Lot #1190
Audrey Hepburn

Extremely early ALS, written shortly after the end of World War II, “I don’t believe I need write to you about these bygone years, I am sure you are able to realize the horror of it all. We lost many dear friends and relations, one of which was Uncle Otto…who was shot as a hostage by the Germans. Our women’s job, as over the whole world, was to keep the homefront as cheerful as possible…I worked at the Arnhem dance school…gave performances at the theatre but had to be
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Description

Extremely early ALS, written shortly after the end of World War II, “I don’t believe I need write to you about these bygone years, I am sure you are able to realize the horror of it all. We lost many dear friends and relations, one of which was Uncle Otto…who was shot as a hostage by the Germans. Our women’s job, as over the whole world, was to keep the homefront as cheerful as possible…I worked at the Arnhem dance school…gave performances at the theatre but had to be

Incredible early ALS signed with her pet name “Ausky,” four pages, 6.5 x 10, personal letterhead, November 3, 1945. During the 1930s Hepburn lived with an English family at Elham in Kent. She was the daughter of the Baroness von Heemstra of Holland, and was known as Audrey Ruston (her father’s last name). This letter was written from Amsterdam and was the first she was able to send to her family after the liberation following WWII; it evokes the beauty and peace of prewar Kent and, in striking contrast, details the privations she later endured during the war. The long letter reads, in part: “How lovely it is to sit here and write a letter to you in England…how often I longed to sit out on the lawn…or to have a good old fashioned walk with Dimple down the vicarage lane and back by running hill…I can’t tell you how unhappy I was at the news of Dad’s death. Elham without him, and all the memories of him seems unbearable…I don’t believe I need write to you about these bygone years, I am sure you are able to realize the horror of it all. We lost many dear friends and relations, one of which was Uncle Otto…who was shot as a hostage by the Germans. Our women’s job, as over the whole world, was to keep the homefront as cheerful as possible…I worked at the Arnhem dance school…gave performances at the theatre but had to be pretty careful being an English girl, which was unforgivable to a German’s state of mind! (If he had one!). After the para-troop landing…didn’t come off…I had to stop that because of the terrible food shortage. The weeks dragged by without food, running water, electricity and a 6 o’clock curfew on. Then the end of March came and the allied firing started in our direction. Then came the weeks of cellar life because of the shelling in our village…on the 16th of April we were liberated…and found half of the village gone and a great deal of our house gone. We were too happy to mind anything else than the liberation. I was thin as a fishing rod but soon grew fat as a tub through all the food I was given by the English…A great big kiss from ever your own little Ausky.” In fine condition, with expected mailing folds and some light wrinkling. The letter refers to the recipients, Mr. and Mrs. Butcher, as “Mum and Dad.” R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #298 - Ended June 22, 2005