11.28.1944 Letter

Dear Willard and Grace;

Have your V-Mail letter of the 11th. You apparently haven’t received the package I sent to you nor the letter explaining how the contents should be distributed. Anyway, both are on the way somewhere.

Have been away from here about a week, having been in four more countries — Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and last but not least, Germany. A real interesting trip. Here’s how I got it.

The Mayor walked into the office one morning and said that he needed one enlisted man to go with, explaining that he would be exposed to danger and that if anyone didn’t want to go, to say so, no one backed out. Then our names were put on a piece of paper, put in the hat, and he drew. Well, he drew mine.

We first went into a town in Germany over a road that was registered by enemy artillery. It was a bad day, and though there was fine, it didn’t come near us.

We stayed in this particular town for a couple of hours, and believe me, I kept my carbine ready all the time.

It was a picturesque little German town, setting at the bottom of a valley, with steep hills rising sharply from three sides of the town. A stream meandered through the heart of it.

While I was standing in the street, a car pulled around the bend, without any insignia, and came to a halt. I recognized a couple of share-tails and saluted, but to my amazement, they all spoke in a heavy German accent and I admit I was a little uneasy for a minute. But, then it turned out that they were Belgian liasion officers with our Army and probably spoke Flemish, which is a little like German I guess. They wanted some information, and I showed them where to get it. Then we chatted and I passed them some cigarettes which they were glad to receive. Then they drove off.

We were in Germany again on another day, this time at Aachen. They sure raised cane with that place. People don’t speak, but would if you spoke to them. However, the policy over there is not to fraternize and it’s being enforced.

You know, our side is after an unconditional surrender and the Germans have known that for a long time and are making us fight for it. But then Morgenthau has to throw in his two cents worth and it sure makes wonderful German propaganda. On announcing something that he thinks should be done to Germany only arouses a natural reaction in people anywhere when told that they should or would be reduced to a slave state. He should keep his trap shut, and it would probably save a lot of lives on our side.

Well guess that’s the limit for this time.

Russell

France

Russell was selected to make a visit to Germany. Fabulous accounting of Germany during this time period.

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