The first time I went down to the yard known as the Lazaretthof during the recreation hour, as an inmate in the Barnimstrasse Women’s Prison, I found a lady there with a voluptuous figure, dressed in fine clothes and wearing the contents of a small jewellery shop on her fingers and bosom, which sparkled whenever she moved.
Many of Luxemburg’s letters are unique documents that provide particular insights into the world of her thoughts and feelings.
Despite the beautiful state of inner harmony that I have been at such pains to cultivate, yesterday before I fell asleep I was seized again by a despair far blacker than the night. And today is another grey day, without sun—a cold east wind … I feel like a frozen bumblebee. Have you ever found a bumblebee like that in the garden on the first frosty morning in autumn—lying on its back in the grass, quite stiff, as though dead, its little legs drawn in and its little fur coat covered with frost?
Back when I was at home, I used to creep across to the window very early in the morning—getting up before Father was, of course, strictly forbidden—open it quietly and peek out at the big courtyard. There was, admittedly, not much to see. Everything was still asleep.
I want to answer your Christmas letter immediately, while the rage it stirred up in me is still fresh. Yes, your letter made me wild with anger because every line in it, brief as it is, shows how very much you are once again under the spell of your milieu.
Sonyishka, my little bird, I was so happy to read your letter, I wanted to answer it right away, but I had a lot to do just then and I had to concentrate very hard, so I couldn’t allow myself the luxury. And then I thought I would rather wait for a good opportunity, because it is so much nicer when we can chat in private, without constraint.
What am I reading? Mainly scientific books: plant geography and animal geography. Yesterday I was reading about why songbirds are disappearing in Germany: it is the spread of efficient forestry, horticulture and crop farming methods that is to blame.