Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Letter from Katherine Fite to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Fite, September 3, 1945. K. Lincoln Papers, War Crimes File. (Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library)

Monday, Sept. 3

Dearest Mother and Daddy,

I have just sent a night letter saying that my APO number will be 403 after next Monday. I could have used seven more words but could think of nothing interesting to put in seven words, so I let it go. I was hesitant to cable that we were going to Nuremberg. There is no secret about it, but still they might have queried it. Anyway, I am sure you will have guessed the fact from the change in the APO number. In many ways I am sorry to leave London, where we are certainly comfortable and free. But it will be interesting to see new places and to live with the Army of Occupation and perhaps get around to see other parts of Germany. For billets they have just turned Germans out of their houses to shift for themselves. They say the food is better in the mess there - probably more continental to judge by the sample in July - tho nothing could be better planned than the meals here.

I have bought a civilian uniform. I may have been unwise to spend the money - but I do need clothes and the uniform will be warm and shoes, overcoat and maybe shirts can be used again I hope. Now I see where shoes and materials are gone. They are beautiful quality in the uniforms. And I haven't touched my travelers' checks yet!

Let me see what I have done this week. To the theater twice - both Noel Coward shows - the one a musical, not so awful good - the other Blythe Spirit which has played in the states. Beautifully done and very funny. Yesterday a group of us went to Canterbury and Dover. The trains are jammed but no worse than at home. A spirited - I mean friendly conversation in the carriage going down with three English women. The English are almost pathetically eager to be friendly and stay friendly. All of a sudden I realized with what deep terror they must have stood alone after Dunkirk. They certainly realize how much they need us. They seem to be very much concerned with the report that Lend-Lease was cancelled because they have a Labor Government. I can't believe such considerations carry much weight except with a few crackpots. Nor can I believe the cancellation of Lend-Lease was as unexpected as the British Government chooses to say.

To get back to our train trip we were joined by a robust Cockney woman and her husband and two little boys going down to pick hops in Kent during their holidays. She came from the East End but never once went into a shelter. Thinks its just fate whether a bomb gets you. Seems it's an old tradition for Londoners to go to Kent in the hop season. The Times today announced that the hop pickers had arrived in Kent.

The Cathedral was so much bigger than I remembered it - it's vast. We spent almost two hours there on a tour conducted by a lovely old woman and then took a bus to Dover thru the most beautifully green, rolling country. At Dover we walked out on the esplanade, looked at the Cliffs and took a bus up the hill to Dover Castle where we climbed up a looked down at the town, listened to a serenade of all the church bells in town and saw the French cliffs dimly across the way. Dover was shelled, not bombed, and there is quite a bit of evidence of it. The train back brought us along the coast to Folkestone, there is still barbed wire along the beaches. There sits Folkestone, a sleepy looking little seacoast town, not so different from the French towns across the Channel and it makes you realize that England is a part of Europe.

Your letter of July 30 thru State arrived Aug. 28. So don't try that again. The mail is coming slower now. I imagine they are cutting down on staff. The reports on the collapse of the floor at Nuremberg are exaggerated; it did fall, but won't hold things up. (I mean figuratively).

Meant to write midweek, but went to a BBC Symphony Concert at Albert Hall. A huge oval auditorium looking very Victorian. Packed. Only got service tickets thru Red Cross.

Don't believe Wattie is back in London yet. No, I never went to theater with him. Had to work that night. Will try to write again before we leave London. Moving will speed up the trial. J. Jackson is in U.S. now but will join us soon. Your letters may come faster thru Germany. Perhaps they come thru Paris.

Lots of love.