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January 19, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

five uniformed men standing outdoors holding their helmets

Ted (second from right) and friends with their very useful helmets

Jan 19, 1945

Dearest Helen,

I’ve just washed up and shaved. Of course, there’s nothing remarkable about that – but, just to give you an insight into how a gentleman of these parts, who might be included in this direction, would go about it, I will unfold the picture. First of all – water must be procured. This is done, by first approaching the Mess Sgt with a big smile and a slap on the back and asking if there might be some water to be acquired. Sometimes, absent-mindedly, you find yourself walking away with some water. However, if this doesn’t work, one must resort to a ruse. At any rate, once the water is procured, it is placed in the steel helmet, which is then hung over the fire until an agreeable temperature has been reached. Then, out come the shaving utensils, - but, usually, only after some difficulty, because invariably, they seem to find their way to the bottom of the bag. But, at length, after the usual scraping and splashing, I find myself somewhat cleaner and devoid of 1700 shadow. The helmet is really an all-purpose item – just about the right size in which to do laundry too. – And, oh, yes, it’s also a good thing to keep on your head.

As for good things to keep in my head – I have you, the past and the future – the wonderful days gone by and the even better ones to come –

Regards to everyone.


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