Jon Bouman to the Bouman Family


Jon Bouman to the Bouman Family


Bouman, Jon Anthony, 1873-1958




1928 March 17


Letter from Jon Bouman to his family.


Gift of William C. and Evelina Suhler


Berlin, Germany


Rachel Dark
Denise Montgomery






Evelina Suhler is the granddaughter of Jon Anthony Bouman and inherited the family collection of his letters from the years of World War I. She and her husband gave the letters to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum in 2013.


                                                          28 Zimmerstrasse
                                                          Berlin SW 68

                                                          Saturday evg. March 17, '28

My dear daughter Mary,

     I was glad to hear that you are managing OK while mother is having her treat. Let us hope the weather will treat her kindly. Here we are having a long spell of brilliantly fine weather, but quite cold. None of those dreary, drizzly, foggy days - not one, all this winter; I don't know whether this is exceptional; anyhow it is very pleasant. This was my day off, and I went into the Grunewald; the lake was frozen over again, but the ice was not very strong yet after the recent thaw; in one corner however there were half a dozen people skating. I reckoned on have a tea at a restaurant in the woods, but found it "Closed for a few days owing to repairs." So I had no tea.

     Yes, May 15 is pretty well fixed now. Mrs. Schnürholz has to go back to work on May 1, but Mrs. was going to stay on a few days in Munich so that the 15th was named as an approximate date. If I could have you for a week or 10 days at the pension I could put you wise to different things about the town and also take you to the house to meet the family etc. before you actually take up your duties. 

     I hope your friend Winnie will be a nice companion for you. Does Mother know her? I have had a whole set of very attractive postcards from every point Mother has touched; I suppose you had the same. 

     By the way, don't forget to draw your money out of your PO Savings Back account which you had better close. There is plenty of time yet, but don't leave it until the last, as it takes some days to put through.

     I think I forgot to tell Mother that when I went to Leipzig I met Edwin Wilcox on the platform as we travelled together. He was going to have look over the famous Zeiss optical works at Jena, and didn't stay in Leipzig. It was an interesting but tiring job as the exhibition was in different halls all over the town. One of the things I had given to me was a neat little pocket lamp with note book and pencil attached and there were similar combinations with the powder puff, lipstick and a tiny mirror, so that you could powder your nose in the dark. The toys were wonderful. I saw one which was a jazz band of four life-size monkeys, each playing an instrument. They wagged their heads, rolled their eyes and moved their mouths in a way that kept crowds in roars of laughter. Complete with music it cost £ 120 however! The advertising dodges were also most elaborate. One, advertising a tooth ache cure, consisted of a life size rubber face of a man with a toothache, and it changed its expression slowly from agony to joy in a most startling human-like way.

     I have taken up Lithuanian now in odd moments. This is supposed to be one of the oldest languages in Europe, and the nearest to Sanskrit. Besides the four cases, it has "vocative," and "instrumental" and a "locative," which makes it very involved; moreover the cardinal numbers are also declined, up to 10.  And there is, besides a singular and plural, also a declination for two; so two men, for instance, are specially declined. What a language! Lapkrytis is November, and when you say November 30, it becomes Lapskricis trisdesimt. Yes is Taip! I wish I had though of it before, then I would not have been so much at a loss whether Jejimas meant a "law" or the "way out."

     I forgot, about Leipzig, that I was also presented with several boxes of biscuits and chocolates - I can hear B's saliva gurgling - but these have been eaten by Fraun Haims, of this Pension.

     Keep the home fires burning until I come for you!

                                                          With love to all,
                                                            You loving,

Original Format



Bouman Family



Bouman, Jon Anthony, 1873-1958, “Jon Bouman to the Bouman Family,” 1928 March 17, WWP23173, Jon Anthony Bouman Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.