6 December 1870
I am at Spandau where you made your First Communion in the sacristy. In this sacristy, I vest every day to say Mass and to preach to the French prisoners.
I have been named Chaplain to the five thousand three hundred  French prisoners of war who are here. 500 are sick with typhus and dysentery so that I am fully occupied.
Every morning, about 400 of these soldiers are conducted here with their company to my Mass, in such a way that they are all obliged to come and see me in turn.
Then I go to the hospital to minister to the sick, and in the afternoon I go to the barracks to visit those who are well.
Pray hard for their conversion. Those who are well have not all been to confession yet.
Servant of God Hermann Cohen
Father Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, O.C.D.
Letter to his sister Henrietta
6 December 1870
Note: Hermann Cohen contracted smallpox while ministering to the French prisoners of the Franco-Prussian War who were detained at Spandau prison. He died on this date, 20 January 1871.
Tierney, T 2017, A Life of Hermann Cohen: From Franz Liszt to John of the Cross, Balboa Press, Bloomington, IN
Featured image: Winter 1870/71 is an oil on wood panel painting by Christian Sell (German, 1831–1883) depicting the bitter winter of the Franco-Prussian War. A German uhlan, seated upon his horse, escorts French prisoners of war. Hermann Cohen went to Spandau to minister to French prisoners of war from this conflict. Image credit: Christian Sell / Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).