October 10, 1944
Epinal, France

No. 57

Dear Folksies,

            A bit more of a breathing spell than I anticipated when I pounded out my last letter to you. Sooo, here I am in Receiving at the moment with good night’s sleep behind me and nothing in particular to do this afternoon unless things get good and busy again. Pete Joseph has returned, and so he is again Frank’s assistant so don’t know just what the score will be for Paul and myself now.

            Dad, I’m in agreement with you that watching proves instructive, but do not agree that giving the anesthesia is more fun that being 1st assistant in surgery. I’ve realized the fallacy of that statement even more in these last few days working with Gerbode. More fun than second assistant, yes, I guess so, but over here the enlisted men or nurses are the 2nd assistants.

           Also, when I compared you to Roy, I did not mean in getting the Captain of the ship [we were on from Italy to France] down for drinks, just in getting him to be a friend of our group – nothing but the best for us! The supply of drinks had come from a considerable amount that the 93rd had gotten just before we left and all had been given a bottle to roll in bed-rolls if desired. I had given my “ration” to the men and so had Roy, but Paul & Chuck still had theirs on the ship.

            Golly, hope that Yehudi makes a complete enough tour to get into our neck of the woods. Maybe I can drop him a note through the U.S.O. – that might induce him to visit us. Shall try it.

            Thanks in advance for the Blum’s candy. But, hope they realize that ordinary packing will NEVER do! Poor “Snuffy” frequently has a bad time when he finds scattered pieces of candy or other items at the bottom of his mail sack. You see, the mail for our outfit, as with others, comes in its own sack, already sorted in its own bag, from way back – how far back, I know not) and poorly packed boxes are the bane of the Postal Department’s existence.

            And yes, as you say, whether Hitler is actually alive or dead doesn’t particularly matter, for they’ll go on fighting with the SS troops pounding them in the backs. And anyway it looks as if the fight is the German people’s now – particularly their youth – I don’t believe they’re going to give up until they are completely over-run. Maybe I’m wrong – I hope so – and yet maybe it would be best for future peace to have them fight until they are finished completely.

                                                                                        Loads of love,

rene-transparent

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Watch for my next letter
October 13, 1944

René is now working in the Receiving Department. The photo above shows a patient being brought in to Receiving on a stretcher.

René tells his parents that his childhood friend, world-famous violinist, Yehudi Menuhin, is touring with the U.S.O. in Europe.

René tells his parents that, while he loves getting Blum’s candy from home, he wishes that it was packaged more securely, because “‘Snuffy’ Thraves has a bad time when he finds scattered pieces of candy…at the bottom of his mail sack.”