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„Do not grieve for me“

Vicar Hermann Lange to his siblings

Hamburg, 10th of November, 1943

Dear Angela, dear Maria, dear Hans!

As the first of us five children I shall be the first to place his life back into God’s hands. I also know that this blow will hit you, one more than the other. It is not in my power to change the course things have taken. I can but ask you for one thing; be strong and look for support from Him, who alone is able to sustain us in our suffering to the last. It would be wrong to become “benumbed with sorrow”. “Despite grave afflictions God wants us to return home to Him, the beginning and the end of all things. That is why we should stop talking with ourselves when misfortune finds us, because that results in brooding; instead we should talk to  God because he is always larger than our hearts and knows all”.  These words from a lovely brochure, which I recently read, I would like to place in your souls. They can give you so much.

I thank you for the love which you have shown me and would ask you to now add that same love to that for Father and Mother. That is the task I ask you to undertake: to make them happy. Do not grieve for me, because I am going to a place where there is no sorrow anymore. And I would beg you to conduct your future lives  devoutly, strong in faith, hope and love, so that we again can meet united, up there, when your time comes. – Angela, I would ask you to send my regards to all my dear friends in Bonn. But especially to my dear Hans and his good mother. While this blow may be hard for him - he will mature - to his and others’ advantage. Aunt Toni and dear Fina will also bear all in God’s strength. We shall sing the Te Deum on high! Also a last farewell to Sr. Marianne. - I just ate that last, lovely apple and the wound on my leg has almost been healed with that ointment! Well, now please receive my last greeting! All the love I ever had I place into it. Do not grieve because I shall not be with you anymore- from on high I shall always be with you. And Hans, also my heartfelt, happy regards to Päule! With sincere and brotherly love I embrace you all.

Your Hermann