Munich railroad station, September 15, 1945
In a very short while, I will take the first step, the relatively short part of the journey: Munich to Paris, which we should reach in approximately thirty-six hours. What happens after that is not clear.
A few of the boys are huddled around a piano, and in the center of the area is a “bar,” offering the inevitable coffee and doughnuts. The men are either casually sprawled over green folding chairs, or are playing Ping-Pong, or are loafing from one end of the hall to the other.
Some even write letters. What a drastic contrast to last night! I see the radiance of your eyes by candlelight, and it sets me to thinking.
This is the second time I am leaving Germany, having to leave behind what is most precious to me. The first time I did not fully perceive the gathering storm.
I cannot find any peace until you, too, have become a mere spectator of those events, and at least a small part of the compensation that should be yours will have eased the pain. Just know that the nightmare is over, and the future lies before us in brighter colors! With that in mind, I want to call out to you, Gerda: Be brave! I have full confidence in the fact that both of us will soon be very, very happy.
In high spirits I embrace you and kiss you,
—from Gerda’s Lieutenant