I got started a little late this morning – but the kitchen was a little late, the warm water for shaving was delayed etc; no particular reason except that perhaps of yesterday being Sunday. I was a little less busy yesterday because of the exchange of men – but I should have a fairly busy day today. The higher-ups can’t seem to make up their minds on what sort of camp they want this to be. The end plan is to have the Russians in their own camp, French in theirs, etc. But it doesn’t seem to work out like that; you get one Nationality cleaned out and bingo – the next group arriving from a liberated camp has three or four new ones.
Meanwhile – I’ve been out of contact with battalion headquarters for several days now – and so I’m not getting mail. A truck goes up from here every day and takes our outgoing mail and drops it off, but he doesn’t get to see the mail clerk. I think I’ll send my jeep up this morning and take a look around. I left some laundry to be done and I want to get that packed up. Besides, battalion is moving up to this city and beyond and I want to know what’s what. If it’s not too busy, I’ll go myself.
One nice feature about this temporary set-up I’m in, dear, is the quarters and also my working conditions. The latter consists of a rather modern, pretty well equipped infirmary with plenty of help; our quarters is an apartment in a big building. It has a large living room, two bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and large hallway. And there are only 3 of us living here, too. There’d certainly be room for you, darling – and the rent is so reasonable. Whoever was here before we got here – arranged for some civilian foreigners to come in every morning and clean up – so the place stays rather neat. We don’t eat here though – but have our mess where the men eat.
Last night was a real quiet Sunday nite in – and it certainly would have been wonderful to have had you with me here. I got back from the Infirmary just at seven and turned on the radio and sure enough – I heard the Jack Benny show – a rebroadcast of course; then Phil Green’s program, Mail Call, Richard Tauber’s program etc. It was comfortable here, the lights were soft – we had some 1922 Red Wine – Algerian – and well – enough said, darling.
Oh hell – I just got a call. The crowd is in and there’s a couple of cases the boys want me to see – so I’m going to have to run along. I’m enclosing some more photos Sweetheart – this makes 35, I believe – in this last series. I wonder how many I’ve sent home to you dear since I sent the few from England. And how is that scrapbook coming? You haven’t mentioned it in some time. The 3 pictures of corpses, dear, are ugly and I had intended not to sent them. One of the boys reminded me that you’ve seen as much in Life Magazine – which is true, I guess.
I came across a few more pictures – taken with another camera – last winter – and although they’re chronologically out of date – I’ll send them along too. I also have a few more shots of Paris and Brussels – commercial – but I’d like to keep them. I’ve seen all the places and couldn’t see any point in using up good film – when these were available.
And now, darling – they’ll be calling me again in a moment – if I don’t get going. But I always have time to say that April 30 or any other day – I love you and only you, dear. More than anyone else, sweetheart – you fill my life – and it will always be so – I know.
Love to the folks, dear – how is Mother B feeling – you haven’t mentioned in some time.
* TIDBIT *
The news on this morning in April of 1945 was about the eventual collapse of Germany and the end of the War in Europe. With news reports coming in, and bulletins being reported one on top of the other, news of the Fall of Berlin was being reported. Soviet troops had succeeded in occupying the center of the city, while de facto head of the German government, Heinrich Himmler was busy hammering out surrender terms. The latest communique had Himmler attempting to reach a surrender with the Allies without including the Russians. Needless to say, it was rejected. And despite some rumors to the contrary, no surrender had been arrived at. Allied forces were systematically taking over and occupying every other German city, with news that Munich had fallen while this broadcast was on the air. Also reported was news that the Allies had liberated the Dachau Concentration camp, and news of that discovery would be coming in time. During the course of the morning news broadcast, an address by General Spaatz of the Allied Air Forces announced confirmation that the German Luftwaffe had been completely obliterated and subsequently, the Allied Air Force would change its role over to tactical support of ground forces during these final hours/days.
Meanwhile, the War in the Pacific was still far from over. With news reports of a Kamikaze attack on an Allied Hospital ship near Okinawa brought outrage from the Allied High Command and fighting was still intense.
And that was the news for this April 30, 1945, as presented in two morning Newscasts over NBC. One, the Morning Roundup and the later Alka-Seltzer News Of The World.
Here is the 30 April 1945 NBC news reports from Gordon Skene's Sound Collection at Past Daily: