Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Letter from Katherine Fite to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Fite, October 1, 1945. K. Lincoln Papers, War Crimes File. (Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library)

Monday Oct 1, 1945

Dearest Mother and Daddy,

It seems like a long time since I have heard form you, although actually it may not be more than a week. The weather has been bad, and I suppose the planes have been grounded. They say the 403 mail comes to Paris - is handled there - thence to Munich - and from there on it's my guess they bring it up my mules. However, some of your letters have come through in 6 days and I judge mine to you have done the same.

No trips this week. Yesterday a large open house at the Justice's. He has a large house which is heated. I am told all the houses in that street had been stripped bare of furniture by various German troops quartered there. Then the Americans proceeded to requisition furniture from other houses, giving receipts but with little hope of returning it to the right owner. The pieces are all pretty hideous - massive and in bad taste.

We are becoming more comfortable at the hotel - with heat in the rooms. Actually therefore the room itself is now more comfortable than the Cumberland in London, except that the service is minimum. Then the corridors are icy owing to gaping holes into the outdoors. Tomorrow we get keys for our rooms which will keep out somewhat inebriated and confused Americans at 2 A.M. and the SS and PW's who when they were working in this part of the building used to start opening the door around 7 A.M. For the Americans I sit up in bed and shout "you stay out of here" - for the SS, I keep quiet. The chair at the door is sufficient.

Our food continues good but monotonous. We are eating your meat all right but everyone loses somewhat - as it has that cold storage taste.

This week I attended an interrogation of General Keitel. Waiting for the Colonel to arrive to interrogate him he paced up and down like a panther in his greenish coat and bluish pants and high black boots - giving his knees a little jerk at each step. He had quite a surprise - he was confronted with how did Rommel die and the air sizzled with electricity. One of the most dramatic scenes I have ever seen enacted and I was lucky to be present at what we had supposed would be a routine interrogation.

Must go and see if water is hot - it isn't always, which is one point on which London excelled. London must be difficult for civilians and transient officers now - they have closed the Officers' Mess to them and English restaurants are crowded - terribly and very poor.

Hope to hear from you tomorrow.

All my love.