Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Letter from Katherine Fite to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Fite, August 12, 1945. K. Lincoln Papers, War Crimes File. (Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library)

Sunday, Aug. 12

Dearest Mother and Daddy,

No trips to write about this time, and I'm afraid that I started off with such a bang that from now on you'll find my letters flat, at least until we get to Nuremberg - which I don't think will be for some weeks yet. I think I told you that the civilians may have to get into uniform, principally, I guess, because we'll be more easily identified that way. Even if we don't have to, I may get me a uniform if it's not too expensive. Incidentally, don't worry about my getting enough to eat - the army feeds its own well. We get plenty of meat, and one pat of butter per meal. I am a little tired of canned and stewed fruit - and the coffee isn't much, and the milk powdered I guess. In London, everyone eats at the huge officers' mess, even the people from the Embassy. And it's a blessing. Well-balanced menus - my problem is to avoid the huge portions they serve the men. At the PX (Post Exchange) they sell you candy bars and chewing gum and cookies - a certain amount per week - all the things you're missing at home.

What a week full of history this has been. It's times like these that I miss a radio in my room. The atomic bomb is something awful to contemplate. I'm torn between wishing we hadn't been the ones to launch it and being so profoundly thankful it has ended the war. I suppose it's no worse to kill civilians one way than another.

Wednesday was a big day for us, the day of signing our agreement, though I suppose the Russian entry into the Pacific War dwarfed it in the Thursday papers. I went down to witness the signing - it was mostly a barrage of lights and photographers. Most of the witnesses milled around in the background and got into the pictures. I stayed out and now I don't know whether I'm sorry or not. Still, there was no one from the Embassy there, so perhaps it's just as well.

Friday night I was included in a large dinner party the Justice gave at Claridge's. Claridge's is a very conservative and swank hotel where he lives (also Churchill, now). There were about thirty there, maybe more, including the new Lord Chancellor and the new Attorney General, and the old Lord Chancellor, Lord Simon. Also Governor and Mrs. Lehman and several young men from the Foreign Office. For women there were just Mrs. Lehman, Mrs. Douglas (the Justice's secretary) and myself. Sat next to Prof. Lauterpacht. Prof. Goodhart (Oxford?) (Cousin of Mrs. Morgenthau and the Lehmans) was among the after dinner speakers along with the other big shots. Gov. Lehman looked tired and had a nervous twitch in his face. The big UNRRA meetings are going on. After dinner we took Lord Wright, the Chairman of the War Crimes Commission, back to his club and saw the crowds sweeping down Piccadilly celebrating V-J Day. The streets were filled with torn paper, tho I wasn't out to see it being thrown. Paper is so scarce over here that I couldn't help wondering if it wasn't mostly Americans who threw it.

Did I write you that Bill Whitney, Miss Marian W's nephew, who I believe now practices law in London, has been working with the Justice in some capacity? He looks just like a Whitney. He is the one who swapped wives with Raymond Massey.

This morning went to church at Westminster Abbey - just jammed. The Communion Service - which we only stayed to part of - is far more elaborate and Catholic than anything I ever saw at home. Afterwards we walked across Westminster Bridge and looked at the sweep of the Houses of Parliament from the other side of the river, which I don't remember doing when we were here in 1921. Stockings are fine. I really don't have enough clothes. I may get you to send me another sweater and dress, but I shall wait and see what I decide about uniforms. I've worn a summer dress just once, in Frankfurt. It's cold here. Lota love and don't expect me to fly to Berlin every week. At least this time I had the Lord Chancellors to write about.

All my love


Had my hair cut and got a permanent at Selfridge's.
Couldn't cope with long straight hair.
What does E.D.F. think of the agreement?