Letters of Hope - Helga to Sajeda

Letters of Hope - Helga to Sajeda

Publication info


Leading up to the five-year mark of the Syrian war, CARE invited a handful of former World War II refugees — original CARE Package recipients in 1940s Europe — to write letters of hope to Syrian refugee children. Some truly moving connections have emerged between people who, though separated by decades and distance, share so much.

Dear Sajeda!

Greetings to you from the mountains in Colorado! It is winter here and the snow is beautiful against the blue sky!

Our good friends at CARE gave me your name last week and told me of your circumstances at this time. They also mentioned that your interest are in music and writing etc. We both have a lot in common! I know firsthand what it is like to lose a home and become a refugee. There was the Second World War in Europe – 1939 to 1945. I grew up in Berlin, Germany during that time. In February 1945 there were terrible Air Raids in our town. My father lost his life during a Raid and our house was also hit by a bomb and we lost everything.

My mother and I were lucky to be able to take one of the last trains out of the city! Our last possessions were in one suitcase. There were hundreds of people on the train and more tried to get on at other stops. We found refuge in the State of Bavaria, where it was very peaceful and quiet except the people there were not very friendly and did not like the idea to have to share their houses with strangers! The war was over soon after our arrival there. The Americans occupied the area and that was the time I met my future husband there! He returned to his home in 1946, and we wrote many letters to each other until I got permission to travel to the United States. Meanwhile the situation in Bavaria was very bad. We were so hungry and that is where CARE came to the rescue. My husband’s family sent us several CARE Packages over time and what a surprise that was; we portioned all the good things out over time and enjoyed every bit of it.

It is never easy to have to leave one’s homeland! Always remember the good times and look forward to what the future may bring. It is always difficult to adjust to living in a different country – I know!

I hope this letter reaches you, and we want you to know you are in our thoughts!! We thank CARE for giving us this chance to write to you.

I am interested in music – I play guitar. I like to write and have been reading good books all my life! We live in a small town, the mountains all around us. There are lots of woods and many wild animals come by and pay us a visit!

Dear Sajeda – it was a pleasure to be able to chat with you today!

Best wishes to you.

Greetings across the miles!

Helga and Leo

Special Delivery: Letters of Hope to Syrian Refugees by CARE USA on Exposure