Donnerstag, 13. Dezember 1917 – Schweizer Aerztemission in Eng-land: Kiss the children

Vom 17. September bis zum 25. Oktober unternahm eine schweizerische militärärztliche Kommission für Austausch und Internierung der Kriegsgefangenen eine Reise nach England. Mitglied dieser Kommission war auch der Psychiater Franz Beda Riklin, der in früheren Blogbeiträgen unter anderem aus seiner Zeit als Militärarzt im Welschland berichtet hatte (vgl. Beitrag vom 17. August 1917).

In einer Broschüre, die 1918 erschien, schilderte Riklin seine Eindrücke, unter anderem von der Furcht vor Luftangriffen (Air-Raids). Auch die Lithographie für die Titelseite stammt von ihm (Ausschnitt daraus im Beitragsbild). Möglich ist, dass er, noch unter dem Eindruck der Reise, seine Erlebnisse in der Vorweihnachtszeit festhielt und an dieser Abbildung arbeitete. Bereits zuvor hatte er in verschiedenen Briefen an seine Frau über die Reise berichtet. Er schrieb in etwas holprigem Englisch, weil die Korrespondenz die Zensur passieren musste.


Aus dem Grosvenor Hotel in London berichtete er am 10. Oktober 1917 nach Hause: My dear, Today we leave London, going back to Stafford. We will have quite hard work for some days and see about 1200 men again. Few and few the time approaches where we will be once more happily together. When you get this letter, we will already be travelling in France. Possibly Dr. Vischer [Leiter der Delegation?] is sending you a special enveloppe, but I don’t know if it reaches you before my return. Yesterday I visited Mrs Rider, Mr. McCormicks friend. She is a very nice and interesting American woman; I will see her the day we stop in London on our backway. She told me quite openly her opinion about the McCormicks. Don’t write mor[e] after getting this letter. I hope you to be still in good conditions. I have learned here a lot how to meet people. It gets cold, without heating, so in the evening I begin to get cold feet. I am in best health. Few and few I get enough about this sejour and will be very glad to work again at home, and very happy to continue the life with you together again. With best regards to mother and all people interested to us. Kiss the dear babys. Sincerely Yours Franz.

Zwei Tage später (12. Oktober 1917) notierte er in Stafford: My dear love, Since yesterday, we are once more here to work in the camp near here. A lot of work. I like the moore-country where we go everyday. The weather begins to get bad. Since I am here, I have a certain feeling of awakening, so I make the constatation that in London I was not quite «awaken», without feeling it. I hope to get of your news tomorrow or Sunday. We have to work here in every case until Thursday evening, and still two or three days in two other camps; so we will [be] back in London about at the end of the week, and stop in London for two days. So we will be travelling back, leaving London about the 15th; when we go to the front, it will take about another week, so that you will expect me about the 22th, I hope really not later. I am very anxious to get of your news the next days. Kiss the children. All my best wishes and  kindest regards. Yours truly Franz.

Erneut zwei Tage später war er immer noch in Stafford. Der Brief vom 14. Oktober ist der letzte überlieferte aus der Ehekorrespondenz zwischen Franz Beda Riklin und seiner Ehefrau aus dem Jahr 1917: My dear love, This morning I got your letter; it is very agreable every times [sic] to know that all is in order – except this vagabond which [sic] went in the Chalet at Laui-Alp [?]. It is rather peculiar that it happenes [sic] the first time after nine years. Don’t Forget to advertise the insurance compagny [sic]; Schlumpf at Alt-St. Johann is the Agent. Took this vagabonds the silver? Ugly people! Here all is well; I like so much this moor-country near here. – In ten days I hope to be at home; I will telegraph you when I arrive at Geneva; it is useless before; the telegramme would reach you to[o] late. Here we are well-nursed [?], about like children, exceedingly carefully. I got as cadeau «The first hundred thousand», which you shall write. I am rather inclined to write down some charactaristical [sic] impressions and thoughts; I tried such a sketsch [sic], and I think it is not too bad. The next place we stop is Derby, the last before returning. The weather is not unpleasant; autumn indeed, and the motordriving every morning and evening wonderful. Kiss the babys all together. Kindest regards. Yours Franz.

Nächster Beitrag: 21. Dezember 1917 (erscheint am 21. Dezember 2017)

Quellen: Staatsarchiv St.Gallen, W 106 (Nachlass Franz Beda Riklin) und Riklin, Franz: Impressionen aus England, Zürich 1918 (Beitragsbild und erstes Zitat)

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