Marie Pfister's Letters

The following letters and post cards were written between 1913 and 1922 by Henry Borlin's sister, Marie Pfister, and members of her family: Carl Pfister (husband, aka Daddy), Hanna (daughter who has lived in Paris and worked as a nanny for the Taker family, aka Hanny), Marie (daughter, aka Mieti, aka Megi), Carl, Jr. (son), Benjamin (son, aka Benj), Jacob (son) and his wife Mineli, and Emma Börlin (Marie and Henry's sister, aka Emmy)


July 3, 1913 via Zurich, Switzerland to Henry Borlin, Sr. from Marie Pfister

July 3, 1913 via Zurich, Switzerland to Henry Borlin, Sr. from Marie Pfister

July 3, 1913 via Zurich, Switzerland to Henry Borlin, Sr. from Marie Pfister


July 19 1915 via Basel, Switzerland to Henry Borlin, Sr. from Marie Pfister

My Dear Brother:
Again I will write a bit to you, although we never hear anything from you. We did once receive a letter from your oldest child [Jacob Borlin]. How is everything with you and dear Mary? How are all of your children and grandchildren? We have not heard from you for more than two months. Has your dear letter gone missing
or has a war ship sunk it into the ocean? Who knows?

For sure you have heard and read much about the terrible World War, about all the killing and bloodshed. It is a painful time for thousands and millions of people. Certainly you often think of our small, beautiful Switzerland – surrounded by the growing waves of war. All of our borders are occupied by the military– soldiers are everywhere. Our youngest son, Benj, lives with his wife and two children in his dear mountain village near the Italian border. He is a Captain (Chaplain). There is no other way. If only our merciful God keeps Switzerland out of the war, we will be very thankful. We are greatly impacted by the war. Everything is very expensive – an egg costs 18-22 St, meat 1 f 40, a cookie 1 f 60. Are these not enormous prices? The occupied countries have had their farmland destroyed; they have no way to escape; the ships withood were sunk and the people are hungry. It is terrifying today for most people, but also how terrifying is God's anger? How can mankind forget Him and call for the end of the world? I am a man and nothing more. He makes the light and manages the darkness. He gives me peace and controls my life. What remains for the small man? How many must agree to stop these dark times? How blessed are the humans. Although they are angry with God The Father, they will learn He is a God of mercy and compassion. We thank Heaven greatly.

Daddy still seems quite good and would love to have "Dear Heinrich" here one more time and to drink a small glass of beer with you. But that will never happen. Then he makes a naughty face and points up where the next meeting will be much more beautiful than it is now. Then what no eyes can see and no ears can hear! He thanks God for his love and preys that the God-fearing people will also hear.

Jacob and Mineli and their children are fine. Also, Benj with his family, who now live in Bern. Our Emmy sends her warmest regards. She so loves her uncle and aunt. Also, Carl sends heartfelt greetings. Our Marie is still with us. She is quiet and now concerned with God – what a consolation. How is dear Lucy? We think of her often, without any means of support for her and her children – our hearts are with her.

Apologies to my dear Henry and Mary for the sorrowful greeting. In true love, Carl & Marie Pfister

[Note on edge of last page]
Your sister, Emma, spent 10 days with us. She is well. She is also without work. She sends heartfelt greetings.

July 19 1915 via Basel, Switzerland to Henry Borlin, Sr. from Marie Pfister


Letter written from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Dated 19 July 1915 and Postmarked on 20 July from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Addressed to Mr Henri Börlin, Senior; farmer;Carrollton.;Green County, Illinois State, Un. St. of Amerika)


December 14, 1916 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Dear Uncle! Dear Aunt!
I wish you and your dear sons and daughters a good ending of the year and all the luck in the coming year, which will probably have started already when you will receive this card.

With hearty greetings, Your Carl P. Junior

December 14, 1916 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

December 14, 1916 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Postmarked on 14 December 1916 from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Addressed to Herrn J Borlin, Farmer; Green Country, bei Carrolton, Illinois, USA)


December 30, 1916 via Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Dear Brother,

We send you and your family the heartiest greetings and best wishes for the new year.
How are you and your family?
Let us hear from you. In true love, your sister Marie, Karl and Children.

With hearty greetings, Your Carl P. Junior

December 14, 1916 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.
December 14, 1916 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Postmarked on 30 December 1916 from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Addressed to Mr Henry Boerlin; RD3;Carrollton.; Nordamerika, Ills,Green Cty)



My Dear Brother:
Since I am sending a letter to my dear Hanna, I will also include a few lines to you and your dear Mary. I hope to finally get an answer. I really wish that very much. How are you, my dear, and how is your family? We think often of you and if we were closer we would often come to buy potatoes and vegetables from you. For many weeks there have been no potatoes available here in Basel. Everything is enormously expensive. I am so happy that you and your family are farmers. The farmer has the best deal and probably the least to worry. We hope that none of your dear sons has to participate in this horrible world war. How sad for all the people that used to live so peacefully and secure in your country. So much misery to all these people because of this horrible war. In Switzerland there is a lot of misery, but this is what we say: We are alive and have our daily bread … even if not enough of it and it is only available with food stamps.

How are you my dear brother? You must certainly feel aches and pains of old age and you know how the true word of God describes the years of old age as the days and years that we have not lost, but let us consider the wonderful promise of our Lord: I will lift you and carry you until you are old and find your hair turns grey. I will lift and carry and finally the Lord's people will find peace!

How are Mary and all your children? Please let us soon hear from you. I hope and pray to God that you will receive this letter. All our children send their heartiest regards. Our Marie is fine. She is well again and can do any work. Best regards from her. Emmy is always our faithful support. Karl is still at home. Jacob is in Zurich. Our youngest, Benj, is a minister at St. Paul's church in Bern and is also an army chaplain in the military service. Hanna has already been living away from us for 7 years. Who would have thought that? Thank God she is fine.

Daddy is quite all right. How often does he think back and remember the beautiful years spent with you, but everything has to pass. Daddy and I send you our best regards.

With faithful love, your sister and brother-in-law.
Marie

September 20, 1918 via Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Letter written from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Dated 16 July 1918 and Postmarked on 20 September from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Envelope addressed to Mr Henry Borlin, Carrollton, Illinois. Opened by mistake by C.H. Borlin)



August 24, 1921 via Basel, Switzerland from Hanna and Marie Pfister to Henry Borlin, Sr.

Letter written from Hanna and Marie Pfister to Henry Borlin, Sr.,
Dated 24 August 1921 from Basel, Switzerland. No envelop.

My dear Uncle,
Here I am at home at last. Daddy and Mieti and all my family send much love. Daddy is not well at all and I fear will not live very much longer. He is very patient and still so dear and happy! Mieti is always the same – so good, just like you, dear Uncle. You will please forgive me that I did not come once more to see you. It was not lack of love, simply could not come!

O it is lovely to be home, after so many years; only it is also bad not to be able to stay longer. Mieti is well and such a dear. Emmy, Karl and Jakob are well and happy! Now Mieti will write a little. God bless you all. Much love. Hanna.

Dear Uncle and Aunt. Sending to you many heartfelt greetings. You are certainly often in Hanna's thoughts. It is now time for her to travel back to Paris. I get very homesick for her. How are you dear Uncle? We love you and pray for you.

In love, Marie Pfeifer
Basel

My dear brother Heinrich and Mary,

It has been a long time since I received word from you. I think of you often and great deal. It has been almost 11 years since our Hanny was back home. We are so glad she came. Happily, Hanna doesn't seem to be any older. She has a happy and friendly spirit. On a less happy thought, tomorrow she will travel back to Paris to her employment. Now Hanny has something else to say. "Give my dear brother a very heartfelt thank you". Hanny says that despite being older and weaker you are still kicking and content as ever. Also your children are good, aren't they? Dear Mary provides great support at your age. How thankful to have such a helpmate to have with you in a marriage.

We are having a difficult time here since Daddy has been sick. He has suffered so much in the past 2 years. He had gallstones removed that were so painful. We feel so sorry for dear Daddy. The life is sucked out of all of us. We know it is God's will and yet the pain and the love all lead to our purification. Yes? It is still true. Our true God has dark thoughts and keeps the light from shining over us. I learned it:

-Hold silent.

-Seinern Walton (?)

-Hold silent

-Seiner Zurkt (?)

Thank God I have been quite healthy for more than 75 years and I clean and take care of Daddy and how grateful I am for that. I also have my dear daughter Marie and Emmy for help My dear Megi can be with me to help in the hospital. Our home heating has been purchased. Carl is still at home with us. He sends heartfelt greetings. Also Emmy and Megi. It is still a long time as we think back since you have written. With loving greetings. Carl & Marie (Daddy & Mommie)


November 17, 1918 via Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.,
Postmarked on 17 November 1918 from Basel, Switzerland.
(Addressed to Mr Henri Börlin, Senior; farmer; Green County, Illinois State, Carrollton, Nord Amerika)

My Brother, dear Mary, and Children. We send you heartiest greetings over the stormy ocean. God bless you and protect you in the new year, too. The beautiful words of the Lord may accompany and refresh us all. Jesaga 46.4

The heartiest greetings from us all. In faithful love, your sister Marie


December 17, 1917 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Dear Uncle and Aunt!
I want to send you my heartiest greetings for the new year from dear Switzerland.
May my best wishes accompany you during this year, too.
This year is for you a war year. May God keep you in best health.

Your Carl Pfister, Junior

December 17, 1917 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

December 17, 1917 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.,
Postmarked on 17 December 1917 from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Addressed to Herrn Henri Börlin; farmer; Green County, Carrolton, Illinois USA)



December 1921 via in Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her Uncle and Aunt

Letter written from Marie Pfister to her Uncle and Aunt, Dated December 1921 from Basel, Switzerland. No envelop.

Dear Uncle and Dear Aunt and Lucy, Henry, Agnes, Rosa, and MarionI send you all my heartfelt greetings. How often do I think of the dear sick uncle, wondering how he is doing and I wish I could be with you on your wonderful farm so I could see you all. How long has it been since I was with you. I think it was 22 years ago. How good it is that the dear aunt can take care of uncle. Lucy or Agnes should write to me some time. I send my greetings to everyone; also to Jean who traveled with me all the way to Carrollton many years ago.

May God bless you in the new year. God protect above all our dear uncle.

My heartfelt love, Marie Pfister.


December 5, 1921 via Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Letter written from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr. on 5 Dec 1921, postmarked on 7 Dec from Basel. (Addressed to Mr. Henri Börlin, farmer, RD 3 Carrollton, Green County, Illinois State, Nord Amerika)

[NOTE: This letter is written in a style different than all the others – different handwriting, different character shapes, and very difficult to read. Although it is signed by Marie, it appears that someone else wrote it for her. This translation may contain errors due to inability to read portions of the letter.]

My dear Brother.

Such terrible news that you have written about yourself and your dear farm! How long have you lived in this dear farmhouse? In your letter you indicate that you now live in Carrollton very close to Henry and Agnes and that it was very painful to tear yourself from your dear home. But we must all get through it, not true? We proceed on a pilgrimage to our destination in Heaven and our Father in Heaven looks down upon us all. We should not be afraid.

Heartfelt greetings to Dear Mary. We would love to hug and kiss you and the dear children and to return you to your dear farm. Old age brings such problems. Old age is tricky even for God himself. Trust this: God is with you and will help you through all this. Believe there is true justice:

Jes 41.10

For sure you should believe such good words. They brighten my spirit and help me through worrisome news. God's help can bring this to us. I am just thankful that at 76 years of age I am still spry and can yet work. I am thankful that Daddy is still with us. Some days he is [demented] – another problem with old age! He is now in his 80th year of life and hopes that he can live until his 80th birthday. For so long we have lived together smoothly.

[?]

For months now Hanny in Paris has worked for Mr. Taker and his small children. She was due 4 weeks vacation. Now comes 3 additional free weeks while the children are staying near Zurich (in a mountain village) in a Minister's home. She wishes to return again to America and will also visit us at the same time. She is overjoyed to be able to see everyone again and yet feels a responsibility for the children. She told this to him [Mr. Taker] and he told her to go on with the trip. I will let you know when she is to depart. It is my prayer that you can see her before you depart for Heaven. That would truly be God's best and most wonderful work.

Migi is well and sends warm greetings and jokes with Karl. Also our Benj is good and works as a porter in Legan. He is happy to be allowed to work for pay, which allows him to help others. So much [?] is in the girls, so much sinful gloom, so much godlessness. You should not be depressed. That is why Our Savior came into our lives and he will hold us and answer our prayers and requests that we offer up. So bring him often into your life and your thoughts.

Also, Jakob is well. Finally, Daddy is yet in the hospital. You have heard that he may never come out, yet he is satisfied and thankful. To help him regain his health we will write to you together. I will close for now and Daddy will write a few lines to you to help pass the day, and they do not go quickly. The mood in his room is blackness. Through God's help we can make it through this. So much sickness -- With loving greetings, Maria

Dear Heinrich! Hearty greetings to you and your dear [remainder of this note is unreadable]. C.Pfister-Borlin, Pfeffingerstrasse 29


December 17, 1921 via Paris, France from Hanna Pfister to her uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

My dearest Uncle. I wish you and your dear family a happy new year. 
I am thinking of you ever so often and hope to see you again.

Much love. Your Hanna.

December 17, 1921 via Paris, France from Hanna Pfister to her uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

December 17, 1921 via Paris, France from Hanna Pfister to her uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Hanna Pfister to her uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Postmarked on 17 December 1921 from Paris, France. 
(Addressed to Mr. Henry Borlin, Carrollton, Illinois, USA)

The French Family Brunswick send their best wishes for New Year to Borlin family.
The Boy Marion expects to kiss you pretty soon.
Brunswick, 15 Rue Molitor, Paris.

Your Carl Pfister

Written in Paris, France from Hanna Pfister's employer (Brunswick Family) to Henry Borlin, Sr.

Written in Paris, France from Hanna Pfister's employer (Brunswick Family) to Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Hanna Pfister's employer (Brunswick Family) to Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Not postmarked, but written in Paris, France. 
(Addressed to Mr. Mr. Borlin, Carrolton, Illinois / USA)


December 23, 1921 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Dear Uncle
Christmas has already passed.
I wish to send you my special wishes for the new year.
May God give you good health.
Heartiest greetings to dear Aunt and all cousins.

Your Carl Pfister

December 23, 1921 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

December 23, 1921 via Basel, Switzerland from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Post card written from Carl Pfister, Jr. to his uncle, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Postmarked on 23 December 1921 from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Addressed to Monsieur Henry Börlin, Farmer; Green Country, Carrolton, Illinois / USA))


February 24, 1922 via Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Basel 20 Feb
My Dear Brother

I think of you so much and so often. How are you and Mary and the children? Do happy memories of your old home still haunt you after such a separation from your farm? All that is now past and your life should be truly secure near your children. How is your health? Old age brings along many afflictions.Also, we hear the Words: We stand for days complaining about things that do not fall to us, but also the Good God promises : I will have you and carry you and catch you – how happy! Also my dear Brother, sometimes we learn from the problems of old age. It will soon be time for us to die and we wish from day to day for mercy and to pass over to our God. Then everything will be all right. We wish your Mary happiness and health. You must be very grateful to have her with you. Daddy is also grateful to have me with him. So long we have lived together! But now so heavy is our separation this winter. It is so long and so cold that it has brought much sickness. Daddy has been in bed much of the time, yet he makes various faces and it goes somewhat better now. We hope he will come home to me. He wants to live until his 80th birthday and to celebrate it with all of his friends. He continues to live in spite of the fact that he has had 3 operations in the past 3 years. On January 5th I brought him back to the hospital for a surgery. He has come through the surgery so well that he was able to travel after 14 days had passed. I am so lucky to have dear Daddy home again.

So we have passed through the night into the light with the Lamb's Blood.

How much we wish you and Mary and your children good greetings. God bless you. How good it is that we may see our children. Hanna is still in Paris with Tom Taker. Karl was there once on a visit. Heart felt greetings to you all. Love from your sister. Marie

February 24, 1922 via Basel, Switzerland from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr.

Letter written from Marie Pfister to her brother, Henry Borlin, Sr., 
Postmarked on 24 February 1922 from Basel, Switzerland. 
(Addressed to Mr. Henry Boerlin; RD3 Carrollton;greene Cty; Nordamerika; Illinois) (Arrived 10 cents due)