in 1938, soon after the Anschluss. Translation:
"Mauthausen, September 19, 1940
My dear Miss Gerda!
You're probably very angry at me because I haven't let you hear from me, but I have to change myself [in my life] and my thoughts are directed toward other goals. I personally am very well here because I do not have to do any guard duty or other services. I have been sent to camp headquarters among the drivers. I really am leading a wonderful life here, but nevertheless I always have to think about you and your mother because you are really very nice to me. Unfortunately it wasn't given to me to remain longer in beautiful Graz. Maria has also written to me. She is now at the home of her mother because she had differences with her uncle. Has Fritz also written to you? Pleease let me know his address so that I can also write sometime to him. How did you like the goodbe evening [farewell party] at the "Hezzel," how did it sit with you? I will apply for furlough on some Sunday and come to Graz. Would you like that? The next time I will write more. I send you my greetings, and also to your mother.
Erich Nollgern. SS-[rank]
Have you seen Karl Heinz Diedrich?--Yes!?--"
4 x 6 1/2"
SS Staff Member, Mauthausen, Linz, Austria
"Letter from an SS Staff Member at Mauthausen" (1940). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2012.1.515.