October 15, 1934
Handwritten letter of Nephi from Mannheim to Nephi's cousin, Hilda Scheffler [Nikl], daughter of Maria und Friedrich Scheffler. Hilda later married Gustl Nikl and moved to Vienna, where she now -- May 2000 -- lives in a rest home near her daughter Gerlinde, the latter's husband Josef (Pepi) Hlavac and son Christian. Nephi tells about his trip to France and compares the French favorably with the German people.
Mannheim in Baden
15 October 1934
The words you wrote in the letter gave me great joy. I have to thank you for the letter, and I hope that I can give you a good answer. For the lovely pictures I would also like to tell you thanks. They are really beautiful.
I was in France just a while back, and I had a very good time there. I had to travel to Kehl on the Rhein on account of a visa for my passport. Without this permission, I wouldn't have been able to stay in Germany. Since Kehl is right at the border, we thought it a good idea to go to Strasbourg in France. We only needed to cross the bridge, and we arrived in Strasbourg. It is particularly interesting to get to know different types of people, to see where the differences are. You know right away when you're across the border, first of all by the language and secondly by the people themselves. I've heard many unkind words and a lot of cursing about these people, but I found that the French were very fine people. They are friendly and have almost the same customs that the Germans have.
In the city I looked at a lot of interesting things - cathedral - university - city park - Emperor's Building - Pasteur monument and many other things that I can't tell here because of the length of my letter.
When we came back, we visited Bühl, Baden-Baden and Karlsruhe. In Baden-Baden we had a great time until it started raining and then we had to travel on, of course. Then we came to Karlsruhe and stayed there for a short time. I was gone about two weeks.
Unfortunately, I can't promise whether or not I can visit you. It's possible that I'll have to leave Mannheim. I'll be going to Switzerland or somewhere else. Within two years I can visit you, since then my time will be up. It's like I said - I can't make any promises, but I hope that I can come there when I am released.
First I have to think of my work. The work I do is very important and I have to do my part.
You'll find some pictures in this letter, and I hope you like them.
With cordial greetings to you all,
The lost son from the USA,