Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Letter from Katherine Fite to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Fite, October 21, 1945. K. Lincoln Papers, War Crimes File. (Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library)

Sunday, Oct. 21, 1945

Dearest Mother and Daddy,

Noteworthy events this week seem to have been mostly social and here it is quarter of 10 Sunday evening and ich bin mude, and I must still sort my laundry for tomorrow. I don't know how they Army does the laundry. I just know you give it to them of a Monday and back it comes Thursday, including dry cleaning. My laundry costs me anywhere from 40c to 60c a week. I suppose they give it to German women.

Thursday we were to have a "cotillion" in our "night club". A morale booster, I suppose with much activity and rehearsing for entertainment ahead of time. Enlisted men were included and the afternoon of the party the commanding General said - no enlisted men - officers according to army regulations cannot associate with the socially. So the whole party was abruptly called off. Fine for the morale of the enlisted men. No wonder they fraternize with the German girls. Fraternization, you understand, has come to be a word of art - it means running around with German prostitutes of where there is no dearth whatsoever. American rations are good. The colored boys have a fine time - they have some Negro troops near the quartermaster's depot and they steal the rations. Then the colored boys and the white boys fight over the girls and the German boys fight with both of them.

That is a detour I had not intended but thought you should understand about fraternization - which I heard one GI refer to just this evening as frauenization. The boys are bored - all they're interested in is going home. This business of a long occupation of Germany is going to be headache.

To go back to our cotillion, it served somebody good and right that the whole party was called off instead of dropping the enlisted men. The whole should have been winked at. General Betts, the theater Judge Advocate has been in town and he says we can get around it by having the party somewhere not already set aside for officers. Some Army regulation interfered with a party his office was having in Paris last Xmas, so he solemnly issued an "order" for his men to attend a "morale-boosting" meeting.

Well - to get on with my story - the Justice was having a cocktail party before the dance for certain fortunate individuals and that went ahead anyway. Then that evening most of the court arrived from Berlin and the hotel became very cosmopolitan indeed.

The next night he had a dinner at his house for General Betts, Col. Fairman, Mr. Biddle, and Judge Parker and Mr. Charles Fahy, ex-olicitor General, now legal adviser to Eisenhower and Clay, to which I also was invited, the circle of socially, how shall I say, mixable women being very restricted. I sat at the Justice's right between him and Judge Parker. We wore long dresses and felt very dressed up. After dinner I talked some with Biddle. I liked Judge Parker. He is the Carolina Judge the Senate turned down for the Supreme Court in Hoover's administration.

Then Sat. night the Justice still had Gen. Getts and Col. Fairman and Mr. Fahy on his hands - so we had another smaller dinner at the hotel and dancing in the night club afterwards. Liquor three nights running and found it very refreshing.

The paper says that court says we go to trial Nov. 20. I don't see how we can be ready. This week sometime I must have up with the Justice the question of my detail expiring Nov. 15th. I would certainly like to be around to see at least part of the trial. We have an enormous - too big - staff and the courtroom is small - and largely I gather given to the press. So if here, one could probably only get in one day for five minutes. A large number of the staff will certainly be shipped out when the trial starts. I heard Biddle say it would last 4 months.

I must now tackle laundry. And, by the way, the towels arrived. You were more than generous and I have more than enough.

All my love,