October 29, 1944

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Oct. 29, 1944

Dear Mother, Dad, and Grandpa,

               I just came back to the dayroom after being at the Service Club, library, etc., all day, and I was determined not to go to bed until I wrote this letter. I do wish I would write more often – I say this all the time but never do it.

               I wrote a letter to Ethyl and to Claire and Saul this evening. Told Ethyl that I could use an O.D. overseas cap, which I really do need, so if you told her handkerchiefs, it might be too late, but I hardly think she has sent anything yet. I couldn’t think of anything when you asked me, Mother. Also, I told Claire that I hadn’t received the candy. I had just mailed the ltter, walked into the barracks, and found the candy laying on my bed. Someone got it for me at mail call today. So please tell her I received it.

               Boy that call really came through fast today. I placed it in the dayroom at 9 A.M., went up to the Service Club, had it transferred, and it came through at 9:20, 2 minutes after I got there. That’s because this camp is so deserted.

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               The 8th Armored and 21st Corps moved out this week leaving Polk practically empty. I went over to the Guest House. “Connie” Conrad shipped out Tuesday and she went home to Marion. Too bad I didn’t get to say good-bye to them.

               The 68th Signal is out of XXI corps and is in 14th Headquarters, Special Troops, 4th Army. I finally had to take off my shoulder patches. Each of us will be issued 8 4th Army patches – red background with a 4-leaf clover in it.

               Hear Drew Pearson tonight. He didn’t have much to say, although he did say that Gen. Marshall thinks that there is a chance that Germany might be out by Christmas. I don’t know. It all doesn’t sound very hopeful to me. Maybe something will pop soon in Europe. They have been stalemated for an awful long time. Just think how a couple of months ago everyone was sure that it would end this month or sooner. The Germans are certainly fighting with a strange fanaticism. Goebbels speech yesterday shows that they will never give up – not until we advance clear across Germany, at least. I wish I knew what makes the German mind so perverted. Did you read the horrible description in Life this week of the ghastly slaughter of the Jews in Europe. It’s simply terrible. It’s the Dark Ages all over again.

               All class D men (unfit for all real military duty except really soft jobs) and all men over 38 are being sent to camps

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Oct. 29, 1944

near their homes. This Roth boy thinks he might be sent to Fort Hayes. He is from Louisville.

               Another fellow from Chicago, Norbert Bock, 37 years of age, was sent to the prisoner of war camp here at Polk to act as an interpreter. He was born in Germany and speaks and writes German fluently. He translates the Nazis’ letters and then passes them on to the censor. He is also translating a diary one of the Nazis kept. He and I were quite friendly, and I am sorry I missed him today as he came back to the barracks to visit. The fellows said he inquired for me. That must be very interesting work. I’d like to find out what goes on in the German mind, why they hate the Jews why they hate freedom, blindly follow a bunch of racketeers, etc.

               As for the 68th, I sill still don’t know what it will do. At a non-com meeting last week they were told that we were to be ready for a new mission by Jan. 1st. We don’t know if that means overseas, maneuvers, or what. But many seem to think it will be the former. There may not be anything to it. They many just go on having P.O.R. shipments. Who knows? At that meeting they were told not to kid themselves, that this outfit would

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go over. I am still listed as excess in the intercept section as well as Sgt. Arkin, John Hughes, and some others. I have been here over 6 months and still don’t know what this outfit is to do in the future.

               You remember I told you about the boy who wore an Indian suit, etc., trying to get a discharge? Well, he is in New Guinea now. One of the sgts. had a V-mail letter from him several weeks ago.

               The Phill Philharmonic must have been beautiful. Milton Cross and Milstein are both very fine, I know. But I’m surprised that Milstein was so ungracious. I don’t think an artist had to be so temperamental and above all a Jew like Milstein shouldn’t be that way.

               The other concert sounded excellent Bidu Sayao and Richard Crooks[1], I mean.

               “Kiss and Tell” was in Shreveport  Friday night. I could only go to Shreveport on a 3-day pass. A week-end pass takes in a radius of 75 miles, so Shreveport is out. Of course this was on a Friday anyway.

               On election night “The Merry Widow” will be there. I’d like to go, but couldn’t ask for a 3-day pass yet. There is a new orchestra and floor show at the Washington-Youree.

               Several of us thought about going to Alexandria today for a game of golf, but we didn’t go. It would have been nice though. I felt too tired though, and besides I wanted to see a show and write letters. The others probably would have gone if I had pressed the issue.

               I saw “An American Romance” with Brian Donlevy. It has been in Dayton


[1] Two popular opera singers.

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already – at Loew’s. It’s excellent.

               Hope you both have better luck at gambling next time. How’s the roulette wheel, Mother? You must be slipping at that as well as Dad at poker!!! Can’t have that!

               I received all the papers, magazines, etc. I used them as a basis for my lecture, especially the “N.Y. Times.” This coming Sat. I think we will give a brief review of the war and then have a debate – “Roosevelt vs. Dewey”. I’ll be for Frankie, of course. Just think, the election is only a little over a week away.

               We have a huge bulletin board outside. We got it from the 8th Armored [undecipherable] and use it for an ore orientation board – maps, clippings, etc. It looks like the side of barn, it’s so huge. It’s the C.O.’s idea. Also from the 8th Armored we got a ping-pong table and a buffalo head presented to the 8th by South Dakota. What an ugly piece of junk! We also have a lot of new furniture – the money coming out of the company fund. Speaking of money, Tuesday is pay-day.

               We won’t have anymore civilian laundry service because not enough fellows used it, so now I’ll have to use the G.I.  laundry. I hate to, because

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they never press anything, never send the right things back, etc.

               Well, I must close. It’s late and the lights have to be turned off in the dayroom. Love to you all.


                     Jerome, Jr.

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