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July 27, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

Theodore Katz and his wife Helen in an embrace

Ted and Helen. Photo courtesy of Richard Katz.

July 27, 1944

Dear Helen,

After writing “Dear Helen,” I’ve been sitting here a full fifteen minutes – chewing on the end of my well-masticated pen, smoking a couple of cigarettes and watching the countless planes fly overhead – and waiting for an inspiration – a bit of subject matter to enlarge upon which would prove to be at once interesting and uncensorable – but, to no avail – my mind remains a vacuum.

And so, I sit and meditate of pleasant things which are far from this little field in Normandy – finding quiet comfort in thoughts of you, of home. How nice it would be to sleep in a bed with clean white sheets, to eat at a table, to bathe and shave in a civilized manner, to live without restrictions which are meaningless and absurd. I know that I will find all these things again and regain the feeling that I am living rather [than] just existing – and the knowledge that all these things are waiting for me lightens the burden. It’s strange how being in the army causes one to lose sight of the whole scope of the war, its causes, effects, political consequences – all these things in which I was vitally interested when I was able to view them as a panorama from a distance become unimportant when one is in the midst of it all. One becomes a little sphere of his own – whose primary interest is survival, and the end to the whole mess. Elections, treaties, post-war Europe, etc. are ignored and placed in the same category as rationing, movie-star divorces and similar minor aches and pains of the civilian world.

When I started, I didn’t intend to write a letter of this sort, but I guess it just overflowed the dam of the sub-conscious, rolled down and came out of the end of the pen.

Your letters are coming in a steady stream and are all that I can ask for. I hope that by now you’ve received the watch, and the sketches. If not, don’t worry, they’ll get there eventually. And I’m also looking forward to the pictures which I hope are on their way by now.

Sam and Dave send their regards and pass mine on to your folks and co-habitants.


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