13e 1935 MANON'S DEATH
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HOLLNSTEINER Since your wife Alma is in a weakened condition due to her ordeal of the past few days she unfortunately will not be able to inform you herself. But since she does not want you to be left in the dark any longer she asked me to report to you on the last days of your daughter. Will you allow me to take the liberty of doing so?
GROPIUS Yes. Of course. - With pleasure.
HOLLNSTEINER You see - until the Saturday before Easter Manon's state of health was actually quite normal. Of course we noted that the symptoms of the paralysis wore off very, very slowly and that an x-ray treatment had initially resulted in a slight fever and headache, so we considered the treatment ineffective. Quite unexpectedly the child started to vomit and as the doctor on call was not able to stop this and her pulse appeared to have weakened, more specialists were immediately summoned. Professor Poelzl took leave from Werfel in a very hopeful mood that same evening and said: "You will celebrate a wonderful Easter tomorrow." Unfortunately however the night did not go as well as had been anticipated, and on the morning of Easter Sunday little Mutzi required my presence so urgently, that I drove at 100 km/hour from Upper Austria to Vienna in a hastily borrowed car. I found your daughter in a very serious but not yet hopeless state.
It was probably a flare-up of the initial disease, brought about by insignificant but still inexplicable causes. Nevertheless they resulted in toxic manifestations of the organism that lead to a paralysis of the gastro-intestinal tract. But then signs of paralysis of the larynx and the alimentary canal were once again diagnosed.
We tried every conceivable treatment and the child responded surprisingly well at first, so the doctors left the house that night with an optimistic prognosis, and of course Werfel and I stayed nearby. As on previous nights one doctor stayed behind, to spend the night awake at your daughter's bedside together with Mrs. Alma and two nurses. The decisive worsening came to pass in the morning, causing the physician to employ every possible treatment and technique at his disposal.
When the situation seemed indisputable to us all, you were given notice at once, in the natural expectation you would board the first available airplane and hurry to your daughter's sickbed. We believed that a telegram describing your child's mortal danger would convince the official authorities to permit you to enter the country without difficulty. But
so be it.
In any case towards 11 o'clock the doctors informed me that they had exhausted all possibilities and that the time had come for me to fulfil my duties as a priest. Manon's strength vanished progressively and
with her clear eyes gazing into another world, her lips forming the delicate smile that was so well known to all of us, she at last passed over quietly and without struggle into the other realm. It was around three in the afternoon. Acute paralysis of the gastro-intestinal tract was diagnosed to be the cause of death. A medical officer gave instructions that the funeral should be carried out as soon as possible. we had planned to lay Mutzi out in state in the parish church. Your fatherly wishes were taken into consideration, but unfortunately could not be realised since the announcements could already be read in the newspapers and it was already too late for the most essential and meaningful purpose of your trip. Since I knew that Mutzi had silently waited in eager expectation of your arrival, the last desperate yearning of your child would in the end not have been satisfied by your mere attendance at her funeral.