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kristallnachtDear Hank,

You would not believe how almost free I am now. If I am not the luckiest little Austrian alive it would be like a miracle.

What has happened is that after I ran away from the Dachau work camp I walked through the forest for days, eating wild blueberries and sleeping in bushes. Then I saw the train tracks again and found myself an idea. I walked close to them until I saw a little station. Waited until night, when a train came back from Dachau and slowed down at the station. I quietly ran up when soldiers were not looking and climbed underneath one of the empty boxed cars. Found a place there to fit myself in and hide as the train rolled away to the west.

I rode underneath it for many, many hours, fighting to stay awake. When the train slowed down near a big city I dropped off and crawled out. I was in Stuttgart, and soon found the bottom of another boxed car train that was going to Cologne.

Which is where I mailed this from. I have since ripped off my coat with the yellow star on it and found some clothes in rubbish that fit me good enough so I can mix in with Cologne people on the street. I was even able to steal pieces of bread and some cheese from a few outdoor restaurants. I am very sad my new friend Michael could not escape here on the trains with me, but I know I am close to Belgium border now and the air almost smells more free.

Tomorrow I will try and find a place over the border but tonight I will be in a sewer tunnel under an old synagogue that has had its windows broken and bad words written on it and stinking garbage thrown at it at it and not picked up. Maybe it isn’t the safest place to hide but it seems safer than under a train. I will imagine you hitting a home run again to put myself to sleep there.

Your friend,

20 August 1938


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