January 12, 1943
My dear Đ.
I have been distressed about Žakl. I'm not concerned about the package, I just didn't know if something had happened!! And about 1 o'clock, I had just contacted ours, worried, when the explanation came. You can imagine how I felt. I feel sorry for her like for someone from my closest family. I will include several words for her here, so please be kind and relate them to her.
I also have to explain something to you, because you should know, so it's clearer why I am insisting so much that my case, if there is hope, is resolved. Three months ago, on an occasion when Dr. Jung was a little more accessible, we discussed my fate.1 The day before, they almost dragged me into the car, and that was the occasion. I told him that a man can bear uncertainty for days, but for months—I am not made of reinforced concrete! He told me, in front of Friedrich, not to worry, and that I have been exempted (pardoned) by the chief of the Gestapo, and that there is a paper document about it. "That [paper] is with you, right?" he said to Friedrich. The latter stuttered, yes, yes—but you could see the game of masquerade. I later found out that it’s only a fairytale, Friedrich said as much himself. That is their manner, to lie, to conceal, etc. Dr. J. is good sometimes, is willing to do something, but you have to [illegible], otherwise he is real Gestapo, and keeps a distance. You can't rely on him. Didn't he tell you that he didn't know me? The other day, Friedrich himself, spontaneously, told me that my case should be finally resolved in writing as well. He or Jung could be on leave, and something could happen to me. I wrote a petition again, which Friedrich liked very much. I laid out briefly who I was, participation in wars, and sketched my work here. Since the Germans are making an exception, I asked for nothing more but to take care about my fate. Friedr. promised that he would put in a good word, and that he would win over Jung to provide his opinion as well, as soon as the latter returns. Jung returned the other day. Yesterday, Friedr. told me that Jung refused. He said that the chief of Gestapo ordered, orally, that I should be a "lifelong physician" in prison and that this is enough. I thought that ["]lifelong["] is an ambiguous word and that anything can happen ("lebenslänglich," he said), but Fr. became more cold as well. I saw that they are still playing the Devil's game and that I should give up and wait for whatever God decides (and we know what he will decide). True, Fr. was full of praise for my work, and repeated several times: your immense work here alone is enough (["]Ihre colossale Leistung["])2 for your petition to be approved. I wanted to tell you all this, so that you know where things stand, despite best opinion of myself by Dr. J. and the Gestapo office.
Please do not tell anyone a word about this, as well as about what Đorđe did and what you are doing. I have patience! But can you put yourself, even for a moment, in my shoes? It is all a long shot. It will all take a long time. Whatever the grand constellation beyond, they are still strong, and will last a long, long time. We can all see: titanic struggle, but, for now, the results are meager. They are more or less holding up everywhere (except for what happened in Africa) and Rommel is still alive.3 But enough about that. My [family], if they are alive, are somewhere in Poland. Now we are told (I heard) that Jews from here are now in Smolensk!!! One is astounded, and I am worried about L. etc. Exile is a terrible thing! I will listen to your advice. I will try to keep calm. But we need to hurry up, my dear Đ. I was comforted by what you told me about what you are doing with Aca. Maybe something will come out of it, and maybe what Đorđe did will bear some fruit, although it seems to me that it won't—but what do I know.
Lalić went home. Everyone was cautious. He did not behave badly. He promised me a lot!!! They all promise, I've had enough of that. While they are here and they need me, they are full of kind words, but this is understandable and it should not be held against anyone.
Finally, dear Đ, I would like to ask you to help me with the following. I know that I am bothering you, and that we need to put an end to this, but I can't ask another, I have no family, I have no one but you, Tamara, and Žakl. May you live in health!
1) We are all interested to hear whether professor Kostić visited you.
2) I am suffering from constipation. I fear the results, so please do not take offense that I am repeating my request [asks for specific brands of medication]
3) Please give the letter to Žaklina. She will procure the things mentioned in it.
(I have to finish.)
Please, dear Đ, do not take offense at me for bothering you.
Warm greetings to you and Tamara, full of hope, despite everything, with hopefulness that good days will come. Always yours, dedicated and thankful,