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September 7, 1944

Letters from Theodore Katz

sketch of an unshaven man in coat

Ted's sketch of a man without a moustache

Sept 7, 1944
8:10 PM

Dear Helen,

Much has happened since yesterday’s letter. I have been suddenly transported from the ridiculous to the sublime in a short space of time. Last night I slept in the mud and wrote of wishing for a warm, soft, bed. Tonight, I shall sleep in a bed – perhaps not as soft as I would like, but nevertheless a bed – a German bed.

By way of explanation – we are now occupying barracks which formerly housed Nazi troops, and they, either not believing in the scorched earth policy or else having had no time to destroy the buildings, left them in a perfect state. One can see that they intended to stay here forever – the buildings well-constructed, solidly made and well kept.

So, today I washed and shaved in a real washroom, with mirrors, sink and running water, and as soon as the water heats up, I’ll have the luxury of a hot shower. I don’t know how long we’ll be able to afford this pleasure, but I’m thankful for even one day.

I’ve seen so much I can’t tell you about. I wish I could tell you where we are now, but it’s impossible.

Oh yes – one casualty today – in my exhuberance [sic] and happiness over the real washroom that, while shaving, I cut off half my mustache before realizing what I had done. After examining the effect of half a mustache, I decided that it would be best if it all came off. My comrades in arms also agreed, rather forcibly. I guess the result was too bizarre for their uninitiated eyes.

These Germans certainly lived in style here. I just heard that there is a piano at the theater. Yes – they even have a theater. So, I’m off to see if there’s any life left in my once nimble fingers.

I expect a big batch of mail from you tomorrow. Meanwhile, I miss you as always –


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