Authors

Object ID

2021.1.4ab

Object Name

Postcards

Date

1936

Files

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Description

[a]: postmarked 8.1.36; burgundy pre-printed lines and stamp; handwritten message on front and back

[b]: postmarked 8.1.37; green pre-printed lines and stamp along with added brown postage stamp; handwritten message on front and back

Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:

Two postcards written by Carl Roeder on the same day one year apart during early years of Nazification of Germany. Mr. Roeder lives in Dresden, is an “old friend” of the recipient Walter Meyer of North Bergen, New Jersey, who is possibly a German émigré. He hopes Mr. Meyer had a “good time” over the holidays- Christmas and New Years. He keeps Mr. Meyer up to date about his family. He reminisces about the holidays they have celebrated together. He then states:

”I cannot report any news. Life for us here always the same. But you can read the newspapers and you can understand all the better than if I would write it down. Ir is too long of a story for a letter, and may not do me any good, when I write too much, because I am getting now slowly an old man with a feeble hand so that I do not dare write too much. I hope you take notice of the circumstances, and you understand me and you will excuse me, that I send only this post card.”

Mr. Roeder continues with reporting the weather and wishing his best regards to his old friend Mr. Meyer and his wife. Finally Ulrike Roeder sends her best wishes.

One year later, postmarked on the same day, Mr. Roeder writes Mr. Meyer again. He states that he does not want to be late in sending best wishes and hoping for a prosperous year for Mr. Meyer. He and Ulrike were happy to hear that Mr. Meyer and Katie were doing well. He then states:

The goddess of justice is blind, but in these hard times we must be content, if we can make an honest livelihood, even if it is a modest one…I do not come to Berlin, as I have no friends there anymore. One often thinks it could not be otherwise. Out fate and destiny then seems to be determined by another heart than our own...We did not expect such a great success for Mr. Roosevelt, but we consider him here always the next President. Sometimes we see a thing from a distance better from a newar stand...I do not know yet when I will be able to make the trip to N.Y. because it depends on so many circumstances…

She (Ulrike) now has to cake a course of a kind of Red Cross training for an emergency… The fate of the Roeder family is unknown. Did Carl Roeder ever make the trip to New York before the bombing of Dresden in 1945 which killed up to 25,000 victims? Indeed, did the family of Mr. Roeder survive the war? Was he not concerned that his mail would be censored? It seems so by his circumspection. Was he a Jew himself, or perhaps a German with a longstanding history with the Meyer family, the latter now transplanted to New Jersey? His sensitivity to the vicissitudes of the times is evident, but we may never know the answers to these questions.

Dimensions

6 x 4 1/4"

Keywords

Carl Roeder, Walter Meyer, Dresden

Subcollection

Early

Postcards From German Citizen to American Family Friend

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