The following text is an excerpt from a letter Jupp wrote to a friend on November 17th, 1941. He had received his release papers two weeks prior to writing this letter, on his 34th birthday, but was still to stay behind barbed wire for at least another six months.
It is nearly 15 months now that we are in Australia. At first, I was rather in a bit of a daze. Many things had happened, revolting things, distressing things, saddening things, bitter things – that had to sear up a bit. People are mostly engaged with their little personal pets + worries, disregarding the things that really matter. A weary sight if there is so much of it. Physically I was somewhat down + the climate was not just easy to get adjusted to. But though these three rows of barbed wire still keep tearing at my heart – with regaining a better physic I got my balance back, the sense of proportions reappeared + and is still sound and there.
This time of internment not necessarily needs be lost time, it depends on what one uses time + conditions for. Physically, a prison restricts movement, which is nothing much new to our like. Mentally it is more difficult. It hurts to be locked up “by mistake” with excuses at best, and some parts of that unreasonable heart are necessarily starving. These mental + emotional worries will get anybody down who fills his mind on them. Once the mind is got away from FIXING itself on these wrongs + privations – fixing it instead on something which lies in that old direction, the “Leitmotiv” not only since last fall – once this is done, the spell is broken. And you go on cheerfully, seeing life and power is not entirely wasted, not as far as the sake of life is concerned.
There are some other things to learn besides which I never thought I’d learn in prison, as for instance to work, undisturbed by the din of talking voices, scraping feet + banging doors. And when at last I’ll leave that barbed wire behind me I will be stronger than I was before, more serene + more determined, with a better knowledge of myself + of other people. This, I hope, will be of help in future efforts towards a world order which is fit for human beings to live in, live and be human. With this I will start another New Year – + many more to come, I hope – . And I am glad knowing that I shall not be alone on that long and arduous journey.