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March 22, 1945

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of uniformed man carrying a coat rifle and backpack

Ted's sketch, titled "Debarkation"

March 22, 1945
Somewhere in Germany

Dearest Helen,

As you know, today marks my 31st birthday – the 3rd one I’ve spent in the Army. (No – not my 3rd 31st birthday – I mean the 3rd birthday celebrated in the Army.) On my first of these three, I was fortunate enough to be home on furlough, my 2nd was in Tennessee, though I can’t remember how I celebrated (check the files) – and now my third has come here on the alleged holy soil of the Reich. In commemoration, I’ve just been serenaded by three lusty voices in an rendition of “Happy Birthday to You.”

We haven’t received any mail for a few days, but today a minute quantity arrived, and lo and behold, by a pleasant coincidence, I received two birthday cards and a package of 3 books (Ogden Nash, etc) from you – and these really made it seem like a birthday. You hit it right on the button. I hope to be rewarding you soon.

I have a pretty comfortable set up at the moment. I’m sitting in a dining room at a table in an house which formerly housed a German family. They must have moved in an awful hurry, because all the furnishings are intact. Of course, things are in “slight disarray,” but it’s real home like. I claimed a nice big double bed complete with springs and a big soft mattress and have a fire going in a funny contraption – combination stove and fireplace. The walls are covered with pictures of the family, and a fine looking group of Nazis they are. The place is full of swastikas and propaganda – and strangely enough, religious paraphernalia, too.

All I need is a shower bath, but strange as it seems, there is no shower or bathtub in the whole house, and this is a pretty large sized house. Queer people these Germans.

Meanwhile, everything’s alright here, but now I’d like to be back! – Time’s a-wastin’ – we have lots to do.

All my love,

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