The majority of the letters are from her father Alexander Braunhart. Alexander did not "beat around the bush" when it came to commenting on the lives of his children and Anna's siblings.
If he saw something he did not approve of, he certainly would bring it to Anna's attention.
This letter is no different. Whereas, he says almost nothing about sons Julius and Moritz serving in the Army, he is pretty blunt about two of their siblings.
He calls Karl a "bounder." For those seeking a definition - it is a dishonorable or unscrupulous man, or a cad. I always thought of a bounder as a womanizer or a gambler. I suspect that all of those definitions applied to Karl at that time of his life.
Regarding Cecilia - or Cilly (Cylli) on the other hand - he just makes a slight comment about her wanting to marry a Christian - and he says quite simply - "I am powerless."
Little does Alexander know at that time, but possibly her marrying a Christian saved her life during the Nazi reign several years later. Cilly and her husband Horst Eilenberg stayed in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, and lived the remainder of their lives in East Germany.
The letter has four authors, Selma and Frieda to their sister, and Alexander and Helene to their daughter. Below is a scan of the original letter, followed by the English translation.
With many thanks to our German to English translator - Matthias Steinke, below is the English version:
Schubin, the 1st January 1917
We thankful received your letter from November 7 and saw from it that you are well. The same I can report from us. I was for some time in Germany but I am now since about three weeks again at home. Moritz and Julius are soldiers. They are well and they aren't in danger. But now I don't want to miss to send you to your birthday my best wishes. The beloved God give you a permanent health and let fulfill all of your wishes.
This wishing from heart with the best greetings for you, Harry, Martha, children and husband.
Your loving sister Selma
I am glad, that you are healthy and that you are going fine. To your coming birthday I congratulate you hearty. May God give you a good health and fulfill all your wishes. Don't be concerned about your siblings, they are all fine. Julius has a house and a thriving business, although he isn't at home. Karl is also doing well, they live a good day. Also us you don't need to send anything.
Farewell, greet the dear Harry, Martha and family.
You yourselves be hearty greeted by your you loving mother Helene
Can't omit to congratulate you to your birthday. May God give you all the best. But above all a permanent health. God let fulfill all your wishes. That you are fine makes me glad. Many greetings for Harry, Martha and family and especially for you is sending you your hearty loving sister Frieda. Hedwig and Karl congratulate best.
My dear children and grandchildren!
This letter is dedicated to you and Sternbachs. I would be glad to receive a letter from Martha.
The 5 Dollar are away and whether this letter will reach you is questionable. With aunt is nothing to start. Have written to the consul, but don't give much on it and would be sad if we have to wait for it. We don't suffer and are sending parcels and money to the soldiers. So be concerning this reassured. Share the content of this letter, if it reaches you, also with aunt and greet Markheims and Brocks. You will get our pictures if we can be sure, that you will get them.
We became old dear children, but thank God that we are doing quite well.
Selma is now at home, Frieda is from school, Theo is back for the present (but can come every day ....), Philipp
earns in Berlin heavy money and pays us the parcels. He isn't quite healthy.
Cylli is doing well in Graudenz and wants to marry a Christian. I am powerless.
From Baumgarts is the third son fallen. We have nothing common with Karl. He was and remains a bounder. Although he is able to do it, he hasn't left the slightest little thing for his brothers. We are glad that we don't need him.
Julius and Moritz are in the army and they are doing well.
That you and Sternbachs are fine makes me glad. Nowadays, one has to be satisfied with few.
Now dear Anna congratulate to birthday, be all, all greeted and write back soon to your you loving father.
Why doesn't write Harry and Benny? I "accept" also the Jewish writing for good. Also Leo is able to write, or not?