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September 11, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

Group of eight soldiers with three French civilians

Soldiers posing with French women; Ted stands behind the woman on the left.

Monday – Sept 11, ‘44
5:30 PM

Dear Helen,

At last your mail has begun to arrive again, though slightly aged, from Va. Beach, with much space between the dates. But, most important is, the fact that they arrived – though I’m still waiting for the snapshots.

We had the day off yesterday, enabling us to see the town nearby a little more closely – this town is much larger than any we’ve been lucky enough to visit as yet. With the knowledge that food is scarce, we took some eggs, sugar, Nescafe, walked into the first restaurant and asked them to make an omelette for us – then we asked for hot water and made coffee. They added a salad and bread and our meal was complete. People at a neighboring table offered us pears and peaches plus wine for which we gave them cigarettes and the surplus cream and sugar.

Then we made a survey of the city and environs, seeing the sights – finally being invited to a dance, Jack and I and another fellow being the only Americans there. We had loads of fun, being the belles of the ball. The music (?) derived from a two piece orchestra consisting of drums and accordion – was nothing short of amazing in its jumble. First they would play a waltz, then a polka – two-step, fox-trot – and once upon inquiring as to the nature of one particularly musical abortion – I was told, to my astonishment, that it was swing. Everything was so strange, even the manner of of the terpsichore – sort of jerky, quick steps. The girls were very well dressed – smart as a Vogue cover – which is true of almost all French women in the larger cities. To my mind the women are the predominant force in France, whereas the men are there only as a biological necessity – very unimpressive, wishy-washy, etc.

We had to leave before the dance was over, and were given a fine send-off – and arrived back at camp without further incident, except getting lost in the woods for a while in the blackout.

Your letter of August 30th just arrived, containing the “lend-lease”, “lettuce” episode and the headlines. It sounded so domestic, which is alright with me. I could do with a little domesticity right now.

Time out for chow – more tomorrow. Regards to everyone, and –


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