May 27, 1936
Handwritten letter of John from Saltair to his niece, Hilda Scheffler [Nikl]. Nephi is in Palestine and has changed his travel plans. This explains why he hasn't visited his relaltives in Elbing yet. John outlines the trip from Switzerland (almost 500 miles by bike) to Basel and then Marseille and Monaco on his way to Nice, Venice and thence to Trieste to embark for Palestine (where he was beaten in a riot between Jews and Palestinians -- not mentioned in the letter). Afterwards Nephi was to visit Elbing and then travel back to America by ship from England on July 16th. John describes his genealogical Galka research -- many relevant documents were lost in the First World War.
Saltair, May 27 - 36
Dear Hilda: I received your kind letter this morning. I've been waiting a long time for a letter from any of you. Now I know the reason why you waited so long to write. The letter explains why: Nephi is now in Palestine; he wrote me a letter from Nice and a postcard from Venice on May 12th. He tells me he was going to embark from Trieste on May 13th on the ship to Palestine. He says he will be back again June 1st and travel to Basel, and from there he will go visit you and stay with you a few days. On July 16th he will take a ship home from England. Dear Hilda, you will have to excuse Nephi for not writing. He has so much to think about and was so excited that he forgot to write you. He told me in an earlier letter that he had changed his plans and would travel to the south first instead of coming to visit you and then all the way back. So he will come visit you afterwards, and from there he will travel home straightaway. So have a little patience, and hopefully he will arrive at your home in good time and visit you for a few days. If letters should come for him, just leave them until he comes to pick them up himself. I'm sorry that the letter in English was so much work for you; it probably wasn't very important. You don't say what was written in the letter or the contents or your opinion about it. I don't know how it arrived at a different address. Or who wrote it? He tells me that he is healthy and well; that was from Venice on May 12th. I would like to congratulate your mother, after the fact, on her birthday. How old is your mother now? Your aunt (Carolina) was born Sept. 13th 1870 and died April 26th 1935, so she was 64 years old. Ask your mother if the birthdate is correct. I'm not completely sure about it. I have received a long list of Galkas from East Prussia and other places. I will send you the list if you are interested. Many of the documents have been lost because of the (First World) War, and that's the point where we have to give up on searching. Ella wrote me on May 15. She would also like very much to see Nephi when he comes back. I don't know what his plans are; maybe he will visit her, too. Since he was released from his mission on April 20th, he has traveled around Switzerland on his bicycle, around 500 miles over mountains and through valleys. He visited my relatives in Berne and the surrounding areas, and then he rode to Basel on his bike. From there he took the train to Marseille, May 7. Monaco May 8. Nice - Venice May 12. Trieste May 13 and from there to Palestine and will hopefully arrive at your place healthy and well the first few days of June. That's all I can tell you at the present time. The reason he wasn't there on a visit earlier is that he changed his travel plans. I hope that you are all healthy and well. With a thousand greetings --