I wrote my mother nearly a month ago that today, Mother’s Day, would be an especially happy one for all the mothers in America and for many of them the world over. Now they know their sons are safe, as least for a while. I also understand that today is a national day of thanksgiving back in the States in recognition of our victory. It’s good that this day of thanks should fall on the same day of Mother’s Day, since mothers have suffered the most in these hard times. I have a mother of heroic and noble ambition. It has always been her keenest desire that her sons be good and noble. To that account she has given her all.
Now we are in the suburbs of Karlstad, where our squad occupies the upper floor of an apartment building, and now we have met the Russians, who are on the other side of the Elbe. We also encounter the first instance of the other side of the Elbe. We also encounter the first instance of misbehavior on the part of the Russians when two women living just the other side of the bridge across the Elbe come up to us, hysterical, and state that there are two drunken Russians in their house. Hanson and I go over to the house, where the two young ladies live with their parents. The Russians are very drunk and do not understand when Hanson and I tell them to leave. They offer us drinks and it is potato whisky of the rawest kind. Again we ask them to leave, but the Russians only want to be friendly. Finally after we demonstrate our anger, the Russians leave, and the residents thank us. Here is the curious and inevitable drift if attitude on the part of Americans. Soon, I suppose, there will be hostility and antagonism toward the Russians and downright fraternization with the Germans. The next such incident occurs when two Germans come to our house to state that Russians have been coming across the river at night naked, holding their tommy guns over their heads as they cross the shallow water, then looting at will. The Germans think we should protect them from the Russian looters. Hanson and I ride with the Germans on their motorcycle for about three or four miles to an area that has not yet been occupied. It is a looter’s paradise. We check out several houses, looking for Russian looters, but find none and the people tell us they have left. It occurs to us to ask if there is a police station nearby and the local residents tell us, yes, there is one just up the street. We have the people guide us to the station and when we arrive, we find no police, but four rifles and four Luger pistols. These we naturally confiscate. So although we have found no Russian interlopers, we have located a valuable cache of weapons, which we quickly take back to our apartment house.
About now, it also occurs to us that we deserve to celebrate our victory. We ask the locals if there are any breweries about and they inform us that there is a large plant across the river. We ask if we can arrange for a wagon to get some beer and they oblige us, traveling over the brewery to get their wagon, which Hans, Fowler and I ride back to obtain our beer. When we arrive, we purchase two barrels at the regular price and take it back to our apartment house for a party. There are a number of German girls and others on hand and strangely enough I can drink only one glass of beer. Throughout this winter and spring campaign, whenever liquor has been available, I have been unable to drink. Although I have no doubt this is good beer, I cannot drink more than a glass of it.
Today we go to Marienbad and as we near the edge of a little village, we come upon a small Russian wagon and a Siberian pony. Alongside is a Russian officer on a horse. It’s my understanding that the Russian army largely depends on horses for transportation, even more so then the German army. Only the tip of the Russian army is armored and only that tip has trucks and other motor transport. This officer is directing his soldiers with a sword as they strip a German house of its furnishing. Thus far they have loaded the little wagon with a stove, sofa, chairs and other items. This officer is one of the fiercest looking characters I have ever seen. He is bearded and rough, with Mongolian features that make him look like he came straight out of the army of Genghis Khan.
Another duty we have during these days is to stand guard over the German 6th Army’s hospital train, which is stalled near us because of damage to the tracks further west. This train is jammed with a collection of the saddest and most derelict human beings we have yet seen. Every nook and cranny of the train is jammed with wounded soldiers bearing every sort of bodily trauma. The train has no water supply, and the only food is that which is brought in by the Americans. There are scant medical supplies and few doctors. Those few are at the point of exhaustion. The doctors’ and nurses’ uniforms are filthy and blood covered. Toilet facilities have long ago failed and human waste and dirty dressings are simply dumped alongside the tracks. The train stands in the rail yard here in Falkenau and the most urgent need is for it to simply move on. This is suffering the Germans must bear for the terrible afflictions they have imposed upon the world. They are now the final recipients of man’s inhumanity towards man. Many of the fellows who have stood guard have nothing but contempt for the Germans, and commonly say, “Let the SOBs rot.” After a couple of days, the train finally moves and I hope the wounded Germans reach some kind of order and a greater degree of mercy and cleanliness somewhere down the line.
Between May 13 and May 24, we were in the little village on the Elbe between the cities of Falkenau and Marienbad. I have already recounted some of our experiences there with the drunken Russians and the cache of weapons. The ride back to Falkenau from this little village was a hilarious one, despite the rain. It was a ride that featured wild shooting drunken officers. The captain and all the lieutenants were drunk and all the way down the road, tommy guns, BAR’s, pistols and M-1’s were going off in all directions. The shooting didn’t stop till we reached Falkenau. This was the first really wild victory celebration.
Once back in Falkenau, we began to requisition housing in an orderly manner. A lieutenant and an interpreter would go from house to house and advise the occupants that their home had been selected for the troops and that they would have to make arrangements to move. My friend Lorenz Linder did the interpreting, although he did not relish the job of telling people they had to leave their homes. We got an excellent house, one that belonged to moderately wealthy Germans. Each member of the squad now has a private bedroom. The living room is huge, with a grand piano at one end. The house also has a children’s room full of toys and numerous books, pictures and other art objects in the Hummel motif. The house has a pretty picket fence out in front and a broad, sweeping back yard. In short, it is just the type of house I would like for my own. We are to be billeted here for some time.
The nearby cities of Marienbad and Karlsbad are twin cities, on either side of the Elbe. The are resorts, comparable for Hot Springs, Arkansas, and their forte is their medicinal springs. To these cities come people from around Europe who have lumbago or rheumatism. Among other things, I have obtained a ceramic cup that has a drinking pipe that goes down to the bottom of the cup. The hot spring water is put into the cup and then sipped through this pipe. I have sent this home.
The Russians are in possession of Karlsbad and we are across the river. We have our guard posted on our side; the Russians do likewise on theirs. During the daytime, we see the Russians swimming naked in the river, enjoying themselves. We do likewise, although I have not yet been in the water. The Russian soldiers do a lot of close-order drill on their side and we hear them marching up and down and singing – a tremendous amount of singing. Especially at night and late in the evening, we hear them singing, their high tenors and low basses reminiscent of the Don Cossacks. The Russian guards, and one fellow in particular who looks like any soldier in any army, come across the bridge from time to time to talk to us. We do the same. Among other things, we try out each others weapons. They fire all the ammo out of my M-1. This one soldier is a member of the First Ukrainian Front, roughly equivalent to an American army in size. This unit was one of those that had been pushed back by the Germans all the way to Stalingrad before fighting its way back. Our conversation is limited to what we can exchange in German. One evening, a group of four or five girls appears and we can tell from their speech that they are either Polish or Russian. We shout to them, “Kommen sie hier,” and they come up along the steep bank of the river to where we are standing guard. They understand German and one of the girls has a smattering of English, so they enable us to carry on a three-sided conversation with the Russians soldiers. The girls are not anxious to talk with the Russians, since they are deathly afraid of them. As they leave, we tell them to come and see us again.
As far as female companionship is concerned, some of our boys have set up separate housekeeping and established a more or less permanent arrangement. Some of these girls have been in slave labor camps and fellows from the second squad have picked them up. One of the girls has announced to one of the fellows from the second squad that she thinks she is pregnant.
One day, a fellow named Corny and I acquire a small German car, a Volkswagen, and steal some gas out of a jeep. We drive into the area where the Polish girls had come from, and sure enough, they are headed in our direction, so we pick them up. The bridge across the Elbe in this area is a substantial span and the Russians have their end guarded and have installed a drop-down barrier. The Russians are at first reluctant to let us cross, but through the girls we convince them that we are just going over for a short visit and will return soon. When we reach the other side, we drive down the main street of Karlsbad and notice very few civilians. Instead, the streets are filled with non-uniformed, but armed, men who apparently are members of the Czech resistance. On our side of the river, the only people with weapons are American soldiers, but here there are armed underground men in great numbers. It’s our conclusion that the Czech underground is definitely Communist-inspired and controlled and that the Russians, if they are forced to turn this country over to anyone, will certainly turn it over to a sympathetic host. As we drive up and down the streets, the Polish girls shout at the men and soldiers in the streets, and their comments are hardly complimentary. Corny says we better get the hell out of here before someone takes a shot at us, so we head back toward our side of the river. The girl with me was a pretty Polish girl with fluency in Polish, Russian and German. We took the girls back across the river and dropped them off at their farm.
A few days later, a huge man with a beret, accompanied by a woman, comes to our house in a state of hysteria. They are terribly excited and announce that three small boys in a nearby village have been seriously injured by a rifle grenade. The boys apparently had found the grenade in a ditch and were playing with it when it exploded. These people want help, so we radio back for medics. Only a few minutes later, a jeep drives up with stretchers and takes the Frenchman and his companion back to the village. A short time afterward, the jeep returns with three badly injured boys, plus the Frenchman, who thanks us for our help and tells us that he would bew glad to provide any service we might need. He also invites us to his village and tells us that while he is a Frenchman, he originally was a White Russian who had fled to Paris during the Russian Revolution. He is a man in his late 50’s, and although he has the aspects of a Frenchman, he could well be Russian, as he claims. The French girl with him is extremely good looking and we advise him that we would like to go to visit his home and that he should have his French girl with him, together with any of her companions, and that we should have a party. We also tell him we will try to find some cognac,, be he says, “No, no,” and advises us that we should simply come and he will take care of the liquor and other arrangements.
The next day, Corny and I ride our little Volkswagen to the village where the man lives and indeed it is a pretty place. The transplanted Russian, who says his name is Pierre, has a second-floor apartment and it is rather elegant, full of fine furniture and fixtures. We ask him how he happened to acquire much wealth and he replies that he had been brought into this village by the Germans to work in the factories or fields, but had risen to become a sort of mayor-chief of police-general manager by virtue of his abilities. We notice that whenever he meets other citizens on the street, men tip their hats to him and women are very respectful. He says that when we arrived in the village, it was as a worker like everyone else, but that over time, he had convinced the Germans that he could operate and manage the factories better than their own people. Gradually, said Pierre, he had taken over not only the factories, but political control of the village. He sits us down in his apartment and then apologetically states that the two girls he had expected to show up have gone on a picnic with friends, and by this, we presume he means their boyfriends. We ask if we can go on the picnic and he answers, “No, no,” that would not be discreet. We advise him that we are still interested in female companionship and he responds, “That can easily be arranged.” In the meantime, we sit in his apartment and drink French cognac, which he mysteriously has produced. How he has managed to transport this cognac all the way from France is one of the great mysteries of the war, as far as we are concerned. He is firmly established in this village, the seeming dictator of all its affairs. He takes us to several places to visit some girls that neither Corny nor I have any interest in pursuing further. At one point, we ask him if the local populace has turned in their weapons and he says he doesn’t know, but he will call the chief of police and find out. In the meantime, we get into our jeep and head for the police station. The chief comes out and evidently he is German, since he clicks his heels and salutes. I don’t think he realizes our lowly rank, or otherwise he would not be so obsequious. In any event, he opens the doors of the station and inside we find a collection of pistols and guns that are literally worth thousands of dollars.
There are every conceivable type of rifle, pistol and sword within. No doubt, the entire village had turned in all its weaponry. We take our pick. There is a brace of Spanish pistols, which I take. There are Italian pistols, German Lugers, German P-38s, machine pistols and all kinds of swords. We select what we want and load our jeep down with them. Before we take our leave of Pierre, I ask him about his life and he tells me that he had been a member of nobility in Russia and had escaped as a young man, making his way to Paris. Where he had been in the restaurant business. Indeed, this occupation fit his demeanor, with his moustache, beret and suave personality. I ask him, “Aren’t you afraid of the Russians, who are just across the river and who will be occupying this part of Germany within a short time? He responds, “No, arrangements are being made and soon trucks will be coming and I will soon say my farewell to my German friends and go back to my beloved Paris.” This Russian Frenchman is the closest I have come to Paris and is probably more typical of the average Parisian than anyone I have known. He is very grateful for our help with the injured boys and I honestly believe that this character had captured the wills and minds of the German villagers in this part of Czechoslovakia by virtue of his ability and good will. He is one of those persons, who no matter where he goes, will triumph by virtue of ability.
After a very gratifying conversation and drink, Corny and I take our leave and drive back to our apartment. Corny and I have a lot of interesting trips in our Volkswagen and many of our comrades are jealous of us, but we keep our car hidden during the daytime and only take it out at night.
Few of the 25 million or so displaced persons in Europe can compare to Pierre. He is one in a million, at least. The rest of the refugees are persons who were torn from their families and homes and transplanted into some other part of Europe. Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, Poles – all have been hauled away from their homes to work in the factories and fields of Germany. We stood guard at a hospital operated by Americans and staffed by German doctors and nurses. The patients are mostly displaced persons, suffering from such afflictions are malnutrition, typhus, tuberculosis, and scabbies. The DPs push on with their baby buggies and meager belongings, hoping for German food and German transport. We also help and there are long columns of American trucks that go by filled with refugees. All the Poles and Russians are being moved east, including many people who do not want to leave. Many Polish families, in particular, don’t want to leave and the Germans who have employed them don’t want them to go.
But the rule has come down that all displaced persons must be returned to their won villages and there is no appeal. When these huge trains with their many cars stop at a siding, they are packed solid. There are old, young, male and female. When a train stops, these people head for the weeds and you must be very careful where you step.
The displaced persons tell us that men, women, sometimes whole families were forced to work on German farms. The French and Italians are almost all male, but there are a few French women, such as the two girls Corny and I tried to make contact with. From what we can observe here in eastern Germany and particularly in Czechoslovakia, the French have had it the best. For some reason or another, they were able to gain the confidence of the Germans and were given better jobs and a higher living standard. The Russians have had it the worst, with many of them suffering from malnutrition, and Poles are next. In many respects, these people lived lives worse than slaves, who at least have the attention of their owners.
It seems to me that the Americans are doing a good job of handling the aftermath of war in this area. Wherever I have watched, I have seen evidence of efficiency and fair handling of property. We are moving the displaced persons back to their homes as swiftly as possible. Also moving back across the bridges over the Elbe are allied soldiers – Americans, British, Indians, Moroccans, Egyptians, Australians and Africans, all having been freed from POW camps. For some of these men, we are the first Americans they have seen and they cheer and holler when we come into their view. In my estimation, all these people, freed prisoners and displaced persons, will be back home within a month. One of the things that has surprised me is the number of Italians in Germany. Evidently, Mussolini had given Hitler large numbers of his people to help out in the war effort. These people should have been allies of the Germans, but they received no better treatment then the Russians or Poles.
The other day I say Cy, whom I had not seen since we were back in Belgium. He tells me that George Spevacek was killed, Ruskie was hit twice and Reuben Roberts and Prochask were hurt, too. He also says he believes Johnny Whalen was taken prisoner in the Harz Mountains. Cy says he thinks he will be sent back to France to sweat out the transport home. Well, this finishes my little book and takes me through the greater part of my war experiences. I have not written as I expected to, but the battle was much as I thought it would be. Now the war is over in Europe, and they say I will become a civilian again. If I do not do better for myself within the next five years than I did during the last five, I will have to say that I am a failure. But I think I am a man of peace. We shall see.
Before the pages of this book are finally filled, and fate being kind to me, I shall again return to civilian life. Our armed forces have won a great victory – the most dangerous enemy has been eliminated. I have done my job and now I must wait for the boat tha will take me home.
We are still in Czechoslovakia, and it is not warm. Although spring comes much earlier and the winter much later, central Europe has a very mild climate and I doubt if it will get hot like it does in Wisconsin. Some days are downright miserable.
The displaced persons continue to stream by and the men are fraternizing with the girls. As I have said, some of them have set up housekeeping together in broken down buildings and come back only on occasion. We are back in Falkenau and we do things like stand guard, see shows, play ball and have close-order drill. The Germans lean out of their windows to watch us as we drill and smile, apparently amazed that we could have beaten their finely disciplined army. We are so relaxed in comparison with the sharpness of the Germans.
Among other things, I have been looking for a swastika flag. We find all kinds of big flags, totally white. On some, we can see where the swastikahas been pulled off. I have made friends with a German, named Otto Pimpl, and his family. Otto is actually an Austrian and served in the war, but was injured and has been out of it for a couple of years. Among other things, Otto is an accomplished skier. He is Catholic and his wife Gudron, is Lutheran, but their marriage seems to work quite well. Other family members include Gudrun’s mother, whom everyone calls Mutti, and her sister, Karen, who is 16 or 17, and saucy and vivacious. Whenever I am not on duty, I go to the house and take German lessons from Gudrun. I repay them by trying to get rations for them. On a few occasions, we go off into the hills to try to obtin eggs and meat from the farmers. I go along to help persuade the farmer to give them food. Otto’s family was very hard up for food, since they are strangers in this area and have no friends to help them out. Once we got a dozen eggs and on another occasion, some pigeons. On one of our trips, we were walking back along the crest of the road when some damned fool cut loose with a tommy gun, and slugs whistling around our ears. On another occasion, we took some food and went into the hills for a picnic. The Germans are great people for picnics. The other night we had at least 30 bottles of cognac and five women at our house. Dugger and Simmons got drunk on this potato-based cognac and broke eight window in the throwing empty cognac bottles through them. They also spent a good deal of time running down the abilities of our captains. In fact, they ran down just about everyone. I drank no cognac, which was about as delectable as the women. There was one girl, however, from Silesia who was quite an accomplished pianist. She played and we sang several songs.
Through the balance of May and on into June, our duties were very casual, a little guard duty, a little KP, and a little close-order drill. But for the most part, we were on our own. I spent a considerable amount of time discussing the war with Otto and his family and learning German. One night we went to a movie together, but were turned away because the Pimpls were German. On another evening, the German girls from Silesia accompanied us to a dance being promoted by Serbian and Czech girls and directed by a French girl. There were many American soldiers there with German girls and obviously, this did not sit too well with the others. The Czech girls were armed and swaggered about with their pistols. Every one of them was as homely as a mud fence. They started a disturbance, going through the hall and telling the German girls to leave, but we told them that this was a dance for American soldiers and we could bring whomever we wished. In the end, the orchestra threatened to quit playing and Serbian, Czech and French girls left the hall in a huff. As I have said, a number of the squad members have taken on girlfriends on a full-time basis. One of the boys says that the Czech girl he has been living with is pregnant. Hanson has taken up quarters with a Czech girl, while Newman is playing the field, including a beautiful young Czech girl from the house next door.
We were black like the night, when the lights went out.
Only the whites of our eyes shown in the dark, only the clanking of chains could be heard down the hall in the next chamber, where mothers, and their babies slept, separated from husbands, and sons, forever. Never to see each other again, unknowing where, or with whom they went.
Only the light of the lantern, shimmering across the cobblestones, gave a glimmer of hope, in the crossing. Only the smell of the fresh ocean air leant promise of a new land, where dreams lay dormant, wrapped up in the bondage of shackles.
No one knew the sadness that swelled inside of each, and every one.
No one could feel the pain.
We board trucks at Selb and go 60 miles east to the city of Ager. This city also was a major target of bombing raids, since there is considerable damage in the railroad yards. We wait in the rain for several hours, then go over to a schoolhouse in the center of the city. The interior of the building is a mess. Clothing, boxes and junk of all sorts are spread all over. In two huge rooms we find stacks of clothing, blouses, pants, shoes and uniforms of every description and size. In another room, stacked three and four feet deep, are hundreds of thousands of swords and knives. I pick out a French bayonet.
We sleep on straw ticking and the place smells. The whole battalion is in the building and among other things I have to complain about is that there is no place to relieve myself in the entire building. The toilets are all plugged and the stools all filled to overflowing. I am forced to go outside and I thank God we only have to stay here one night.
We move from Ager to a number of villages in Sudetenland. It is raining and although there is firing on both our left and our right, we see nothing and carry on until we dig in for the night in a small village. I will never forget Ciplone, a platoon sergeant, going by us with three prisoner. He has forced them to carry his loot. That night and the next day, we spend a considerable amount of time chatting with the Czech women. We are now in friendly, or at least, partially friendly territory and it isn’t hard to strike up a conversation. There is in particular, one straw-blonde girl who is extremely beautiful and with whom it is very easy to converse. Our German is getting better and we can carry on rudimentary conversations. I must say that I am better in German than in French.
We board trucks and halftracks about 1000 hours and head into Falkenhuer, a city devoid of Germans. We walk down the middle of the streets while the rain falls. We sit down on the curb to await new orders and as we sit there in our ponchos, someone comes along and says the war is over. Most of us don’t believe it, but I do. It seems to me that all the possibilities for further resistance on the part of the Germans have been eliminated. There is no place to hide and I doubt there can be much will to resist. All the Germans have to offer now is their deaths and I doubt those deaths could buy the nation much time.
I have neglected to note that all along our advance of late, we have been supplied with the Stars and Stripes, the armed forces paper, which have allowed us to keep up with the movements of the British in the north and the Russians to the east, as well as our own American forces. We are now on the southern mountainous ridges near the Elbe River and as we wait, we hear all sorts of news. It is said that Hitler is dead in Berlin, that Mussolini has been captured in Milan, tried and executed. Many of the other Nazi leaders have been captured, but others, it seems, have run off to their secret hiding places. We sit in the rain, with our sodden feet in the gutters and our ponchos over our heads, pondering the news. No one shouts and no one shoots into the air and goes searching for a drink. In fact, there is no reaction at all. After awhile, the lieutenant comes down the street and tells us we are moving out. We climb aboard our halftrack and move out to the south and west of the city, taking over some quarters occupied by French prisoners of war, about 50 or 60 in number.
We are standing down at a roadblock by a railroad overhead when they start to come, great swirling clouds of dust moving with them. There is every type of vehicle made by man, it seems, plus horses. They come in huge trucks and trailers, on bicycles, in halftracks, and in armored vehicles pulling as many as three broken down trucks. They ride inside and outside, on the tops, on the fenders, clinging like flies. They go by at varying speeds, some with engines roaring, some putt-putting along, barely moving. There are officers and men, dirty men, wounded men, handsome men, brutal-looking characters and others. Hour after hour they go by.
They are the Germans, the defeated enemy.
They are beaten and disillusioned, these men, and not only men. There also are women, wives of soldiers and officers. Some are pretty, some homely, some are nurses with their white dresses soiled. They, too, go by hour after hour. Some civilians line the road, waving and crying. These are the Sudeten Germans, most of them sympathetic to German interests, unlike the Czechoslovakians.
The German soldiers and their followers are glad to leave Czechoslovakia: they are only 25 miles from the Russians and they flee from their mercies hastily and happily. Along with them go the French and British POWs.
All is confusion. The road is packed. This is the German 6th Army, the soldiers who slugged their way across Russia, perhaps the most powerful unit in the German Wehrmacht at one time, soldiers who carried their flag to the very brink of victory before they were thrown back. Now this army is smashed and beaten, reduced to a pitiful fragment of its former self, its survivors now desiring only one thing – to escape from the unrushing Soviets. They fear the justice of the Red Army and desperately try to escape to parts of Germany where they hope the Russians cannot reach them. By coming through our lines, they believe they will be safe and will be able to return to their homes.
We stand by acting like traffic cops, keeping the hordes of refugee soldiers and others moving. The French, who are now in quite a great number, stand and hoot and holler at the Germans, no doubt using nasty and dirty words. We also hear about the great hilarity back in the States, the shouting and celebration in New York and Washington and across the nation in honor of our great victory. But among the line soldiers, there is no celebration as yet. I do not see one man shout or fire his gun. That’s because in many ways, this situation is worse than war. All Europe has seemingly sprung up and hit the road. Masses of humanity stream down the highways, not only the enemy described previously, but the millions of persons displaced from their homes by the cruelty of war. Every road in Germany has on it, it seems certain, representatives of every nationality and race represented in the fighting. You see French, Russians, American, Italians, Moroccans, Negroes, Chinese and Indians. You see them all, singly or in groups, some still in their native dress. They stream by constantly, and it is our job to keep the stream moving. Every single one of them seems to have larcenous instincts and every one of them is imbued with one basic, overriding philosophy – that of the survival of the fittest, of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and dog eat dog. Some have retained an element of culture, but others are like mad dogs.
It appears that the entire transportation services of the U.S. Army are now being mobilized to keep these people moving.
Now, if I can, I would like to give you a kaleidoscopic view of the situation in Europe as one soldier sees it. Under German domination, with the exception of the concentration camps and like, Europe experienced generally stable economic conditions and the people had enough to eat.
Poland was an exception, but in France, Belgium and Italy, the situation was basically stable. Disintegration began, however, with the invasion and the swift allied occupation. France and Belgium survived, but Holland was not so fortunate. The Germans forsook all responsibility, robbed the Dutch and left them starving. At present, our 1st Infantry Division is on scant rations. For men with the caloric needs of the typical infantry soldier, this is the next thing to starvation. The reason is that four or five million prisoners of war are streaming back and must be fed. As a result, the distribution of foodstuffs has to be spread over a much wider number of people. Thus far, I think we are doing a good job.
As regards the German treatment of prisoners of war and others in the concentration camps, everyone has had his eyes opened. The brutality and sadism of the Nazis have not been exaggerated. For example, in one Russian camp we came upon the prisoners had been on starvation rations for years and beatings were common. In this little village just a few flocks away from our barracks, we found starved Russian POWs stacked against a wall. We made the Germans bury them. The survivors had gaunt, drawn faces, their eyes unnaturally large veins standing out on their heads and their complexions ashen gray. So many people in Germany seem like good religious folk. How, then, can these brutalities be so extensive? I asked one German about the German concentration camp and he said he had never heard of it. I asked him why and he answered, “Oh, yes, but that is not unusual. There are so many such incidents that one forgets them.”
While we are standing guard, another young German comes riding along on his bicycle and engages me in a conversation. I point over to the camp where the Russians were kept and ask him what he thinks about it, and he answers: “What can we do?”
The Germans did not question their leaders and no German I have talked to as yet has unequivocally condemned Hitler. They will assail his incompetence in running the war, or say it was foolish of him to think Germany could win the war, but no one condemns the German government in so many words. It appears to me the Germans are still living under the spell of the Nazis, glancing around corners and hesitating to comment for fear the Gestapo is listening. One of the conclusive proofs that the majority of the German population firmly backed the Nazis is to be found in the fact that resistance to Hitler and his gang by the clergy was negligible. I ask myself why the church leaders did not protest this usurpation of power by a monstrous and evil clique of men. Certainly, they must have perceived and misery being laid upon the world by the Hitlerites; but still they did not raise their voices in protest. Indeed, many clergymen were open supporters of the Nazi movement. Inasmuch as Germany is only one-third Catholic and two-thirds Protestant, and since the Protestant segment of Germany was not given to resistance against Hitler, any such rebellion by the Catholic segment would have been futile; and why didn’t the pope raise his voice against the Nazis? It reminds me of Henry IV and Pope Gregory. Gregory brought Henry IV to his knees, but the difference was that Henry was Catholic and his country was totally Catholic, not only a third Catholic, as Germany is today. The German people of that era totally respected the pope and he was able to bring Henry out of German in rags across the Alps, barefooted through the snow. No one believes the current pope could have done thus with Hitler. One sharp reprimand would have brought down a persecution similar to that inflicted upon the Jews. In that regard, it is now reported that there are no Jews left in Europe and there had been some five or six million before the war. The Germans killed not only German Jews, but any Jew, wherever they found them.
Why was moral and political resistance to the Nazis so minimal? Simple. It was totally subjugated by the popular will. It was lost in the mob. So while the church leaders could certainly see the evil incarnate in Hitler and his henchmen, they could not raise their voices. Such a fight would have resulted in the shedding of the blood of priests and millions of the faithful. Instead, the bishops submitted to the will of the people. Still the question burns in your mind, as it must in the collective German conscience: “Can you bear to live with an evil such as this, even though to resist it means your own life?”
The Turtle Lake Times has been coming airmail and I get them in good time. There is one article that stirs me to thought. It quotes the archbishop of Canterbury to the effect that he believes something should be done to prevent the race from becoming composed of idiots and scrubs. He says that while normal people discontinue reproducing, the idiots and scrubs go on and on. He says the idiots and scrubs should be exterminated in their early years and if this is not done, the nations of the occidental world will be all scrubs and idiots. This is a remarkable observation. For it to be made at this particular juncture in history is particularly ironic. It would be a desirable thing to perfect the human race and eliminate the deficient, the infirm and the warped. In Germany, one sees right off the results of this belief when it is acted upon. The Germans, the Nazis in particular, are people of action. Here we see some real movement on the question. There is a certain German doctor who was quoted in a recent issue of Time, who says precisely what the archbishop does, with one difference: He practices what the archbishop preaches. He and his fellow Nazi doctors helped effect the “betterment” of the German race by carrying out a massive program of extermination in which several hundred thousand idiots, scrubs, schizophrenics and others were wiped out after a brief diagnosis that resulted in their being stamped “unfit.”
This is the most “heroic” example of mass “mercy killing” ever staged in history. The doctor is proud of his work and of his scientific accomplishment. The archbishop’s sudden discovery of a means to improve the human race is mere wishful thinking compared to the Germans’ action. That’s what I like about the Germans: They are full of action. They don’t hem and haw about principles, then go right about it. If they think the race is being diluted and degraded by increasing numbers of unfit types, they exterminate them. This was not a theory in Germany, it was reality. The German insane asylums and old folks homes are empty. It strikes you that it is unusual that you do not see any old people, or any decrepit, or retarded people.
The archbishop raises an embarrassing and difficult question because if the race is to be perfect by a system of euthanasia couple with sterilization, who will have the power to pick and choose the so-called idiots and scrubs: Who will choose who is to live and who is to die? I for one would not want this power in the hands of the political leaders. When you reach into the very question of life or death, political organizations are simply not sufficiently unbiased to deal with such matters; but none of these problems meant anything to the Nazis. They could proceed with the extermination of a race or a class of people judged unfit with casual ease, as if they were perfecting a new breed of cows or chickens. When the Germans assumed the title of “master race,” this gave them, in their minds at least, the power to destroy the ‘syphilitic French”, the “dull and barbaric Slaves,” and “the perverse and mediocre Italians.” What is particularly distressing about this whole episode, with these declarations by people in high moral places affirming that a doctrine appears “nice” on its face when it is really the rankest and deepest kind of evil, is that we have just finished a war of incalculable misery fought to bring an end to a clique of madmen who sought to put such a doctrine into action.
What is the difference between the Nazis and archbishop? The one practices while the other preaches. The archbishop’s motives are the betterment and welfare of the human race; but I think at the root, the Nazis motives are the same. They, too, wanted to improve the intellectual and moral standards of the nation, and they in fact eliminated many of the suffering “unfit” persons the archbishop talked about.
Let me conclude: On the one hand, we have fought a terrible war against a political system that had as its central theme the methodical extermination of all persons and groups who were presumed to be in opposition to the building of a better race. This scheme was nearly successful; but it did not succeed, though it was defeated only at the cost of much blood, sweat and tears.
On the other hand, at the very moment of our triumph, we are confronted with an archbishop, a man of great moral standing, who says we should eliminate the “scrubs and idiots” for the betterment of the race.
In this same vein, it is understandable that there should be a certain vindictiveness on the part of the victors, including meting out punishment that is equivalent to that which the defeated Nazis sought to impose on their victims. The secretary of the treasury, Morgenthau, has proposed the complete destruction of the industrial and economic capacity of Germany and its return to a completely pastoral state. Churchill is resisting this proposal, but it is said that Roosevelt was impressed with the plan, which was seriously taken up by the heads of government in both Britain and the United States. I have heard a still more radical plan composed by a Jew in New York City who proposes that the entire male population of Germany be sterilized without exception, and that the object of this mass sterilization would be to force all subsequent German births to be a matter of mixture with other nations so that the German race, as such, would disappear from the face of the earth. I have been told that this plan has been set forth in book form and is available for sale in the bookshops of the United States. There is no doubt that had the Germans succeeded in conquering the world, they would have been capable of such an action. Imagine the calamity of the sterilization of the French race; without the French, the human race would lose the art of sex. I would say that there is more potential for tragedy in the loss of French lovers than in the proposal of mixing the German race with the Italians or Jews.
Now let us go on to lighter things. I have 92 points and I understand we only have to have 82 points, in order to be entitled to be rotated back to the United States. If they mean what say, this means that I will be one of the first to be shipped back.
Some words about the Russians: There is not doubt that the Russians won their victory over the Germans by the application of mass, for in every category, including training and the material of war, they were inferior to the Germans. In reviewing the situation, it is my belief that the Americans could have crossed Germany in a quarter of the time they actually took. But our tactics were not based on slaughtering the enemy, for when you re slaughtering off the enemy or separate him from his supplies in order to make it impossible for him to fight. Whenever the enemy would make a real stand, we would maneuver around him, while the Russians would battle it out head-to-head. As a result, I have a lot of confidence in American generalship. If we ever fight the Russians, the destruction would be terrific. Our weapons are vastly superior. The firepower of a 10-man American infantry squad beats theirs twice over. Only the Germans, with their super automatic weapons, could compare with us.
Back at the barracks, I strike up a number of fine acquaintanceships, including a Frenchman named Robert. He says he has attended the University of Toulouse and has a doctor of law degree. I don’t know whether he has such a lofty degree or not, but he converses in English, appears well read and is expressive of many ideas. Robert had been in the French army and had been captured along with many other Frenchmen in the early days of the war and had been in Germany for two years. He says those two years taught him many things. I ask him the question: “The people of Germany are good, moral, religious people. How is it then that brutality and cruelty should be so extensive and on such a massive scale?” He replies: “Many are afraid or complacent. Moreover, they have had obedience and blind faith beaten into them so thoroughly that they do not question the acts of their leaders, no matter how cruel they are, and they will commit murder or acts of brutality on order, fully conscious of the fact that they are murderers and will do this rather than disobey. They have no reason; they act on nothing but blind faith and duty.”
America’s crime rate is much higher than Germany’s. The Gestapo’s method of beating information out of the enemy copies our own third degree. But the brutality that they extend is open and the sadism that appears before your eyes is something that one cannot conceive of being possible in an American community. No one was responsible for the care of the Russians in the camp near us. No one cared. The Germans were taught that they must hate. They must kill. Slaughter delights them. Robert concludes that all the horrors in Germany have not yet been disclosed and that the real scope of the brutalities of the German nation is unimaginable.
This view of the Germans stands in comparison to a story Dulanski tells of an incident in Elbingerode. Five German prisoners came in to surrender, three of them carrying a wounded man. As they approached a roadblock, Dulanski saw an antitank gunner signal the Germans to come in. The AT man went up to meet them, then looted the prisoners. Dulanski then saw the antitank man raise his gun and fire at the Germans, not excepting the wounded man. Later, the other fellows went up to view the bodies. Each of the Germans had a hole in his head where the AT man had finished them off with a Luger pistol. The incident stands as evidence that Americans can be brutal, too.
As we see the people of Europe go by, it prompts me to comment on the various peoples of Europe. In my estimation, the handsome people of Europe are the Belgians. They have no special hate, except for each other. In particular, the Flemish hate the Walloons, a hatred that involves the difference in languages. The Walloons speak French and the Flemish a form of German. When I was in Belgium at the replacement depot, the Belgian boys spoke French, but later, after I joined the 1st Infantry Division in Flanders, the young Belgian boys there spoke Flemish. But in general, the Belgians are nice people.
The English don’t seem to like anybody. They are somewhat like Americans in this regard, at least, eastern Americans, although they tend to be smaller. The English are intolerant of everyone, especially the French and Italians. No doubt, they have no great love for us, either.
The Poles have huge jaws, flat noses and square heads. They are one of the forgotten peoples of Europe, bewildered and alone, not knowing who are their friends, but possessed of a deep and abiding fear and hatred of the Russians and Germans. The Poles have an affinity toward the French and there is a real affection between the Poles and the French. The Italians are the rejected of all. They have neither friend nor enemy. This is a relatively new thing, stemming partially from the fact that the Italians put on such a miserable exhibition in the war and failed so miserably as a fighting force.
The Czechs hate the Germans and are afraid of the Russians. Curiously enough, for all of their brutality, the Germans are probably the most respected of all. There is no question but that the English have more respect for the Germans than for the French and it is becoming very apparent from my own friends and buddies that they share the same perception.
I always speak of these hates, because in a war, little else survives. We can talk peace and international government, but the true understanding among nations that would provide a genuine basis for peace is completely lacking, in my opinion.
The English are the worst offenders in this regard. They are insolent and seem to hate everyone. They fear the Russians and speak often of their fear. They are nice as pie to us, but I wonder if they really like us.
Everyone talks abut the Americans, but my French friend Robert warns, “I am ashamed of my countrymen. You don’t know, Richard, what they are saying about the Americans.” Perhaps it is better if we don’t know and just as well if we don’t let them know what we think of them. The Americans, in general, have not enhanced their love of the Europeans by coming over here. Wherever you go, you hear Americans say, “Those damned Frogs,” or “Those damned Limies.” The only thing we seem to agree upon is that everyone hates the Germans and fears the Russians.
On about our fourth night here, we were in the barracks of the French prisoners for a party, a party to which the French had invited their Germans girlfriends. This promised to be interesting, since we had been under strict non-fraternization orders with regard to the Germans. On the evening of May 5, we had the big party. The French had a little orchestra and their girlfriends came. They danced and they had some potato whiskey and a number of them got drunk. We stayed aloof through the whole thing, watching from the back of the room. It was not particularly appealing because the German women evidently didn’t come from the finer families and there wasn’t a good-looking one in the lot. Nevertheless, the Frenchies and their German frauleins whooped it up. I also have neglected to say that on May 5 or 6, back in Selb, three or four of us were assigned to guard a barracks next to the factories. I never found out what was manufactured in the factories, but the attached barracks had three or four hundred women within, a mixture of nationalities but mostly Polish. The barracks had two floors and on the second floor, the women had their bunks, while on the first floor there were the Frenchmen. I believe it was Fowler and Peter Hans who had been down there and stood the initial guard. They came back all excited. Peter said it was the damndest thing he’d ever seen. It’s a whorehouse, he said. Upstairs are all the women and downstairs are all the Frenchmen, and they do nothing all day except make love. Evidently, when the Americans occupied the place, notice was taken immediately that here were people who could be victims or who could victimize. People who could be importuned or who could importune. Our guard had as its purpose the keeping away of American soldiers. I think it was Hanson and I who went down for the next shift. Our instructions were to stay in the lobby entrance to the building and to make sure that no Americans came in. Periodically we were to go through the building to make sure no dog faces were sneaking in through the windows.
These women had been brought into Germany to work in the fields and factories for meager pay. There were few amenities. The people ranged in age from 15 to 50, and as I have said, the women slept in a huge open room on the top floor and Frenchmen were on the bottom floor. There were about 200 women and 100 Frenchmen. In any event, there were more women than men, with the predictable results. The appointments of these rooms were at best rustic, with crude wooden bunks about four tiers high with nothing but straw for comfort. Rags and old blankets comprised the bedding. Curiously enough, the place was relatively clean and it showed that the morale of these people had been maintained during these long years. Needless to say, it was a natural setting for debauchery. In polite language, it was a love nest; in plain Army language, it was a whorehouse. The command was aware of the chaos that would result if the American troops were allowed to make a run on the place, thus the 24-hour guard was mounted just to keep the doggies out. This gave us the opportunity to have the run of the place. The girls were friendly, but certainly not naïve, and, to a large extent good, wholesome women. And when I say that it was a love nest, it would not be fair to these women to say that they were all cheap and easily bought. I talked with a number of the younger girls and here was some of the most reprehensible behavior of the Germans at work. These girls had been here from four to five years. They had been taken away from everything that was natural to women and were left with drudgery and work, scant pay and food and natural despair. Even the stronger ones would be in drift, sooner or later.
We made no move to interfere in these scenes of cheap love and obscenity and as we made our way through the building that night, there was a constant movement from one floor to another as men sought women and women sought men. These relationships were carried on with quite a natural placidity and no one remarked on the situation. It was not a matter to concern us and evidently, these relationships had spring up many years before and probably in some cases, the participants had been married. Some of these people were homely and careless, some wretched looking, some common, and an amazing number pretty. Most were reserved and dignified. None of them made any advances or insinuations toward us. They said that they had waited many weeks for us. They said they knew the Americans were in the vicinity and had waited patiently. It seemed an insult that they were under guard and they could not understand why they could not associate with the American soldiers. They were pleased to talk with us and after Hanson and I had been relieved, we talked with a couple of the girls and played ping-pong with them in an upper room- and I mean ping-pong! Soldiers are soldiers. The American is not so brutal and bloodthirsty as the Germans or Russians. He is slicker, but not as polished and smooth as the Frenchman.
There is an item I neglected to comment on. This is the soldier’s prerogative to loot. We are no longer looting as we did before and some of the boys in this outfit are actually disappointed that they are no longer on the line. For some of them, it is quite a pleasure to capture the enemy and take over his personal equipment. When you have lined up the prisoners, you search them for knives, weapons and binocular, compasses, etc., and take them. The German Luger is quite a prize, for example. A Luger pistol brings anywhere from $50 to $100. I have found one, also, tow .30-caliber pistols. Some boys have picked them up by the dozen and usually made big money. I recall, I believe it was in Elbingerode, that I ran a patrol on communications and I walked from our platoon down to the CP. It was very dark and the streets were black, and I had some fears that the Germans would be sniping at us. However, we arrived safely at the CP and Capt. Cutler and some of the others were there. They brought in a German officer who stood rigidly at attention. Not a word was said to him, but very quietly, all of his personal effects such as his rings, watch, pocket book and what not were removed. At one moment, he protested, but the officer standing behind him shoved his pistol into the German’s back and the protest was quickly quelled. The officers continued to cruelly strip him of his personal belongings. We noted that it was deeply disturbing to him when they took away his ring – which must have represented some deep affection – even though his emotions were only a flicker across his face.
When we searched prisoners, we did not stop at guns, pistols and binoculars. We took their watches and jewelry and money. It was looting, supposedly punishable by death, but we did it. On the fighting front, in the heat of battle, who knows the difference? Some of our fellows have $400 or $500 worth of loot and some do not hesitate to loot the dead. Human depravity in this respect is appalling. If the captive has baggage, that too is ripped open and looted. Anything is fair game. For instance, I am wearing Jerry underwear right now, a Jerry belt and I carry a Jerry blanket. Nor does looting stop with soldiers, far from it. If you come to a town where civilians have left, or are in their bunkers, and you meet enemy resistance, a certain amount of destruction is required. The heat and fury of battle will excite you. You feel a little more wild and free and thus as you move from house to house, the urge to loot takes hold. In Bonn this was particularly true. Some fellows acquired great sums of money there. But one fellow got fooled. He ran onto a stack of German notes. Some of them are million-mark bills. He thought he was in. But the date on them was during an inflationary era and the bills had no value whatsoever.
Americans do not destroy for no reason. They are not vandals. They may mess up a place, but certainly their conscience bothers them when they do. My personal rule is that when you come into a town and it proves deserted, anything goes. But if you come into a town knowing that civilians are still in their houses, then there will be (no) looting. As Murray said, you can’t rightly take things from people right in front of them.
One doesn’t bother to consider the value of items one picks up. For example, I saw one fellow pick up a violin, I would say a very expensive one. He played it for a while, then broke a string and ended up smashing it. I think it is the Third Amendment of our Constitution in which one of the most sacred rights of the American people is set down. It is that troops shall not be quartered in private homes except in emergencies in time of war. If the Germans suffer no other punishment, or no other affliction, this imposition would suffice. To have each private home invaded, to have troops in small rooms. Let me tell you, it is hell. To have your house invaded, your kitchen taken over with all the food and dishes, men sleeping in your beds, with their dirty clothes and shoes on, this is hell. We use their dishes and break them, of course. We burn their wood and coal to heat heir rooms a lot warmer than they do. And if we don’t like the way things are run around the house, they are chased out. I can’t always agree with some of this harshness. An old lady is an old lady. Some of these Americans show disrespect for women in general. Of course, the German woman is quite capable of taking care of a lot of the abuse. It is obvious that their own menfolk treat them no better. I remember one instance, just back in a village the other side of the Weser, where we had gone into a very fine and neat house. Everything was polished. The kitchenware, the stove, the cupboards, where all shiny and clean. The living room was particularly well kept and the beds were covered with a thick ticking and a fine quilting. We walked in, having been in the mud and rain. The woman of the house protested and asked us to leave, she shouted and screamed. Newman walked in, took off his pack, unslung his tommy gun and cartridge case and threw it on the bed. She went over and took it off and put it on the floor. She begged him. He picked it up and threw it back on the bed. He then lay down on the bed. She tugged at him and asked him to leave. Finally, Newman got off the bed, picked up his tommy gun, pointed it at her and pushed her and ordered her out of the house and down into the basement. Newman said, “If the old bag comes back up, I’ll kill her.” She was a rather aggressive and stubborn old German woman and she did not realize how earnest Newman was. But in any event, she got the message, and left.
Speaking of looting, I have also forgotten to mention the incident of the German motorcycle. On the first morning, as the German6th Army was passing by us, an officer was coming down the road on a motorcycle and as he reached the overpass, he was forced to dodge to the left to avoid a truck and the cycle skidded out from under him. The German went sprawling across the road and the motorcycle and as he reached the overpass, he was forced to dodge to the left to avoid a truck and the cycle skidded out from under him. Ther German went sprawling across the road and the motorcycle went into the ditch. Like a flash, the Frenchmen who were standing by the road dashed out and grabbed the motorcycle and began wheeling it back to their barracks. The officer started after them, but I stopped him and tuned him back. He had been carrying a small set of binoculars, which he had dropped during the mishap and which were lying in the road. I picked them up and order the German on his way. He said not a word and headed down the road on the run.
 This inquiry interests me, as I not so long ago struck up a conversation with a professor at the University of Connecticut about the Jewish issue in Germany during the war, and what was happening in the minds of the German people in the midst of genocide. This man said that during the war, Jewish children would begin to disappear from the classrooms, and even though these may have been their friends, questions were never raised, and no one ever asked; Why?
Another German friend of mine, in Connecticut, speaks about her experience with the war through her poetry in her book, “The Ocean Carries Me.” In a particular poem she speaks about her father, getting into his uniform and leaving to attend meetings with other members of the SS. There wasn’t any discussion about where he was going, or what he was doing. This event took place in the backdrop of another reality taking place in the household, and that is the bed-ridden state of her terminal mother in the home. All of this gloom is portrayed in the backdrop of the Nazi State. Gerda, to this day laments the role of the Nazi’s control in the lives of the Germans, and even ended up marrying a Jewish man. This was the fate of another female Jewish friend of mine, whose family suffered in concentration camps. She married a wonderfully sweet German man. Since I am relating stories of the war, way back, when I lived in Nebraska, and working to get my state residency so I could return to the university, I found a job in the Admissions office at UNL. Basically my job was to file transcript request letters, and pull the files so the records got sent. Not a very diversified job, but a job nonetheless. I spent a lot of time conversing with people in the office. I certainly was a sociable individual at 19 years of age. One of the ‘secretaries’, or Administrative Assistants, as we call them today, was an English woman, a chain smoker, who lived in London, during War II. She recalled with vehement hatred for the Germans, how the Londoners had to retreat to bomb shelters, as the city was being destroyed. This is something that she continued to have nightmares about all of her life, and perhaps the source of her smoking. What I have learned from these lessons is that the more people talk about these experiences, whether it is in a positive, or negative tone, the more we can learn from the past mistakes. Then again, the same issues of hatred continue to surge between people of differing countries. Take the Serbs, and Croatians, for example. I have a French friend married to a Serb. When I asked her if they were going back to Dubrovnik this summer, she corrected me and said, Montenegro, and made it quite clear that anything related to Croatia was unacceptable in their household.
 Of course, Richard is speaking ironically.
 ‘Old folks home’ is a politically incorrect term, today.
 J One thing that delighted people about Richard was his profound, at times, very corny, sense of humor.
 If my dad were here today, I would have to educate him on the topic of race, and he would listen, with a gentle scolding, of course. First of all, my understanding is that French, German and Italian, are ethnicities with a cultural commonality, comprising many races. As time goes on these ethnicities become more and more complex, culturally and multi-racially, while retaining cultural practices. The French, for example, still go every morning to buy their baguette, whether they are Moroccan, Algerian, Breton, or Norman. It is also my understanding the Jews are a religious group, also comprised of various races and ethnicities. Richard, reflecting pride in his French heritage, is actually falling into the trap of cultural, and ethnical supremacy, although he has done this without malice, and in a humorous way, not to mention the single one issue on his mind, which is sex; an understandable preoccupation for a soldier in the war. In light of a discussion on the purity of race and ethnicity, how could one argue today that the intermixing of races and ethnicities is not a positive force in the world, and perhaps a possible solution to the hideous acts of genocide, that have taken place.
 Does he mean ‘no looting’ here?
 Seems she was entitled to be aggressive.
What has come over me? I have become lacks, distracted, and unfocused in my endeavors. Forgetful of my goals, and pursuits. It is time to take the bull by the horns, once again, and begin anew. It is time to ‘cease’ the day! Or is that ‘seize’? Oh well, whatever…I shall not cease to seize:) Also, where would we be without spell check.
Memories surge from old photographs. We all have a curious past, past lives, and reinventions of ourselves, I suppose. I was just thinking today, I wish I could stop the clock, or turn it back. There’s not too much I regret, overall, and usually look back at something I thought was horrendous at the time, and realize it wasn’t that bad.
I try not to be reclusive, though I understand the exhaustion that comes with ‘being on’. I prefer to be quiet, but do have a wicked tongue that gets me into trouble, now and then. I love to get out and be with people, go places, but at times when I am in one place, I want to be another: And so on, and so forth. There is a lot of truth to ‘it’s greener on the other side of the fence.’
I like homemaking and artistic things, but I don’t rebuild computers, upholster furniture, or make lampshades. I used to sew the kids pajamas and halloween costumes: Dogs, witches, bats, fairy tale characters, firemen, etc. The typical things kids like to pretend to be. Sewing was relaxing, though I was never that great at it, but I could make a costume, without a pattern. That’s all for today. Take it easy…
Love from TiffanyCreek