13 April, 2012

13 April 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
13 April, 1945      0915

My dearest sweetheart –

This is really Black Friday and the news of Roosevelt’s death made it so. I heard it first at 0700 while I was dressing and listening to the radio. I was shocked as is everyone else. The world has lost a great statesman, the U.S. a great leader, and the Jews – a good friend. The death of Lincoln left the U.S. in a critical state and so does the death of Roosevelt. Let’s hope that Democracy, as we know it, really works.

The news here – darling, it consistently good. I can’t believe we’re traveling as fast as we are. The paradox is that there were days when we didn’t travel at all – and we had plenty of casualties; these days – casualties hardly occur. I speak generally, of course. You asked why I wasn’t more specific about where I was, dear. I don’t know about other outfits and their censorship. In this outfit and Corps – you cannot say “near Cologne” or “near Bastogne”. You can say you were in a town – as long as you’re 25 miles away – but that is hardly “near” – in this day and age – and when we were traveling slowly – you knew what Army I was in – and where I was. You should know roughly – where I am now. Censorship or not – we’re not a helluva long way off from Berlin, and that’s what matters most – although I don’t believe the war will be over there. I fully believe we’ll have to go up and down this land until we occupy all of it. Then we’ll say it’s over – and that will be that; and then we’ll sweat out the next move, sweetheart. Damn it – how I’d love to be on a ship heading home to you – one of these days not too far away! We’ve had a long hard go of it, dear, and your spirit has been admirable. I’m sure you can stick it out.

You wondered in one of your letters what our meeting would be like. Hell – there’s no problem there. It will be just as if I’d been away and was coming back from a trip. Naturally – I’ll kiss and hug you hard – and all the family too, somebody might cry a bit, maybe even I – then we’ll get into a car, go to someone’s house – drink a toast. About 40 people will say “You must be tired” – with Mother A. being the vanguard of that particular group. I’ll insist I’m not; I’ll keep kissing you, everyone will be talking at the same time, I’ll be proud of the campaign stars on my ribbon – and finally – some part of the day – I’ll have you alone – not to kiss or hug particularly, but to look at, to hold your hands, to thank you for being so patient and faithful all this time. If I go on further, darling, it’ll end up in a book form – so you’ll have to imagine the rest. But the crux of the whole thing is that I love you deeply and all else is of little import. I’m coming back to marry you and to try to make you happy.

Our set-up here – is again excellent. A real Nazi B.T.O. (big time operator) owned this house – and his factory is close by. He manufactured something you’ve heard about – the famous V-2. His home is excellently furnished. Radios, electricity, water – etc. are in order and we’re relaxing. I need it too, because I never got a chance to rest up after that Paris trip. And I don’t think we’ll be here long – either. The scenery is beautiful too. To the left of us are some beautiful mountain ranges. I remember reading a book by Heinrich Heine on his experiences during a trip to these same mountains.

Well – sweetheart – I’ll have to start closing and get over to the Dispensary. I’ve been out of contact now for about 8 or 9 days and I want to straighten things out.

By the way – I’m enclosing some more snaps – this makes 12. I sent six in a letter of the day before yesterday. In answer to a question you once asked – why don’t I appear in more pictures – the reason is that I have my camera with me wherever I go; I may see something as we’re riding by and snap it. I’m not out walking with someone and often there’s no one to take a picture of me. Anyway, darling, these pictures are for the scrapbook (how’s it coming?) and you don’t want it cluttered up with pictures of me. I’m trying to send them chronologically – if that’s the way you’re keeping the scrapbook. I have some photos – not my own – of Paris – but they’re the right size for pasting. I took some of my own too, but they’re undeveloped as yet.

And now – so long, dear. Love to the folks – and

All my deepest love –

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