Homesickness: Letters from St. Louis Missouri to the relatives in Balve. 


St. Louis, January 24, 1956

I have received four letters recently ...                            

... When I read the letters over and over again, I find a homesick that I want to throw everything into the corner and get ready to be with you.

You have a full rich life and I sit in my four walls and look at the street where a car drives by and by ...

I can use my car again and I'm pretty safe again, and sometimes I think it might be possible to go on a trip again. But that is in God's hand. How often, in the 40 years when I could not travel, I begged him to make the trip possible - and now it´s time again. There are thousands of poor people who never have seen their home again, and who do not want to be buried in foreign soil.


A letter in excerpts, written in the sound Balver Platt with American typewriter (without Umlaute like ö, ä, ü). Dated from 1949, just before the beginning of the McCarthy era.

It was probably written "encrypted" in Platt.

In 1912 Heinrich Allhoff followed his brother Franz, who had already emigrated to America in 1892.

My dear Ernst,

the "cuckoo shall get me" if I do not respond to your two last letters just now, before I do anything else. You "hit the nail on the head" when you say, "If you come over the dog then you come over the tail". But, you know, I came so long over the tail, that I´m soon bored. The tail is unusually long in this case...

...So one thing remains: Away with nationalism, it only brings strife and misery. Wealth for a few, misery for the patriots. Please understand me: For thirty-seven years no day has passed by, that I´ve not longed for Balve with every fiber of my heart, and the longing grows every day. But that is love for home and not love for borders, which politics and avarice have pulled. Well, now you know where I stand.

I want to send you a package for Christmas, but I do not know if I can get it. I have so much to do and I can only work a few hours a day. Now I have to load the ears. The roaring and buzzing have been constant for weeks, as if they were three meters under water. The doctor has picked it out to me, but it did not help much, and I have not been to a specialist yet. Should be a cooling and is not quite as bad as it was, but it is very uncomfortable.

Now let it go well until soon

Your uncle Heinrich