Hessian Girl Postcard

In the winter of 1927-28, my father was working feverishly to finish a PhD. in history at the Hessian-Girl-Sigrid-MacRaeuniversity at Marburg. Hoping to ease their “long, painful separations and rare, hectic meetings” that my mother found so difficult, he crafted a long letter urging her to leave Paris and come to Marburg, enumerating pages and pages of activities, German lessons, excursions to the surrounding countryside, and finally enclosed this postcard of a local Hessian peasant girl in traditional costume as a lure. “Here is a Hessian beauty waiting for you, all dressed up to meet the great lady from overseas,” he wrote. “Her smile is like a spring bud: not quite open yet. Will you make her smile bloom?”


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