Help Translating German Cursive on Old Postcards (Anneliese and Helmut)

I was stationed in Germany nearly 30 years ago (that sure makes me feel old to say), and I went to a flea market and bought a shoebox that had nearly 100 postcards in it. About 80% of them are used/written/stamped/mailed, and at the time, I bought it for that small percentage that was unused. The cards were mostly from Germany, with a few from Italy and France.
Now that I am finally working 1 job vs 2, I want very much to go back to these cards, research their history and provenance, and learn a bit of history and culture if I can, from their content. I know a smattering of German words from when I lived there, and can do translations from the printed words, but my problem comes from the personal notes and addresses that are written in cursive.
BIG ask here … is there someone who speaks German and is able to read the cursive, that I could ask help understanding the personal messages? I am hoping there is someone, like me, who is fascinated with these glimpses of the past, and would find it just as interesting. The dates range from the very late 1930s to the early 1940s and I am keenly and genuinely interested in learning a little bit about these cards, and the places and people involved. I loved my brief time in Germany, and am very much enjoying making new Postcrossing friends every day. Please let me know if you’d like to help, if you have the ability to read the cursive.


I will write you a message

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Dear Winnie,

That‘s a great idea. Unfortunately the older cursive is often to complicated for me. I wish you much joy with your project.

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I would offer my help, too.

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I cannot help, my German ain’t that good. However I wanted to ask if it would be possible, if some of the cool ones could get shared in a topic? I’m kinda curious to the contents as well!

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I already had someone respond and help translate the first one. Actually several people did. And it was very sweet - I will share the front of the card and the written message now, along with the translation. A few folks told me they can’t read cursive but are intrigued by the card and it’s history, and hoped I would share it - Glad to…

Front of Card: “The Steamer Pier in Dresden” (1941 or 42)

Written message on back is:

Meine liebe Annelies! Die erste Post von mir an Deinen neuen Namen, mein kleiner Racker! Habe heute [ehrlich?] gar nichts erreicht, es ist direkt schade um den Tag, den ich ja viel lieber bei Dir gewesen wäre. Sitze augenblicklich im Soldaten- [?] und habe mir das Abendbrot schmecken lassen. Morgen hörst du ausführlich von mir.
Mit den herzlichsten Grüßen Dein [? His name]
Viele Grüße an Mutti

My dear Annelies! The first mail from me to your new name, my little rascal! Today I have achieved nothing [honestly], it is a pity for the day, which I would have much rather spent with you. At the moment I am sitting in the soldier-[?] and I have enjoyed the dinner. Tomorrow you will hear from me in detail.
With warmest regards, yours [?].
Many greetings to mom

Old postcards like this offer such precious glimpses of folks who have gone before us. I’ll keep em’ coming!


Very cool!

I think the “ehrlich” is actually “absolut” (as in absolutely nothing).

The other word is Soldatenheim (soldiers’ home) and his name is Helmut.


That is so neat. I am very encouraged at knowing how many folks share my love of history and the “little biographies” we get of people from old postcards like these. So many people offered to help translate - and so many others said they can’t read cursive but would still love to see them, so for the next ones, I will go ahead and post front and back so everyone can enjoy them together.


Thank you, Cassiopheia! After I scan the next card, I am going to go ahead and post front and back. There was a good deal of interest! :grin: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

Thanks! This is what I read there and I wasn’t sure about these parts but what you say makes sense :grin:


This is really cool, thanks for sharing, and thanks to the others for reading and translating.


OK, I have one more card today - and then I must wait until next week before getting to another one. This is so interesting, I could spend way more time than I should - you know how it is. :grimacing:

Front of Card: “Gretl Theimer” (With Chow)

From my research: Gretl was a ballet dancer, singer and actress, born in Nov 1910 in Austria-Hungary (Wein). She had a very active film career between the ages of 20-30 (between 1930 and 1940). After 1940, she did not make another movie until 1952 and her career declined quickly. Other information about her is scarce, but it is clear she was enthusiastic about Chows, as she posed for 3 different portraits holding at least 2 different Chows.

6 pfenning green stamp, issued in 1933, bears image of President Paul von Hindenberg. The date Nov 21 is clearly written by the sender and the postmark appears to be the next day, but the year is unreadable (to me).

The postal marking left of the stamp (I think) says, “Benutzt die Luftpost”, which translates to, “Use the Airmail”. This makes sense, because 1934 was the year Germany issued a series of specific airmail stamps.

This one looks tougher, and looks like maybe two or even three different people wrote on the message? Any help is greatly welcomed.


I just love this! Thank you for sharing and thank you to the translators💐

I can hardly wait till next week :heart_eyes: I will definitely be watching this thread!

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Magdeburg, den 21./11.
Vielen Dank für Deinen lie-
ben Brief. Habe nur jetzt wenig Zeit,
wir haben schon gut zu tun. Heute
war deine Mutti bei mir im Geschäft,
denn sie hat Mutter auf dem Friedhof
besucht. Viele Grüße soll ich Dir noch
ausrichten von Deiner Mutti. Mit dem
Bild hast Du uns auch eine große
Freude bereitet, ich habe gar nicht mehr
daran gedacht. Wenn du am 21./12.
von dort kommst besucht du uns doch
sicher. Einen ausführlichen Brief möchte
ich Dir ja noch einmal schreiben,
dann fällt die Karte aber weg.

[Text on the top:]
Herzlichen Gruß f Annelie
Senden Kim [?] Rudi
Wir haben alle sehr gelacht,
Daß du es wirklich wahr gemacht
Sahn wir doch, daß unsre Nichte

Magdeburg, 21./11.
Thank you for your lovely letter. I have only little time now, we have a lot to do. Today your mom came to my store, because she visited mother at the cemetery. I am to tell you many greetings from your mom. You have also brought us great joy with the picture, I have no longer thought of it. When you come from there on 21/12. you surely visit us. I would like to write a detailed letter to you again, but then the card will be omitted.

[Text on the top:]
Best regards f[for] Annelie
Send Kim [?] Rudi
We all laughed very much,
That you really made it true
We saw that our niece
Really sat on a spruce
Many regards
[a name].


I guess it’s the same Annaliese and it looks like this is written by her aunt or uncle (or both. Probably they are Kim and Rudi?)
@Wynnie are all the postcards addressed to her?
If that’s the case, I guess she died and then her postcards were sold at the flea market. (I see that often)
It would be very interesting to see what happened in her life. Now we already know of 2 places where she lived and both of her last names :smile:


(also, I would have loved to see the picture she sent to her relatives, with her sitting on the tree :smile: sad that we’ll never see it)

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I don’t think it’s “Kim”, it looks more like some kind of last name (Kinnars or Hinnars?) that he put in front of his first name Rudi for the sake of the rhyme.

This thread is great, I love such old postcards, too! :smile:

:green_heart: :fox_face:


Possible. I think the names are the hardest words to read - other words can be guessed from the context but names are just random :sweat_smile:


I cannot help you with your task (I don’t know German), but I did want to point you to a couple of resources that may help in case you cannot find someone to help with all 52 cards. The older cards may use a form of script called Sütterlin – beautiful but also rather challenging for most of us to read!

I hope you can find someone who can help you out :slight_smile:

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I think it is “Minna”, as the name “Kim” would’ve been absolutely unusual at this time. Between Minna and Rudi I guess it’s the sign for “and” ("&" or “et”, in cursive).