22 May, 2012

22 May 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 230 % Postmaster, N.Y.
22 May, 1945      0835
Leipzig, Germany

My darling fianceé –

I love you so – it’s difficult to write about anything else. You see, dear, although we’ve been engaged a long time now, you never seemed quite attainable with the war still on over here. Now things have changed and the realization that the chances of our getting married soon are so much better and nearer makes me very very happy. Somehow or other I can’t get worried about the Japanese angle of the war. We’re kicking them now and more power is getting there everyday. And I’m still here for awhile – with a leave coming up in the States and a great deal can happen before that leave is over with. I think that war will fold before Japan is ruined the way Germany was – because fanatics or not – there’s a responsible ruler at the head of the government and I don’t believe he’ll allow Japan to sink into the sea.

There I go discussing things way out of my scope, but it seems as if every individual alive today has his or her life irrevocably intertwined with world affairs and conditions – and we, darling, are no exception.

Well, yesterday pm was quiet and in the evening we heard there was a good movie at Corps. Recr. Both Corps Forward and Rear are here in Leipzig – that’s the 7th Corps, sweetheart – and for my money – the best Corps on the Western front – from Normandy to the end in Germany. We always had the toughest assignments, spearheading every big attack. But we had a swell General – Lightning Joe Collins – and he certainly kept our confidence high.

Anyway, dear, the picture turned out to be “Mr. Skeffinton” – it being the first decent picture we had been shown in months. I enjoyed it – not troubling to look for flaws. We got back here at 2145 and I read awhile and then listened to the radio. I’m using a new radio now. I still have my battery set – but with electricity available – I managed to get hold of a 12 tube set some time ago in Halle. But it was too big to lug around. The one I have now is portable size and German Navy equipment – the set being built for use in submarines. It plays beautifully. I’ll try to bring it home – but I’ll probably have to strap it to my back with all the junk I already have, plus my other portable radio.

Today it’s still cloudy – although warmer than the past couple of days. I may go in swimming this p.m. – having missed 2 days running. That’s no way to get into shape.

And that’s all for now, darling. By the way, censorship rules have been greatly relaxed – and if there’s something about the present or the past that you wondered about, ask me and I’ll be able to let you know, dear. Don’t ask me whether I love you darling, because you know that!!

So long for awhile, sweetheart, love to the folks – and

All my sincerest love


about "Mr. Skeffington"

Poster for "Mr. Skeffington"

"Mr. Skeffington" made its debut in New York on 25 May, 1944, nearly a year before it was shown to Greg and the other men. The following plot summary was lifted from Turner Classic Movie's web site.
In 1914, beautiful Fanny Trellis (Bette Davis) is courted by many men including Jim Conderley, Ed Morrison and Thatcher. One evening, while her suitors wait downstairs, Fanny's cousin, George Trellis, returns home after several years away. George learns that contrary to their extravagant lifestyle, Fanny and her brother Trippy (Richard Waring) have no money. Trippy, however, now has a job working on Wall Street for Jewish Job Skeffington (Claude Rains). Later that evening, Job calls unexpectedly for Trippy, who angrily refuses to see him. At George's instigation, he and Fanny speak to Job instead. Job has fired Trippy for embezzling and has come to ask him to repay the stolen money. He is stunned when Fanny explains their financial situation. The next day, Trippy threatens to commit suicide.

Fanny with her suitors

Determined to save her brother, Fanny sets her cap for Job and soon marries him, even though Job fully realizes that Fanny does not love him. Her ploy backfires, however, when an angry Trippy leaves for Europe, and that night, Fanny locks Job out of her room. Fanny's suitors are unfazed by her marriage and continue to pursue her. Job endures their presence because, although Fanny enjoys their attentions, she always sends them away. On the night of the Skeffingtons' first anniversary, they learn that Trippy has joined the Lafayette Esquadrille and that Fanny is pregnant. Although Job is delighted by the coming child, Fanny sees it as a sign that she is growing old and insists on leaving for California until the baby is born and she is once again beautiful.

Shortly after Fanny Junior (Marjorie Riordan) is born, the U.S. enters the war. When Trippy is killed, Fanny blames Job for his death, and Job finally realizes that Fanny will never love him. After the war ends, Job devotes himself to his daughter, while Fanny occupies herself with a series of lovers. During prohibition, Fanny attracts a bootlegger named MacMahon, who is determined to marry her. To convince her to divorce Job, he demonstrates that Job has had several mistresses during their marriage. Although Fanny's rejection of her husband can be seen as partly responsible for his behavior, Job agrees to a divorce. Not wanting to be bothered by a child, Fanny suggests that Job take custody of their daughter. Job is reluctant because of the difference in their religions and also because he plans to live in Europe, where the Fascists are coming to power. Fanny Junior's distress at losing her father, however, convinces Job to take her with him.

Several years later, a middle-aged Fanny becomes involved with the much younger Johnny Mitchell, and Fanny Junior returns to the U.S. from Berlin. After sailing in stormy weather with Johnny, Fanny falls seriously ill with diphtheria. She recovers, but the illness ages her greatly, and she begins to hallucinate, imagining that she sees Job everywhere. A psychiatrist tells her the hallucinations are a subconscious manifestation of a need to see her former husband because, now that she is fifty, her romantic life is over. Determined to prove him wrong, Fanny throws a dinner party for her old suitors, only to discover that they are all appalled by her aged appearance. Only Edward still seems smitten, but Fanny quickly realizes that he is only interested in her money.

Fanny as an older lady

When Fanny Junior later announces that she and Johnny are getting married and moving to Seattle, Fanny is left totally alone. The next morning, George tells Fanny that he has seen Job, now a broken man after his stay in a concentration camp. George begs Fanny to care for Job in return for his generous care of her, but she refuses, believing that her lack of beauty will drive Job away as it did all the others. When she realizes that Job is blind, however, she knows that here is one man who will always remember her as beautiful and welcomes him home.

Here is the trailer from Mr. Skeffington

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