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Historic Heartfelt Post-WWII 1948 Letter: German Children to Those in USA

Education does not end when leaving school. It is an ongoing process that certainly makes life more enjoyable. I hope you enjoy this!

German school children around 1948

German school children around 1948

1948 Letter

A letter with the date 1948 saved by a family member is a recent discovery of ours. Along with the letter written in German was a typewritten copy interpreting the written prose. It made me think of Germany post World War II, and it also led to other discoveries in and around the town of origin where the letter originated.

Thank you letter written in German

Thank you letter written in German

Germany After World War 2

The country of Germany was devastated after the end of the two world wars. Victors after the war did not want to see the rise of German aggression again. Due to the closing of factories and other restrictions, unemployment in Germany soared.

Humanitarian efforts helped to relieve hunger and help people in other ways resume a more normal life. It all took time. This letter refers to the part that school children in the United States did to help school children in Kirrlach, Germany.

The letter does not specify the gifts that children in the United States sent to their counterparts in war-torn Germany. Suffice it to say that the tokens of friendship were greatly appreciated! You can read below the accompanying typewritten interpretation of the letter.

Kirrlach, the 2nd of March, 1948.

Dear children,

This week we children in Kirrlach received the tokens of love from you. How we rejoiced you cannot imagine, because we live in a poverty stricken territory.

Our place is located in the vicinity of Heidelberg and numbers 6,000 inhabitants, among them 1,000 school children.

The letter continues:

In the past year we had a bad crop failure, on account of which we suffer much distress.

Joyfully and thankfully we accept every small item because of it, and see from this that there are still children in this world who stand by us in this our great need.

Once more our most cordial thanks, and many greetings sent to you from the children of class VI b.

Erna Wurges

Waghäusel, Germany

Three townships comprise the German city known as Waghäusel. The core city of Waghäusel has the fewest residents (over 1,200), while the other two, Kirrlach, and Wiesental each have more than 9,000 people living in each of them.

The beautiful Rhine River Valley is nearby, and farming takes place in the fertile agricultural areas around these towns. There is also the scenic Black Forest and protected wetlands, making this portion of the southwestern state of Baden-Württenberg a beautiful place to visit and live.

The first three photos above show a schoolhouse that dates back to 1898 in Kirrlach. Is this the schoolhouse from which the letter originated, or perhaps a newer one? The last two photos show a German wine tavern that has been in continual business since July 15, 1700.

Major manufacturing enterprises were not in this rural area. For that reason, many of these old structures escaped damage from bombing raids during the war and still stand today.

Churches

Given that the entire population of Waghausel, including Kirrlach and Wiesental, is plus or minus 20,000 people, they certainly have a good number of churches! The 15th-century monastery and pilgrimage church in Waghausel initially attracted more people to settle and live in that region.