This year, a handful of Germans are getting special, though extremely late, seasons greetings. Hidden for more than seven decades after they were stolen in defiance of the Nazi occupation of Jersey, cards written by German troops are finally being delivered.
With their romantic snow-covered pine trees, narrow handwriting and envelopes stamped with the Nazi imperial eagle, the letters arriving at some German households this holiday season are certainly a novelty.
It has taken 71 years for them to reach their destinations, and the addressees of the 86 letters have long since died. They were the friends and relatives of German soldiers stationed on the British island of Jersey in 1941. A batch of letters from the occupying force was secretly held for decades after they were stolen in an act of defiance against the occupiers. They turned up several years ago when an anonymous man donated them to the Jersey Archive, where they were translated and documented. Now, they have finally been sent.