...Unfortunately, the Christmas I have to tell about was not beautiful, but we were comfortably warm. Our position is right on the banks of the Volga. We got hold of some rum; it was thin but tasted marvelous. My buddy brought something with him from division headquarters: ham and meatjelly. I suppose he swiped it from the kitchen, but it tasted magnificent, and they have more, else he couldn't have swiped it. Bread is mighty scarce. So we made pancakes: flour, water, salt, and underneath it ham in the pan. The flour wasn't exactly homegrown either. This is the fourth Christmas since the war started, but this time was the saddest of all. We will have to make up for it all when the war is over, and I hope that next year we can celebrate Christmas at home.
We have been in Stalingrad for three months now and still have not made any headway. It is rather peaceful here, but on the other side, on the steppes, they are fighting. The fellows there don't have it as good as we do. But that's their bad luck. Perhaps it will be our turn soon, because their losses are heavy. But the best thing is not to think about it. And yet you keep thinking about it; if you haven't anything to do for 24 hours but daydream, your thoughts turn towards home. Did all of you think of me on Christmas Eve? I had such a strange feeling, and it sometimes does happen that you feel it when someone thinks of you.