05 October, 2011

05 October 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
5 October, 1944          0915

Good Morning, Sweetheart!

I can remember when writing you at 0900 was almost routine i.e. the time – and now that hour is an unusual one for me. I’d rather write you, dear, in the a.m. than later on because usually I’m less confused and haven’t been tearing around. I should have kept quiet – 2 patients just walked in and I have just returned to this after a 20 minutes lapse; and here I go again – 3 more –

Well, darling, it is now 1015 and I didn’t get very far. Nothing very important – just a lot of dressings. One case is a little more interesting than the others – a fellow who fell on his ear a couple of days ago and tore it almost in half. I repaired it but I’m watching him closely because cartilage heals very poorly and his laceration went right thru the cartilage. They’re all gone now and all I have to contend with now, I hope , is the office ‘help’ – which consists at present of 2 other officers and 7 enlisted men.

Last night, darling, I tried to break up the more or less persistent little blue streak I’ve had recently. Six of us apparently felt the same way because we dug up an old liquor supply and really tied one on by ourselves. We stayed up until all hours – singing, yelling etc. – and I’m glad to report – that in that respect, anyway – dear, I am not aging. Also – the next morning I am apparently unaffected – because although a couple of the boys couldn’t eat their breakfast – I have no after effects that I’m aware of.


Boy! You really got my mouth watering in your description of those Christmas Packages – topped off by brownies. And I don’t see why you won’t tell me what else is coming. After all – well never mind. I’ll “sweat it out”. I sure hope they come in good shape – most of them do, too, from what I’ve seen. I’ll thank you now, sweetheart, for your thoughtfulness.

It used to be so easy to send things to the States from England and in the early days – from Normandy – but now things are all fouled up. We hear all kinds of contradictory stories – that this or that may or may not be sent, that you can’t buy things to send home, that you can send one sort of souvenir and not another, and that some articles are kept by the censor and never returned. Anyway – I’ve got a couple of things I’m going to take a chance on, sweetheart, and I hope the package gets to you – and aaah – I won’t tell you what I’m sending.

Incidentally, dear, I had a ‘conference’ with my official packer and shipper in re the clock and I think we’re going to try to send it out. I might as well take a chance because I don’t see how I can get it home any other way, dear.

Your letter telling me about your being able to wait if I can – was sweet, dear; I guess you know how it is with me. I love you, sweetheart, more than anything else in the world, I want you to be my wife – that is, my first and most important goal when I return. I was thinking about it the other day – and it occurred to me that I will be a mighty busy fellow when I get back. These are the things I’ll want to do – and all at about the same time: 1. Marry you dear 2. Buy a car 3. Decide where my office will be located and probably refinish my furniture 4. Decide with your advice and help where we’ll live 5. Furnish the place where we’re going to live 6. – and not in the right order – Have a honeymoon. Sounds like fun – darling, doesn’t it? For after all – you will be an integral part of it all.

In case you don’t know it – darling, it is now 1115 – which gives you an idea of how hard it is to write sometimes without interruption. I guess you find it the same when you write from your office. I’m so glad you are working dear – because it must be making your time go much better.

Before I close – the enclosed ‘bracelet’ was made by the same fellow in my medical detachment, but this time I got hold of the coins from various sources – and you have a chunk of Europe there. Unfortunately these coins don’t hold a polish – and we can’t get any silver plating done – although that would be the thing to do. Anyway – do with it what you wish, dear.

Coin Bracelet - Bottom
Coin Bracelet - Top









Top, Clockwise from clasp: 1939 Soviet 10 Kon, 1911 German 5 Pfennig,
1925 Polish 20 Groszy,1942 Netherlands 10 cents, 1941 Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (Czech Republic today) 1 Koruna, 1938 French 1 Franc,
1933 Belgian 1 Franc, 1941 Romanian 2 Lei, 19? German 1 Pfennig

All for now, sweetheart. Must close now – with love to the folks and

All my deepest love to you.
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

about The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia

One of the coins on the bracelet Greg sent to Wilma was from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Most of the following information on that land comes from Wikipedia.

The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (German: Protektorat Böhmen und Mähren; Czech: Protektorát Čechy a Morava) was the majority ethnic-Czech protectorate which Nazi Germany established in the central parts of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia in what is today the Czech Republic.


It was established on 15 March 1939 by proclamation of Adolf Hitler from Prague Castle following the declaration of the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic on 14 March 1939. Bohemia and Moravia were autonomous Nazi-administered territories which the German government considered part of the Greater German Reich. The Gestapo assumed police authority. Jews were dismissed from the civil service and placed in an extralegal position. Political parties were banned, and many Communist Party leaders fled to the Soviet Union. The population of the protectorate was mobilized for labor that would aid the German war effort, and special offices were organized to supervise the management of industries important to that effort. Czechs were drafted to work in coal mines, the iron and steel industry, and armaments production; some young people were sent to Germany. Consumer goods production, much diminished, was largely directed toward supplying the German armed forces. The protectorate's population was subjected to strict rationing.

German rule was moderate during the first months of the occupation. The Czech government and political system continued in formal existence. Gestapo activities were directed mainly against Czech politicians and the intelligentsia. The eventual goal of the German state under Nazi leadership was to eradicate Czech nationality through assimilation, deportation, and extermination of the Czech intelligentsia, not just here but throughout all of Europe. The intellectual elites and middle class made up a considerable number of the 200,000 Protectorate people who passed through concentration camps and the 250,000 who died during German occupation. It was assumed that around 50% of the Czechs would be fit for Germanization.

On 27 September 1941, the Reich adopted a more radical policy in the Protectorate. The Czech government was reorganized, and all Czech cultural organizations were closed. The Gestapo indulged in arrests and executions. The deportation of Jews to concentration camps was organized, and the fortress town of Terezín was made into a ghetto way-station for Jewish families. Of the Czech Jews who were taken to Terezin, 15,000 were children. Only 132 of those children were known to have survived.

SS hardliner Reinhard Heydrich was appointed Deputy Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia. He died on 4 June 1942, after being wounded by an assassin. Following directives issued by Heinrich Himmler, Heydrich's successor, mass arrests, executions and the destruction of the villages of Lidice and Ležáky were ordered. In 1943 the German war effort was accelerated, and some 350,000 Czech laborers were dispatched to the Reich from Bohemia and Moravia. Within the Protectorate, all non-war-related industry was prohibited. Most of the Czech population obeyed quiescently up until the final months preceding the end of the war, while some thousands were involved in a resistance movement.

Non-Jewish Czech losses resulting from political persecution and deaths in concentration camps totaled between 36,000 and 55,000. The Jewish population of Bohemia and Moravia (118,000 according to the 1930 census) was virtually annihilated. Many Jews emigrated after 1939 but more than 70,000 were killed. 8,000 survived at Terezín and several thousand Jews managed to live in freedom or in hiding throughout the occupation.

The extermination of the Romani population was so thorough that the Bohemian Romani language became totally extinct. Romani internees were sent to the Lety and Hodonín concentration camps before being transferred to Auschwitz-Birkenau for gassing. The vast majority of Romani in the Czech Republic today are actually descended from migrants from Slovakia who moved there during the post-war years in Czechoslovakia.

The existence of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia came to an end in 1945 with the surrender of Germany to the Allies of World War II and the reconstitution of Czechoslovakia. In 1993, the Republic of Czechoslovakia was divided into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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