19 March, 2012

19 March 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
19 March, 1945      0930
Germany

Wilma darling –

Happy first of the week to you – or something! That means it’s Monday, dear – but I’m not blue. Why am I happy? Because I love you and you love me – and that’s good enough reason – too.

We got some mail yesterday and mine included a recent copy of the Boston Herald – 12 September, a letter from you of 5 December, but also one from 5 March – which of course compensated for everything else. Oh – there was a letter from Mrs. Tucker in Salem; I hadn’t heard from here in a long time. And – another V-mail from you, darling, without any date! Now how in the world am I going to compare the relative speed between letters – if I can’t compare the dates! Will you tell me that, huh! What’s this about only V-mail going by Air from now on? We haven’t heard about it over here at all – but I don’t think they really mean it.


Your old letter of December – asked me a very pertinent question, namely: do I think I can fill the bill as your husband? And the answer is, modestly, of course, yes! You were discussing the attention you – as a wife – would want, and would be willing to give; and you said it would be 50-50, of course. That 50-50 is a very interesting expression – and it’s too literal interpretation has led to much trouble, I’m sure. The point about married life, I think, is that situations are bound to arise which call for one member to give 60 or 70 – as against 25 perhaps – at any one time; that member will at some time receive that much or more, in return. There may be a time – more than one – when the situation looks like a 60-40 arrangement; that may be all right, too, so long as it isn’t permanent – because later it will become 40-60. The point I’m trying to make, dear, is that married life should be flexible; you can’t lay down the rules as you do in a ball game and live up to them always. There must be times when allowances, interpretations, giving in, trying to understand – makes the balance swing back and forth; but so long as both parties share in the swing of the pendulum – it all equals up. And – on the whole – I think that life goes that way for two people very often. The trouble comes too often from the fact that one party is afraid it’s giving up too much and won’t wait to see things balanced up. I think that as intelligent people – sweetheart – we ought to be able to see through anything as simple as that. I honestly think we can get along swell and have a heck of a wonderful time doing it, too.

Your letter also mentioned having been out with Verna and discussing politics, marriage, and in-laws – quite a combination at lunch time, dear. You say that Verna speaks rather vigorously on the latter subject – and how! It’s quite a while now – and I don’t remember all the details, but I do know Verna never got along with hers. Whose fault it is or was – is hard to say, but as I remember it – quite a serious rift developed between Irv and Verna because of it. Living away from in-laws – on the whole – is a good thing for a couple, and yet it shouldn’t serve as an escape mechanism. It should help eliminate the little but sometimes very irritating things that crop up – for both members. Again – I feel we haven’t got a real worry at all on that score. Interference is usually the thing that starts it off – and we shouldn’t have that.

Well – I’ve rambled on today without saying a heck of a lot. What I’d look to do is get married right away and give all these ideas a tryout – incidentally. I mean incidentally we’d be trying things out. Actually we’d be married – and to Hell with the theories! Boy how I’d love that, and how often I think about it! And Spring isn’t going to help it one bit, is it dear? Anyway – we know we love and want each other – and when that Spring feeling does creep in – we can at least feel that someone we love is thinking about us and thinking of the same future. The sad aspect of Spring was always depicted by the unrequited lover. Darling – I love you and you love me – and that makes everything infinitely easy to bear.

And so much for that, sweetheart, or I’ll get to missing you too acutely. Love to the folks, dear – and –

All my sincerest love
Greg

* TIDBIT *

about Book Relief

From TIME, 19 March 1945, Vol. XLV, No. 12 comes this:
One of the first moves in both German and Jap schemes of conquest was to destroy free men's ideas by destroying their books. In 1938, while the Nazis were systematically looting some 400 libraries in Czechoslovakia, the Japs deliberately dropped 50 bombs on China's National Hunan University in Changsha. The National Tsinghua University at Peiping lost many precious books and manuscripts, some irreplaceable.

With the beginning of World War II, these ravages became wholesale. In Naples, the Royal Society Library was burned in reprisal for the shooting of a Nazi in a nearby street. In Athens, the books of three American colleges reportedly were used to stoke furnaces. Not all the destruction was deliberately aimed at books, but the results were the same. In England, the contents of at least 50 libraries, plus some 6,000,000 books in stalls and publishing houses, have been bombed into dust.

ABC, Inc. Since October 1943 this stupendous loss has been the prime concern of the American Library Association's Board on International Relations. After much exploring of ways & means, the Board, with the help of the State Department and the Library of Congress, convened representatives of all interested agencies, last week took steps to form a corporation. Its name: American Book Center, Inc. Its purposes: 1) to replace lost books; 2) to supply the world's libraries with recent U.S. publications.

ABC will ask every potential source in the U.S. to donate both English and foreign-language books and periodicals. It will store them in warehouses on the East and West Coasts. There representatives of the various countries may make their selections. Another suggestion: orders may be taken at a sample-library, set up somewhere in Europe, of single copies of all wartime U.S. publications.

Funds for ABC will be solicited from business concerns which have foreign interests. The Rockefeller Foundation has already chipped in $2,500 for a starter. Kenneth Shaffer, librarian at the University of Indiana, has been appointed director of ABC at $5,000 a year.

ABC's sponsors well realize that they cannot hope to replace more than a fraction of what has been lost. But they would not, even if they could. Said brisk Luther Evans, Acting Librarian of Congress: "Those libraries oughtn't to get back all the books they had. ... All libraries ought to destroy about three times as much as they do. ... [They] clutter up their shelves with too much junk, and they never weed out the deadwood. . . ."

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