My distant relative, Christine, whom we’re visiting here in Hamburg, had been for some time in possession of letters and a diary belonging to my great grandfather, Felix Thode. They had been sent to her by some other of my relatives for translating. Now some years later, Christine has passed them on to me so that the items can be in the possession of one of my great-grandfather’s descendants. I’ll take them back to Australia now and pass them on to the next generation when the time comes. Meantime, I need to wade through the material and come to understand my ancestor’s life a bit better.
Really, we should have had a little ceremony when these ancestral materials passed from Christine to me. We should have organised a drum beat, or a band playing, while we drank Weizenbier….
The letters and diary are very old, old-looking, fragile, and moth-eaten.