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July 24, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of an army truck in city street in france during ww2

Ted's sketch, titled “Cigarette pour papa!” - France 1944

Monday – July 24, 1944

Dear Helen,

This is letter #2 from France – writing from beside a thorny hedgerow which serves as the usual fence for the fields of this section. This for the present at least is my home – a tent, a cluster of thorns, and a hole in the ground – not at all what I imagined my trip to France, planned years ago, would be like.

Last evening, Sam and I were fortunate enough to find a place to wash up – in a little pond in back of a farmhouse with the usual shell hole in the roof. The amazing part of these French homes, is that, in no matter what state of destruction they are in, the people still reside in the ruins. After making with the soap and water, we tried our rusty French on the inhabitants and with the aid of sign language we all engaged in a truly intelligent conversation – or rather intelligible. Then came the usual trading. A stick of chewing gum brought forth a vile tasting drink which they called cider – and a cigarette, eventually smoked by a six year old lad with great gusto, rewarded us with an egg.

For a while, we were eating out of cans, a diet which causes the strongest stomach to turn, - but now we’re getting hot food, a welcome change.

Speaking of cooking and food, I see that you are doing alright – the descriptions of your efforts in that delightful field sound fine to me – with the testimonials and my present circumstances accentuating the issue. In fact these said circumstances seem to accentuate all issues concerning you.

I’m glad to hear of your regular correspondence with my folks. They write that they look forward to your letters, as well as seeing you soon.

Send the snapshots on as soon as you can. The ones we took in England haven’t been developed as yet. I expect we’ll get them in time to show the baseball team.

Time to quit –


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