In September 1939 war was declared in France where my parents had lived since their marriage in 1933. Their parents travelled to and from Vienna to visit and lived there.   I was born in France in December 1939 and my grandparents could no longer visit as the Germans had taken over Austria.   Very recently, I discovered 2 letters addressed to me, amongst correspondence to my parents.   They were for my 1st and 2nd birthday in 1940 and 1941.  They appear below:

Dear beloved children,

Do not rely on anyone, be careful when taking orders, and do not make too modest calculations. Do not join a campaign team, but rather gather your strength  for when the work is most urgent. As a foreigner do not interfere in politics. Do not sympathise with left or right, take the straight path, that is to say the Jewish line! Think carefully about undertaking your planned holiday. Or Vienna? Everything costs money, maybe you are better off relaxing. I hope to visit you in a short time, that is to say if I stay in good health.

Dec 1940

Dear beloved children! Dear little child Michi!

Your little darling is approaching and I am sending you a small gift for a small little teddy bear. We want to send you our most sincere congratulations and to implore God’s richest blessing for you.  We hope we still still have the pleasure of writing you for your birthday.

But if you do not receive  from us correspondence for a few weeks, do not despair because it is possible that we will soon be resettled like many other acquaintances. But we are not disturbed as we continue to be courageous and full of confidence in G-d.  He is everywhere.

We still think and hope that we will have a happy reunion somewhere after this terrible war. We must be good as possible because every human  being must be ready to be called and to be justified before G-d.

To look at you again to be able to kiss the child again, it is our hopeful prayer and it will remain wherever we are. Continue to be confident in G-d. We are always with you in our thoughts. Warmly greet your beloved dear parents, hugs and kiss little Fratz. We take your little picture with us as well as your photo of course.

Michi smiles at us with so much love that it warms our heart.  We still had and still have enough agitation in recent weeks with the departure of many acquaintances. As long as we can stay here, we want to write to you quite often, every week at least one card .

Aunt Eris and uncle Ludwig are still here thank G-d. Lotte could be in Poznana in the labour department just like other people who can work, while her parents should be with the elderly in Lodz.  

My beloved ones, alway remain good and diligent as before, may G-d bless you and protect you from all evil and danger.  Never forget, if you have a good conscience … all inconveniences are easier to bear.  We are calm and completely devoted to G-d. Do not worry about us, we do not despair, even if we have to leave. We would be happy and grateful if we could stay here for the winter and spring. But why should we be better off than so many others? When you write, be careful.

G-dn bless you! Your dear old mother.
Stay healthy and brave. I kiss you. I am your faithful dad.

Dear little Michi!

Your first birthday is approaching. We can only send you our sincere congratulations and blessing in writing. May G-d protect and preserve you in every way. I caress your head in my imagination and your parents and grandparents should give you many many kisses from us and show you pictures of us. We are always with you and our thoughts. Stay healthy wise and dear as in your first year of life and until you understand it follow the example of your dear good diligent and modest parents.

The photos of you and your dear parents are in front of me on the table. I cannot believe you are such a great lady.  We are very proud of you, little Kitzerle.and infinitely grateful to G-d you look so splendid. Your dear mother is also very beautiful on the next picture, we believe we can see your dear Papa.

To whom little Fratzerl you will resemble we cannot say yet, it will be seen later.

Anyway you are a pretty kid, smart, sweet tall and healthy, that is the main thing. G-d makes your parents always have joy with you, become a good and wise person always in good health.

In one of your photographs it looks like you have just eaten spinach or chocolate.

Do you have already a dear teddy bear who is loved above all else?

But today, only my most intimate congratulations from my heart  and many kisses to your dear parents and other grandparents.
Your Omama who loves you a lot.

PS.   We now received your letter of July 10  and we see that our great concern was not unjustified. Thank G=d you are now in your house and you have forgotten all the difficulties. We are very happy that all is well and that she eats everything so well.

December 1941

Dear sweet Esti-Michele,

Today you are the main topic of our letter, because you are quickly approaching your second birthday and your parents who live far away would like to congratulate you.  Time is passing so quickly I have to ask myself today how come you are already celebrating your 2nd birthday, my sweet angel.

I still remember the long hours when for a period of almost two weeks we were waiting for the telegram to tell us about your arrival and now dear little girl you have become a little lady who is silly cheekily from the photograph on the wall, filling us hope for a happy reunion.

May your days, which G-d will grant you be as carefree  and happy as your smile my little angel, making your parents happy, who are caring for you in good times and bad ones. This is my deepest wish which I include in my daily prayers.

Dear Fritz and dear Ruti, as always I wish you all the best as well.
Stay brave energetic and hard working.
Kind regards to Ernie and Freda.  I would be happy to hear from them too
I embrace and kiss you
Your faithful father.

In February 1942 my grandparents were deported to Riga by train.  According to the Red Cross the train never arrived; they were shot in the forest. 80 years later I found the letters and had them translated.

Article by Author/s
Michèle Huppert
Michèle Huppert was born to Austrian parents in a small fishing village in the north of France at the beginning of World War II. Despite the deprivations of war, and the dangers to her family as both foreigners and Jews, Michèle has fond memories of her early years and she remains proud of her role as a child decoy in her mother’s Resistance missions. In 1952, Michèle and her mother Ruth immigrated to Australia to rebuild their lives. After completing her schooling at Mac. Robertson Girls’ High School, Michèle attended Zercho’s Business College where she developed the skills to build a successful career in the fashion industry and to manage the family finances. Michèle met her husband Paul Huppert in 1960 and together they built a happy home for their three children and many grandchildren. After Paul’s early death, Michèle felt blessed to enjoy a 17-year partnership with the late Eric Taft AO. Michèle and her mother remained extraordinarily close until Ruth died in 2007. More than a decade later, Michèle embarked on the significant task of writing Malou – French Resistance Fighter to share her mother’s remarkable story with the world.

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