13 November, 2011

13 November 1944

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
Germany
13 November, 1944        1300

My dearest sweetheart –

Monday again and what will this week bring to help shorten the war? We wonder from week to week but I suppose the big-wigs have it all figured out and you’ll no doubt read about it in the papers. Meanwhile we’re carrying on as usual, dear, only I’m finding that I miss home and you more and more these days. I thought I was quite hardened to being away from home, sweetheart, but I guess I never will be and despite the heartache – I’m glad; because I want to go on missing you and the families every day until I get back. I want to be acutely aware of you when I have you again – and so, darling – I must go on missing you and wanting you.

We haven’t received any mail for a few days and could very well do with a little. Delivery will probably be spotty though until after Christmas. I’m pretty well caught up with my correspondence except for 3 or 4 letters I should answer. That reminds me – one letter as yet unanswered, is from Nin. I have a Newton address, but as I understand it, she’s down South. Shall I write her down there, and if so, what is her address?

Yesterday p.m. it was raw and cold out but as I wrote already, we were in dire need of a shower. Well I looked up the spot on a map where there was supposed to be one set-up, but we rode all over the place and finally found one in another location altogther. That happens very frequently; a shower-point is set-up, the map coordinates are published on an administrative order, you track down the spot – and nothing is there. Then you just ride around asking G.I.’s if they’ve seen one around. Anyway after driving about 20 odd miles we did manage to get a nice warm shower and we just did get back before dark. So I’m clean again, dear, and fit to write to you. In the evening we just sat around the Dispensary. We had some grapefruit juice so I produced a bottle of gin I’ve had for some time and the Medical Detachment had a couple of drinks. I got to bed early and was uninterrupted.


Your enclosed clipping concerning Stan’s recent marriage speaks for itself. I don’t know why he insists on misleading people – unless it’s because he misses things so keenly. I’m inclined to believe though that he does it – more often – to impress people with. He has enough good attributes without having to misrepresent himself; it’s a shame he doesn’t realize it and act natural. The Harvard University baloney is an old one and the routine about chain stores I might have expected because for many years now – whatever job Stan had – he always colored. Well – it’s no skin off my elbow and I hope he ends up happy. You once wrote that you thought he’d make a good husband; if he loved a girl, I think so, too. But I don’t believe he loves Betty – as I see it from way over here, and if he doesn’t, she’s going to have a play-boy for a husband.

Great balls of fire! Mail just came in and I have two (2) from you – postmarked 2 and 3 November, one from Lawrence, one from Florence B. and a post-card from my Dad from New York! Not only that – but I got a package and it has me puzzled, dear. It was mailed 15 September – but from New York and so I know it’s not from you. It was mailed from a department store – Altman and Kuhne – apparently direct and I can’t for the life of me imagine who sent it. It is marked not to be opened until Christmas and I’m going to see how long I can wait before opening it. Right now – it has me guessing. When I open it, darling, I’ll let you know.

By the way – the enclosed German money won’t buy you anything, dear, but I though you’d find it interesting. The 100 Mark note, issued in 1908 – had some value before War I; the other 2 notes are an example of what happened after the war – when not only the Central German Government issued money but every county and city was doing the same – until the value of the money ‘was nothing’.

Well, sweetheart, I’ll stop now – because I have some urgent business – reading your letters and you can’t blame me for being in a hurry. Until tomorrow, dear, so long, love to the family and

All my sincerest love –
Greg.

* TIDBIT *

about The Balfour Declaration of 1917
and a Report in Time

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 was in the form of a letter from Arthur James Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, to Baron Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community. Here is the content:
Foreign Office,
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet:
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country".
I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely
Arthur James Balfour
Five years later, "The Mandate for Palestine", the terms of which were confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations, embodied the Balfour Declaration and imposed four main obligations:
To protect and assure access to the Holy Places and religious building or sites.

To place the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People and the development of self governing institutions.

To facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions, and to encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency, close settlement by Jews on the Land.

To safeguard the civil and religious rights of all inhabitants of Palestine irrespective of race and religion, and, whilst facilitating Jewish immigration and settlement, to ensure that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced.
However, the British White Paper of 1939 took a step back from these promises in stating:
In the view of the Royal Commission the association of the policy of the Balfour Declaration with the Mandate system implied the belief that Arab hostility to the former would sooner or later be overcome. It has been the hope of British Governments ever since the Balfour Declaration was issued that in time the Arab population, recognizing the advantages to be derived from Jewish settlement and development in Palestine, would become reconciled to the further growth of the Jewish National Home. This hope has not been fulfilled.
It put forth a revised intent:
His Majesty's Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State. They would indeed regard it as contrary to their obligations to the Arabs under the Mandate, as well as to the assurances which have been given to the Arab people in the past, that the Arab population of Palestine should be made the subjects of a Jewish State against their will... When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a center in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and pride... The independent State should be one in which Arabs and Jews share government in such a way as to ensure that the essential interests of each community are safeguarded. Jewish immigration during the next five years will be at a rate which, if economic absorptive capacity permits, will bring the Jewish population up to approximately one third of the total population of the country... Taking into account the expected natural increase of the Arab and Jewish populations, and the number of illegal Jewish immigrants now in the country, this would allow of the admission, as from the beginning of April this year, of some 75,000 immigrants over the next five years.
Twenty-seven years since the writing of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, as determined Jews fought to bring its promised home for the Jewish people to fruition, the following article about Palestine, titled "Stern Gangsters", was published in Time magazine (13 November 1944):
Palestine's new High Commissioner, Field Marshal Lord Gort, drove ceremonially through Jerusalem's tortuous, tipped-up streets. Crowds shouted (in Hebrew) "Shalom"; (in Arabic) "Salaam." Both words meant peace. But the words were only words: the Holy Land was tense again with trouble. Jews and Arabs had given up open fighting for the duration. But through the Palestine censorship, tightest in the Middle East, trickled tales of Jewish terrorism against the British. Gangs of Jewish gunmen, often disguised in British battle dress, blew up police stations, shot at policemen, had even tried (unsuccessfully) to assassinate Lord Gort's predecessor, High Commissioner Sir Harold MacMichael. The Arabs looked on with the aloofness of camels.

Israel's Freedom Fighters. The troublemakers were not the majority of Jews in Palestine but chiefly a fanatical group of Semite saboteurs who called themselves "Israel's Freedom Fighters," were believed to number about 400 men. Founder of the Fighters was a slender, moody, Lithuanian-born philosophy student named Abraham Stern. When not philosophizing, young Stern wrote poetry, brooded on the unhappy lot of his people. The British Government's White Paper (1939), limiting Jewish immigration into Palestine, convinced Philosopher Stern that the Jews must force concessions from the British at rifle point. He recruited a gang of young Jews from Yemen and ganovim from the ghettos of Poland and Lithuania. They were pledged to "sell their lives dearly." British censorship blanketed many of their achievements. But enough stories of arson, murder and destruction seeped through to show that the Stern gang had succeeded in combining effective sabotage with an ability to evade capture in one of the most closely policed countries in the world. In 1942 the police killed Stern. But his followers continued to enrage the British and outrage responsible Jews. The British placed a $4,000 price on the gang leaders' heads.

Avraham Stern was immortalized
on an Israeli postage stamp in 1978

Anchorites and Dynamite. Then, to augment the Jewish terrorists, there arrived a surprising ally—the Nazis. Three Luftwaffe officers parachuted by night, probably from Crete, into the stony wilderness west of the Jordan Valley. Their twofold mission: to hamper the British war effort, to discredit the Jewish cause. They were discovered a fortnight ago when Arab urchins reported that a low-flying plane had dropped a bag of British money. In a cave once frequented by medieval anchorites police arrested three husky Germans, confiscated their radio sets, machine guns, explosives, and 14 German-made maps of Palestine.

A few days later British police swooped down on 250 Jewish terrorist suspects, whisked them out of Palestine by plane to an undisclosed destination. As the 27th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, (in which the British Government guaranteed "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people), came and went last week, the air was thick with rumors and recriminations. It looked as if trouble-shooting Lord Gort would soon have plenty of trouble on his hands.

Last week the shooting spread to Cairo. Two civilians, not Egyptians, shot and killed Britain's resident minister in the Middle East, Lord Moyne.

[Avraham Stern was born in Suwałki, Poland, not Lithuania as stated in the Time article. During the First World War his mother fled the Germans with him and his brother David. They found refuge with her sister in Russia. When he was separated from his mother the 13-year-old Avraham earned his keep by carrying river water in Siberia. Eventually he stayed with an uncle in St. Petersburg before walking home to Poland. At the age of 18, Stern immigrated on his own to Palestine.]

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