07 September, 2012

07 September 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
7 September, 1945
Nancy   2130

My dearest sweetheart –

This is the closest I could get – actually – to the New Year – and I want to wish you the best, the happiest, the healthiest, the most successful year you’ve ever had, darling. And with God’s help, you’ll have it, too.

I got back from Synagogue about 45 minutes ago. I enjoyed the Services – ours were held separate from that of the civilians – chiefly because I got a kick out of the realization that there were still a few Jews left in Europe. Despite pillaging, murder, looting, extermination and what not – here – after 5706 years and more to the point – after a War started by a man whose avowed aim was to wipe out every living Jew – the Jew still survives, manages to get some clean clothes, holds his head high and remembers his Holy Days. I tell you, sweetheart, I was proud tonight; I was proud to be a Jew, part of a race that can take it – and come up with pride, resolution and faith that its God is the God of the Universe.

Services begin at 0900 tomorrow and that’s one of the reasons I’m writing you now. I’ll have to rush thru sick-call – and I’m particularly handicapped right now with the loss of my Staff Sergeant – Kirby – whom I sent to the hospital yesterday – the Grippe.

And late this p.m. I finally got mail. It’s odd to read that you were having a delay about a week or so ago. Gee – I was tickled to read that you were actually going to go to the wedding at Montreal. I got almost as much a kick out of it as you must have received. It sounds like just the thing all of you need – a change from home. You’ll be good and tired when you get back – but it’s worth it.

By the way – before I forget it, I happened to mention to one of the boys – a Hugo Richard – the other day – that you were going up to Montreal. He had been thinking of his second honeymoon and wondering what it was like up there. He asked me to ask you your impression – things to do, places to go, restricted clientele? etc. He’s an awfully nice fellow, Hugo – on the intellectual side and interested in teaching school. He has done most of his training at the U. of Chicago.

Oh – I got a letter and an announcement from Dr. Finnegan. The announcement was of his daughter’s wedding in Salem 11 August to a Lt. in the Marines; she is or maybe – was – a Lt. J.G. in the Waves and had been on the West Coast for some time. The reception was at the Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead. His letter was extremely friendly. He said he was getting tired of running around and that now with more cars on the road and more accidents – he was getting more insurance business; wouldn’t I come back soon and take over the other calls? He wants a vacation.

That’s very encouraging sweetheart – not so much for the calls I may expect to make for him – but because he still had me in mind. He was a true friend before – and apparently he hasn’t forgotten me. Gosh – darling – I just can’t wait to get home and get started. By the way – again – I only knew Grace – his daughter – from meeting her at his home from time to time. She was away a good deal. Should I send her a wedding gift? I’d like to – if it’s in good taste.

And I’ll now use this available space to tell you that I love you more than anything else in the world, dear. I prayed tonite – for you and me and our families – and I know my prayers will be answered. Be well, darling – and patient. I’ll be home soon. And so goodnite for now, sweetheart – love to the folks – and

All my love is yours for always


about the Wedding in Montreal

The wedding that Wilma attended was the marriage of a cousin to a member of the Bronfman family of Montreal. Here is the announcement for that wedding as printed in the Canadian Jewish Review on 18 May 1945.
Mr. and Mrs. Abe Bronfman, Westmount Boulevard, announce the engagement of their daughter, Ruth, to Lieutenant Stanley Berns, U.S.N.R., son of Mr. and Mrs. James Berns of Boston, Mass. Lieutenant has just returned from two years' service in the Pacific.
It was Abe's brother, Samuel, who was the driving force behind the rise of the Seagram's distillery empire. Here is a picture of Abe Bronfman's house, built by architect Robert Findley in 1931, on Westmount Boulevard in Montreal. It is no longer owned by the Bronfman family.

Back in Boston, Stanley and his brother, Robert, co-founded the Pullman Vacuum Cleaner Corp., which went on to become the world's largest manufacturer of commercial vacuum cleaners. Click here to read a previous *TIDBIT* about Stanley Berns.

It was Stanley's brother, Robert, who had suggested Wilma's name when Greg asked if he knew anyone who might be interesting to meet.

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