11 June, 2012

11 June 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 339 % Postmaster, N.Y.
11 June, 1945      0810

My dearest darling –

I must confess – yesterday I didn’t write you. In the first place – I was really busy until late in the day; and secondly, I felt kind of blue for some reason or other – and I believe I wouldn’t have written a very cheery letter. But I’m feeling fine this a.m. and rarin’ to go! But where?

Gee darling, the mail has been rotten, or as the French say, “C’est formidable!” There’s just nothing coming in except the Stars and Stripes – which, by the way, I’ll start sending you again. Up to VE day or so – they were free – but there never was a copy per man. We pay for it now – but we each get our own copy. Mentioning – sending – reminds me – I’ve sent home two or three packages, dear, in the past 3 days – but not loot. We’ve all got a lot of junk and much more clothes than we came over with. When time comes for sailing home – it will really be a problem getting things packed. So I’ve sent home my overcoat, overshoes, extra fatigues, clarinet (which was hardly worth sending. It took an awful beating out in the truck all winter). I’ve already boxed my portable radio which I bought in Liège and I’ll send that out soon. And I have yet to look around for many more odds and ends.

Today, dear, 7th Corps moves out of town. It’s going to seem strange not to see the Jayhawk Forward – signs – after being with the same Corps for over a year. But I’m glad we’re not going with them right now – because they won’t stay in the States very long. We haven’t heard any more about our status – but every day we don’t hear – helps out. The Stars and Stripes said yesterday that they (the Army) would probably lower the 85 point critical level. If they do – this outfit will be very high – as an average – and outfits like that might very well become part of the strategic reserve. At present – we can only wait and see.

"Jayhawk Forward" sign in Leipzig - June 1945

By no means, darling, do I want you to think that I’m being calm and patient about all this. On the contrary, I’m practically beside myself in my desire to get home to you. I’m hungry for some love from you, sweetheart, and I want so much to tell you and show you how much I love you and want you. It has been such a long long time for both of us – and you’ve been wonderfully patient. But I want also very much to stay in the States once I get back – and if having to wait here an extra month or two will help my status – I’m willing to be a bit more patient. Sweetheart – we’ll make up for it – I’m certain of it – and we’ll have a whale of a time doing it, too. I can’t and don’t want to think of anything else but that, night and day – and in my dreams. And it makes wonderful thinking. I’ve relived our meeting once again, seeing our friends together, kissing, hugging – a thousand times now – but I’m still waiting for the unadulterated original. So be ready, darling, be ready!

And now, honey, I’m going downstairs and start another week of Dispensary work etc. Be well, dear, and send my love to the folks.

All my everlasting devotion,


about The Franck Report

James Franck

On 11 June 1945 a report was issued that resulted from a committee set up to study the potential political and social problems relating to the Manhattan Project's production of an atomic weapon. The report recommended not to use the atomic bombs on the Japaneses cities, based on the problems resulting from such a military application. It urged, instead, an open demonstration of the atomic bomb in some uninhabited locality as a show of power.

The committee chairman was James Franck, after whom the report was named. James Franck was born on August 26, 1882, in Hamburg, Germany. In 1925, Franck received the Nobel Prize in Physics. In 1933, after the Nazis came to power, Franck, being a Jew, decided to leave his post in Germany and continue his research in the United States as Professor of Physics at Johns Hopkins University. He left there in 1938 to accept a professorship in physical chemistry at the University of Chicago which was the center of the Manhattan District's Project.

Below is are excerpts from the Preamble and Summary of the report. Click Here to read the full report.
Report of the Committee on Political and Social Problems
Manhattan Project "Metallurgical Laboratory"
University of Chicago, June 11, 1945

I. Preamble

The only reason to treat nuclear power differently from all the other developments in the field of physics is its staggering possibilities as a means of political pressure in peace and sudden destruction in war. All present plans for the organization of research, scientific and industrial development, and publication in the field of nucleonics are conditioned by the political and military climate in which one expects those plans to be carried out. Therefore, in making suggestions for the postwar organization of nucleonics, a discussion of political problems cannot be avoided. The scientists on this Project do not presume to speak authoritatively on problems of national and international policy. However, we found ourselves, by the force of events, the last five years in the position of a small group of citizens cognizant of a grave danger for the safety of this country as well as for the future of all the other nations, of which the rest of mankind is unaware. We therefore felt it our duty to urge that the political problems, arising from the mastering of atomic power, be recognized in all their gravity, and that appropriate steps be taken for their study and the preparation of necessary decisions. We hope that the creation of the Committee by the Secretary of War to deal with all aspects of nucleonics, indicates that these implications have been recognized by the government. We feel that our acquaintance with the scientific elements of the situation and prolonged preoccupation with its world-wide political implications, imposes on us the obligation to offer to the Committee some suggestions as to the possible solution of these grave problems...

[Concluding] Summary

The development of nuclear power not only constitutes an important addition to the technological and military power of the United States, but also creates grave political and economic problems for the future of this country. Nuclear bombs cannot possibly remain a "secret weapon" at the exclusive disposal of this country, for more than a few years. The scientific facts on which their construction is based are well known to scientists of other countries. Unless an effective international control of nuclear explosives is instituted, a race of nuclear armaments is certain to ensue following the first revelation of our possession of nuclear weapons to the world. Within ten years other countries may have nuclear bombs, each of which, weighing less than a ton, could destroy an urban area of more than five square miles. In the war to which such an armaments race is likely to lead, the United States, with its agglomeration of population and industry in comparatively few metropolitan districts, will be at a disadvantage compared to the nations whose population and industry are scattered over large areas.

We believe that these considerations make the use of nuclear bombs for an early, unannounced attack against Japan inadvisable. If the United States would be the first to release this new means of indiscriminate destruction upon mankind, she would sacrifice public support throughout the world, precipitate the race of armaments, and prejudice the possibility of reaching an international agreement on the future control of such weapons. Much more favorable conditions for the eventual achievement of such an agreement could be created if nuclear bombs were first revealed to the world by a demonstration in an appropriately selected uninhabited area.

If chances for the establishment of an effective international control of nuclear weapons will have to be considered slight at the present time, then not only the use of these weapons against Japan, but even their early demonstration may be contrary to the interests of this country. A postponement of such a demonstration will have in this case the advantage of delaying the beginning of the nuclear armaments race as long as possible. If, during the time gained, ample support could be made available for further development of the field in this country, the postponement would substantially increase the lead which we have established during the present war, and our position in an armament race or in any later attempt at international agreement will thus be strengthened.

On the other hand, if no adequate public support for the development of nucleonics will be available without a demonstration, the postponement of the latter may be deemed inadvisable, because enough information might leak out to cause other nations to start the armament race, in which we will then be at a disadvantage. At the same time, the distrust of other nations may be aroused by a confirmed development under cover of secrecy, making it more difficult eventually to reach an agreement with them.

If the government should decide in favor of an early demonstration of nuclear weapons it will then have the possibility to take into account the public opinion of this country and of the other nations before deciding whether these weapons should be used in the war against Japan. In this way, other nations may assume a share of the responsibility for such a fateful decision.

To sum up, we urge that the use of nuclear bombs in this war be considered as a problem of long-range national policy rather than military expediency, and that this policy be directed primarily to the achievement of an agreement permitting an effective international control of the means of nuclear warfare.

The vital importance of such a control for our country is obvious from the fact that the only effective alternative method of protecting this country, of which we are aware, would be a dispersal of our major cities and essential industries.

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