I always get thrills when I see something Max wrote. For me, it is a powerful connection between another life and time and I almost feel like I can get a sense of the sort of man that he was. Sometimes I wonder what Max’s handwriting says about him.
For a long time, his signature was the only handwriting of Max’s that I knew existed. It was so carefully penned – his cursive letters are so neat and his last name complete - it doesn’t trail off in the middle as mine tends to do - you can tell that he was proud of every one of those 11 letters in his last name. I think Max’s signature tells us that he was a careful, diligent, and detailed-oriented man; that he was a man of purpose and pride.
The second piece of handwriting that I saw was on the back of a photograph taken on Max’s first day in America. Written in German, he provided the basic details of the photo – the who, what, when, where. When a friend of mine at work translated the caption, she called me and said, oh, Denise, this was very bad German grammar! We laughed about it and figured he was just excited to be in America. I think the handwriting on this photograph tells us about a young man on the brink of a new life…and who maybe wasn’t the best student!
And then there is this. From that box of chocolates. It is a Christmas card – no Dear…, no Love… Written in pencil, it is short and sweet. To the point. Maybe, just like Max.
The story of this card is this – as my mother knows it – Max gave Anna it at Christmas along with 100 dollars, presumably earned...