To Ghent With Love

From Christiane Morgenstern, dated May of 1940

To: Dr. Albert Ingels
Francois Bernardstraat 6
Ghent, Belgium

My dear brother,

I hope this letter finds you though, in my heart, I know it is unlikely. Your last letter was from more than two months ago and, even then, I feared for you. King Leopold may call Belgium neutral but it seems Germany has other ideas. I see more and more of my people coming into France on the roads every day. I remember when we were children, fleeing to the Netherlands with Mama. At least we were together then. I wish you would come to Arras, Albert, though now I fear it is too late. And I know you are reluctant to leave your practice and your patients, whatever comes of it. I would feel the same about Arras, I must admit, Germans or no Germans. I will pray for you, and for Belgium, and that I hear some word of you as soon as it is possible for you to send it.

In a way I feel guilty, to be so far from my homeland when it is so troubled. I am still a Flanders girl in my heart, no matter how many years separate me from the place. And yet, I am a woman of Arras as well, and I pray as much for my adopted town as I do for Ghent. Things are becoming very familiar here, and it makes me fearful. The hospital, long so quiet, is filling with boys brought back from fighting on the front lines. I had hoped never to see such days again. Even more, I had hoped my daughters would never times like this. All I have left to hope for now is that the French and British hold out and Arras is not caught up in the middle of the world's madness this time.

Be brave, Albert, and be careful. Markus, the girls and I send our love. God willing, we will hear from you soon.

Your loving sister,

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