Dear Murray and Rosa,
We were very happy to get your letter(s). We thought we had offended you and that we had been sent to Coventry (old style). By the way, when you write don't mention a certain political party of the Left. The atmosphere is getting like Central Europe. I know from good sources that the F.B.I. is investigating all aliens (of which we are two) and that in-coming mail is controlled. Sounds incredible but it's only horsing around to what comes later.
Gee, we saw a news reel of the stinking Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Have the engineers and contractors left town? Did you get a chance to see it, rarin up and down like it was an old man billy goat. Hope you miss the draft. You never can tell next year you might find yourself out in Australia, Sumatra or points east defending American womanhood and "civilization as we know it." Our chances of getting away before next Spring are finished. And does that give us guts ache. Judy and I have sworn on the Bible (of the Jews and Gentiles) that we are moving West next year if we have to give this place away and put my mother-in-law on the street, hookin'. Thanks once more for the invitation. Next Spring we are going to move in on you like Mr. Keitzel's Panzerdivisionen.
After a lot of time we've started to make some friends and they are a strange assortment of races. We have two Austrians (the man a graduate of Dachau and Buchenwald) a Serbian, a Dalmatian, a Russian, an Australian. New York is a wonderful mix-up. So you've been reading the Russians. I've been reading Anderson Nexo's Pelle the Conqueror for the last few weeks. It's good, in fact it's one of the greatest autobiographical novels I have read. Have put my novel on ice for a while. Am trying to make some money again with articles. Have got a lot of dope from my Austrian friend on the Concentration Camps and we are going to try and sell a book. In the meantime I have made up articles on several subjects and I think something is coming up in the Protestant Digest on the treatment of Christians. The middle of December another is coming up in Oral Hygiene which I understand is the best known dental journal. We are supposed to get about $60 for it and God how we need it. It's about dentistry in the Camps. If that comes off we may be able to sell two or three to medical journals and the like. To-day I finish a short story about the Catholics in the Camps which I will try and palm off onto a Catholic magazine called America.
[Howard and Judith needed affidavits from American friends to renew their visas]
You're going to curse the day you came to pension Iritz. You have to fill in the three forms enclosed and swear them before a Notary Public. Then you have a get a letter from your employer (also in triplicate) witnessed by a Notary indicating your occupation, salary, length of time employed, permanency of position and general responsibility. Finally you have to make out a statement also in triplicate and sworn by a Notary setting out that "we are very close friends, our friendship going back to 1936 when we met at the Olympic Games and that although we did not meet again until July last year we corresponded frequently. Since the summer of 1939 we have been in very close contact. While I have no doubt that H.D. will quickly establish himself as a writer in the United States, I am prepared to give him a home, if necessary." Sorry about all this and I know it sounds like Bullo but it seems to be what is wanted. ...
I feel like a real heel putting the touch on you like this, especially as you have so much work of your own to worry about.
[Although Howard and Murray had both been in Germany in the summer of 1936, they had not in fact met for another three years, so it was important to get their stories matched up.]