An excerpt from

I Am First a Human Being: The Prison Letters of Krystyna Wituska
by Edited by Krystyna Wituska translated by Krystyna Wituska

Excerpt from a letter sent from
Moabit Prison, Berlin
25 April 1943

Beloved parents!

I will ask permission to send you all the things which I will no longer need. I am so glad that the other two girls got lighter sentences. I love them both like sisters. People on the outside imagine that someone sentenced to death must go mad from fear and anguish. In fact, it's quite the contrary. Maybe that's because it's beyond comprehension. I couldn't sleep the first night and I cried a bit, but only because of you, my best and most beloved Mummy. I didn't even consider suicide--I will not take on myself the responsibility for my death.

. . .

You must be brave, my best Mummy, hold your had high and forgive me for putting you through this. Maybe?maybe it will still turn out all right. There is plenty of time for sadness. I am also worried about Zbyszek. Better not write to him yet about what happened. He is sad enough right now. I am sure he will not grieve too long; I was for him, at most, a beautiful dream. When we were at the Alex [prison] I prepared him for the worst and he promised me that he would not be silly.

. . .

Spring is magnificent here. The lilacs are in bloom, as are the magnolias and the chestnut trees. I finally got to see a bit of Berlin going to the [military] war court. We drove past the Zoological Gardens. When you see everything bursting with life, it's impossible to think about death.

Once again I beg of you. Hold your heads high. I think of you all the time and send kisses from the bottom of my heart.

Your Tina

Dearest, beloved Mummy, don't cry so much!