Hidden throughout the many levels of Wolfenstein: The New Order are several hidden personal letters that can be picked up and read by the player. While not very important story-wise, these items can provide some background insights into the lives (and probable deaths) of some unseen individuals under the rule of the fascist regime.
Collecting all letters in the game will unlock The Lives of Others achievement.
To: Heinrich Schwartz, Totenkopf-Staffel Nr. 13
Dar es Salaam, Tanganjika
I hope this letter finds you well. I'm sitting outside on the porch of the hospital where I'm recovering from my wounds. A good-looking nurse rolled me out here so I could write to you. A volunteer from Munich, she tells me. Here in Dar es Salaam, afternoon is drawing near. A chilled breeze comes in from the sea and with the breeze comes a smell of fish and rotting seaweed and the almost unbearable stench from the burning bodies by the shoreline.
The view of the land from this location is absolutely gorgeous. I have found Africa to be, in many ways, a wondrous place. It has an air of freedom. A sense of adventure, if you will. I wish you could experience it with me, Heinrich.
I have also seen things I wish could have unseen. Remember how I told you once that I would never regret my decision to quit my education and join the army? To be honest, in the grimmest of moments I have cursed my decision. I still ponder this. But if I left the university, would I not still have felt as lost and... aimless as I did?
Speaking of which, how is Elsa? Have you spoken to her at all? Have you seen her, on Campus perhaps, on the street, or by the river where we used to fish? Maybe I should not ask this, but I do think of her when darkness falls over the desert. It's comforting.
The violence can be tough to handle. Some of the men are losing it. They say we shouldn't even be here, and I understand why they say this. Especially the less experienced ones. They're afraid, you see. Afraid of the guerrilla soldiers. The primitives.
A month ago we were out in the desert. I was piloting my wolf-tank. We were four men in the tank: me, Hausswolff, Günther, and Kellerman. Have you seen these tanks? They came straight out of General Strasse's workshop. They're fueled by nuclear reactors and armed with state-of-the-art weaponry. A troop of wolf-tanks can decimate an entire village in the blink of an eye. However, the one thing these machines of war can't handle is abundant in the desert: Sand.
We didn't see it coming. Somewhere close to the Tanganjikan border, a dust storm blew up out of nowhere. Within minutes, everything was covered in sand. It got into the engines through the cracks in the hull and caused the tanks to malfunction. Suddenly, we found ourselves stranded. We had no choice but to set up camp. There were 20 of us in our squad. We took turns guarding the perimeter.
I was awaken by a blood-curdling scream in the middle of the night. I ran outside. The camp was in a state of absolute chaos. My men running like headless chickens with dark men, primitives, dressed in strips of leather, faces painted red, the whites of their eyes glowing in the darkness, leaped across the camp and gutted and slashed our men. I saw Günther eviscerated where he stood. He tried to hold his guts in, but they slipped through his fingers.
One of the primitives came at me from nowhere and stabbed me in the stomach. I managed to grab my gun and shot him dead. I pulled out the knife and crawled away from the scene and then ran across the desert, the terrible screams haunting me through the night. I was told they kept some of them alive to torture while the dead were hung upside down, disemboweled, and their sexual organs cut off and shoved down their throats.
So, you understand that a lot of the men here, they are beginning to lose their morale. And to a degree, that is understandable.
I, however, will not surrender to these feelings of weakness, no matter how tempting they may be. I will stand by my belief and the ideals of our leader. We are the stronger race and there can be no room for anyone but us. I hope you still feel the same way as I do.
72nd Wolf-Tank Division
PS, if you see Elsa, tell her that I still love her. DS.
Berlin Institute of Moving Pictures
I will not be so presumptuous as to believe that you will remember me. My name is Izabela Borkowski and we grew up in the same city on the border between Germany and Poland. In these days, you lived with your parents in the Frankfurt on der Oder and I lived on the other side of the river, in Dammvorstadt.
What stirred me to write to you was that I saw your movie "The Gifts of Our Fatherland" Yesterday and I was overcome by emotions. Do you remember how we used to swim together in the Oder river after school? How you always made me laugh with the characters you played? You were always so theatrical. So playful. I should have known you'd become an actress, I guess.
You remember how I moved away from home to study chemistry? Well, after the war I couldn't get a job at the university because all the positions were taken by the Germans. My parents had passed away and it was by pure chance I met a sweet couple by the coast. They told me about their asylum for the mentally ill and the woman, who is a pharmacist, offered me a job as her assistant. Her name is Róża Oliwa and she treats me well. She and her husband Krzysztof are remarkable people. I've been very fortunate. Nearly 13 years have I worked here now. I've become very good friends with their daughter, Anya, who works here as a nurse. Sometimes we go to the movies together. I liker her a lot.
The Oliwas have been forced to work for a German commander called "Deathshead". Sometimes, his men come and take patients away. If they come back they are never the same again. I feel so awful for them.
Anyway, If you happen to pass by here, I would be honored to have you as my guest. Maybe I can cook you dinner and we can share a bottle of wine and talk about the old times. I live by myself (I never married, or had kids) These days in a small house by the coastline. It's windy, but beautiful here. You'll find the address on the back of the envelope.
Thank you for your letter,
But I've been thinking about the question you asked me last time we met. "Why has our dear Anya not married yet?" you asked. Well, I think you are asking the wrong question. Have you had a real, honest heart-to-heart conversation with your daughter lately? Do you know just how she feels about what is going on at the asylum? We have heard all the dark rumors about General Deathshead's men and their visits to the clinic. We know what has been happening over there, my child.
Anya came around yesterday with the groceries we asked for (thank you for that). Olenka served her some coffee and pączki. While she ate we tried to speak to her. How was life for her at the asylum? Did she have any friends? Normal questions. But she was not very talkative. She mumbled her answers (my hearing is not so good these days) and avoided eye contact with us. In fact, I could see that a dark shadow had fallen upon her face. As if a mournful ghost had possessed her.
She is heart-broken, don't you understand, Róża? Over what is happening in that place. Over what is happening to all of us. Do you really think she has time, with this darkness filling her soul, to search for a husband?
You have to talk to her. Listen to what she has to say. Anya has a fighting spirit. I know you do too. I remember it from when you were a child. It's time for you and your husband to take a stand, don't you think?
My little Róża. It's been so long now since I've seen you. Please, come visit your old folks soon. We miss you.
Your loving father Roman
To: Father Helmut Hoffman, The Berlin Church of the Third Reich
Dear Father Helmut,
Did you know that in the mythology of the indigenous groups of Peru--the Quechuan people--there's a figure called the 'Pishtaku', or 'the butcher'? They describe him as a white murderer, dressed in a poncho and wide-brimmed hat carrying a sickle, who extracts the fat from the bodies of the Quechuans he kills. It may sound strange, but I think it speaks volumes of the relationship between the indigenous people of this land and the Spanish conquerors who came here long ago.
I've been thinking about the Pishtaku more and more recently, with an accompanying anger brewing in my heart. A month ago I lived close to a family of Quechuans here in Ayacucho, trying to convert them to the Roman Catholic faith. I became friends with the youngest child of the family, a boy named Hastu (which apparently means 'Bird of the Andes'). Hastu has been my guide in all things relating to the culture of the Quechuans. It's quite fascinating, even though I weep for them that they may never come to paradise unless they convert to the true faith.
Two weeks ago, I climbed the mountains of the Andes together with Hastu to visit the sacrificial grounds for 'the Apus' -- the mountain gods. The view from up there was breath-taking, what little breath I had left after that steep climb. I was to be an observer during this ritual to the gods, which involved the sacrifice of a llama. I was to take notes and record their strange rituals and the paraphernalia thereof. Then our soldiers came. I remember a Quechuan shaman calmly walking up to the officer in charge. The officer levelled a gun at his head and shot him clean through. I shouted at them, 'What are you doing?' and he said, 'Stay out of this, Father, this is a sanctioned purge.
They started killing indiscriminately, killing everything that walked or tried to crawl away to safety. I managed to get Hastu to run away, before one of the soldiers knocked me out with the butt of his rifle.
I woke up and there were no Quechuans left in Ayacucho. They were just... gone. I searched for Hastu, but I couldn't find him. Either he was found and shot, or he managed to stay hidden up in the mountains.
It pains me to see all these atrocities committed by my people. I'm reminded, once again, of the Pishtaku. The white murderers who came here and slaughter these people for their own evil purposes. Can you speak to someone, Helmut? Someone who can put a stop to this nonsense. This barbaric nonsense. It cannot go on, in the name of the Lord!
I have packed my bag. Bought warm clothes and sturdy shoes. I've even gotten hold of a gun, for protection. Tonight, I will go up into the mountains and search for my friend Hastu and I hope to see a new dawn when I return.
Wish me luck.
Your devoted friend,
Father Erdmann Krueger
do you remember the red cat?
how it begged by our window and how you fed it shrimps?
or the snail on the porch, who fell down the table into your knee?
do you remember the sunny side of Primrose Hill,
the broken glass of Clapham Pride and the nursery school,
the one you said our politicians killed?
do you remember how your smile turned into tears?
how you flew and flew into my arms
and laughed and kissed music into my ears?
do you remember how your anger turned into fear?
how you listened and listened to talks and talks
and how all the promises disappeared?
do you remember the red cat?
how it craved and how it came back every day?
(I think it belonged to Ms Calloway, I'm not sure,
but it would explain why it didn't when she moved away)
do you remember Moni's smile?
how she laughed and laughed at this clownish snail?
how she ran down the slopes of Primrose Hill
and her first taste of beer and her eyes when blood appear?
or outside the playground?
tears and tears and hugs and all the hugs
and how she danced into the air?
and how I love you dear?
how I love you dear
I'm eight years old and I dance on the edge of white chalk cliffs of Rügen.
The sun is in my eyes, the salty wind in my curly blonde hair. I stop by the Wissower Klinken, dangle my legs over the edge, and I watch the azure coastline of the Baltic Sea. It sparkles beneath the clear blue sky.
Ten years later. I sit underneath a big oak tree on the Berlin University campus, surrounded by friends and they're talking and laughing. I'm grown up now. The boys stare at my body, I can tell. But I'm looking at someone else.
I sit in the back of a movie theater, my arm around the shoulders of a dark-haired girl. We kiss in the dark and I put my hand on her breast. I want her to be my girl. I want to walk her home.
We're naked on the wrinkled sheets of her bed, entangled and writhing. My face is flushed and my eyes are closed and my body is trembling with pleasure. It feels like I'm touching perfection. We share a cigarette afterwards by the window overlooking Kreuzbergstraße.
I'm in a smoky café beneath Unter den Linden holding a copy of my first book, discussing politics and philosophy with my friends. Outside, uniformed men ready their guns. I hear a door slamming open.
I run through the Berlin night, blood and brain matter in my hair and on my face. I climb up the ladders, up the walls of this concrete hell. I'm the persecuted, the misfit, the unwanted blood of Germania.
I stand in a church and the SS officer in front of me puts a ring on my finger. We've created a pact, he and I. A lavender marriage to draw off the scent. My dark-haired lover, the bride's maid, is smiling at me from the back and I smile back at her.
I lie on a hospital bed and I scream as I push one last time. The baby slips out of my body, covered in blood and a waxy white substance. As they place him in my arms, the umbilical cord still connected to my womb and feels warm against my stomach. My words fail to describe how I feel.
I run through the park with my three year old son, through a cloud of mist from the mermaid fountain, and I feel like a child again. I almost forget the ache in my heart; the fear that I harbor of ill deeds to come and the changing of times.
I scream with despair and my face is wet with tears and my eyes are bright red. Two police officers are holding arms. Husband's eyes are downcast, surrendered, and his arms are cuffed behind his back. Paragraph 175, they say. In the corner stands my lover with her arms wrapped around our son. I try to forget the frightened look on their faces as I'm dragged out the door.
I lie here in a bunk bed in Camp Belica and I'm coughing up blood. My hands are broken from the toil in the limestone quarry and I've not eaten in days. Sometimes I meet new friends, but one after the other they die away and I'm left alone again.
The wind blows cold, freezing my bones. I close my eyes. Imagine my son's soft hand slipping into mine. His warm body lying next to me. And we lie in the grass, with the sun in our eyes and the wind in our hair, on the white chalk cliffs of Rügen.
Christa Mann (von Groszheim), Camp Belica 1960
4th October, 1948
My Dear Bobby,
It's Saturday night and the bombs have barely stopped falling when I sit down to write this letter. I'm on the roof of the building where the Auxiliary Fire Service has set up a fire station. I'm drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette and I can still here the klaxons ringing in my ear and the whistling sound the bombs make as they fall from the sky.
From up here, I can see across London. Even in its ravaged state, it's still so sordidly beautiful, isn't it? Old and rough and grimy. My home and my heart.
Thank you for your letters, my love. I can't begin to tell you how much they mean to me. I hope my reluctance to reply has not caused you worries. The reason for this is, and this may sound strange, that I don't want to write untruthfully to you. I've feared I might upset you with my words. However, the truth is better than nothing at all. Wouldn't you agree?
So this is the truth.
London is burning. Smoke plumes rise from the city, like pillars of the earth keeping the sky from crashing down. The all-night bombardments have been unrelenting and each day has been a renewed struggle to hand on to every thread of hope one can find. How can people go on in the face of such remorseless determination? Such senseless killing? I don't know, but I am thankful than they do.
I'm still covered in soot. I can feel the smoke in my lungs. They said women were not supposed to fight in the fires--just manage communications and work in mobile canteen vans and such--but things have changed. An hour ago I was in Canning Town here in East London, the catholic school, do you know it? The school took a terrible hit during the recent bomb raid and we were there trying to put out the fire. The fire raged as if the very gates of hell had opened up.
I was holding the fire hose together with Susie Tuckfield and I saw children stumbling out of the ruins covered in blood and ashes. I heard tiny voices crying out from inside the burning school. One of my colleagues, Brittany, went in to save a little girl on the second floor, but she never came out. She was such a sweet girl.
During the last month, we have lost three of our fellow fire-fighters. All good friends of mine. But life goes on, as it must. At night, everyone in the neighbourhood goes down to a nearby bunker old William McKinley has turned into a bar. People come there to reinvigorate themselves with drinking and singing. It's quite strange to see life continuing as if nothing has happened while the bombs are falling around us. That's Londoners for you, isn't it? Last night, I dreamt of little Johnny again. We were together on the fairground in Brighton, where we used to go during the summer, do you remember? I was kneeling down beside him by the edge of the pier and we looked out at the sea, and you were standing behind me, and it was so blue, Bobby. So blue, like sparkling sapphire, and calm and no one spoke or worried about the war. I held the palm of my hand against Johnny's cheek. He was eating spun sugar and laughed when a spray of water from the breaking waves hit his face. When I woke up, I could still feel the soft skin of his cheek against my palm, like a phantom sensation. I cried for a long time, Bobby. There's not a day goes by I don't think about him.
When you come home, when all this is over and we are together again--I want us to move out to the country then, like we've always dreamt we would. Even if we are poor now, we can make it together somehow. I truly believe that.
I must go now. I can hear the sirens. I'll post this letter on the way out. Promise to send you more.
I miss you so much, Bobby. Come home to me.
All my love,
Daddy and me left mommy at the train station because she had to find my brother. Then the thunder came and everyone got scared but daddy said it would be ok. We went into a cave under the city with lots of other people. Some of them were pushing me but daddy got mad and yelled at them. I have Teddy with me but he has lost an eye and there is no hospital here so the doctors can't fix him.
I don't know how long we will be down here. Will you come and visit us some day? I think your strawberry marmalade is the best especially on toasted bread with lots of butter!
Here is a drawing of me and dad and mom and Jacob.
Love you! Ingrid
To: das Reich Zeitung
I read in your newspaper the other day that you are now accepting contact ads. Being of the adventurous kind, I decided to give this a shot. Here is my ad:
"Dear future wife!
I am a tall, handsome space marine currently stationed on the moon. I have a highly successful career. My awards include: The Long Service Award, the Knight's Cross of Bravery, and the General Assault Badge. Back on earth, I live in an exclusive apartment near the center of Berlin. Being hugely successful in my career, I plan on one day moving to a house on the countryside. But sometimes, in space, it gets lonely without having a wife to come home to. Are you a cute, young girl who likes to cook and clean? Do you have hips suited for bearing many children? Four, five, six, and maybe even twelve? Are you tired of pursuing your own goals and the pressure of success and you want to settle down as a homemaker? Then join me on a romantic date when I get back from my six-month long space mission and I will show you the greatest time you've ever had in your life.
Your future husband, Oberst Dieter"
That's it. Please send all applicant to Crew Module 4, Box 7562489, The Moon.
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