Here is an example of concentration camp inmate post, touched with a personal anguish even more so than most other letters written by prisoners. The brief was written on Christmas Day 1943, by Franz Bayer, a 32 year old Czech born prisoner incarcerated at Konzentrationslager Dachau near Munich. Bayer, born on 15th June 1911 in Dohalitz - nowadays known as Dohalice, near Hradec Králové (Königgrätz) Czech Republic, last resided in Prague before his deportation to the KL system. Before his arrival at Dachau, the prisoner had earlier been sent to KL-Mauthausen near Linz in Austria. Transportation from Mauthausen to Dachau was for most, a welcome change as the conditions - in the work environment especially, improved once the "Knochenmühle" (see note below) had been left behind. After arriving at Dachau on 30th June 1942, Franz Bayer was given the prisoner number 30,714 and later resided in Block VIII. His letter, dated 25.12.1943, was addressed to his family members living back in Prague and begins with heartfelt wishes, greetings and kisses. He continues stating his fine condition - mandatory content when writing from a concentration camp, thanking God for his health, before thanking his family for the Christmas parcel that he has just received - likely a sweater or other warm garment. Bayer writes that the note from his child was pleasing to receive. Turning to life at the camp, he writes that in the morning they will return to work. Later, he sends Christmas and New Years wishes to his parents, family and friends, before signing off "your father and Franz". The sadness of separation from his loved ones must have been almost unbearable, yet perhaps the thought of meeting them again helped Bayer through some of the darkest moments of his life. On 29th April 1945, Konzentrationslager Dachau was liberated by US forces. Franz Bayer was among the thousands freed at the main camp.
NOTE: "Knochenmühlen", meaning "bone mills" was a term used to describe the harsh grade III concentration camps, i.e. the camps directly connected to a stone quarry exploited by the DEST (German Earth and Stone Works) organisation such as those at Gross-Rosen, Natzweiler Flossenbürg and Mauthausen. Working conditions at these camps were horrific, with life expectancy far shorter than at most of the lower grade camps. Thus, transfer from Mauthausen to Dachau was generally seen as a welcome move by the prisoners.