Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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

Nuremberg, Monday, Dec. 3.

Mother and Daddy,

I was sorry to neglect you last week -but until this weekend I didn't have a free minute for writing. Then the pressure eased and I slept and had my hair done and went to the officers' clothing store to do some shopping and went on a bus trip to Rothenberg and last but not least devoted yesterday morning to writing to Mr. Hackworth which should have been done a month ago.

I may hold this letter a day or so to see if one of the officers can take it by hand - that is if he flies instead of going by boat. Your letters are coming through in 10-12 days. Today received one written the day before Thanksgiving. We had turkey and cranberry sauce and a brief "service" for the Americans in the courtroom - the Justice presiding - Father Walsh opening with a prayer - a Jewish officer reading the Psalms and a nondescript chaplain closing. Which was spoiled by innumerable flashlight photos by the press. Someone - I suspect the Justice and his press man - were too overwhelmed with the novelty of such a scene and its press value. Should be curios to know if it made the American papers after all the effort. The Stars and Stripes ignored it wisely.

I just missed hearing Hess' dramatic announcement the other day. Was sitting in the visitors' gallery while his lawyer was droning on and got up and left. The press has been complaining of the dullness. That should have given them something to go to town with.

We have been working hard because there was a possibility our bit would come up last week. Now I think it won't for some time.

The trip to Rothenberg was lovely. This is truly beautiful country. Apparently we are on high tableland - tho I believe it is called the Nuremberg Kettle - being surrounded by mountains. At any rate we seemed to keep going down yesterday - to the southwest. There had been a light snow, so there were patches of white in the fields and on the roofs. (We have had snow here too but it hasn't lasted). Rothenberg is a little old fortified medieval town on an ell-shaped hill. You stand on the ramparts and look down a lovely winding valley - The Taube, I suppose - not much bigger than Wappingers. (R. au-der-Taube). Many of the houses are painted lovely pastel shades -red - blue - green - yellow - very soft and very pretty. Part of the town is completely demolished, but only a small part. They start Christmas early here too. Each little shop window had Christmas scenes. They are such "Christians" remarked O. Chalufour.

I very nearly went to Prague this week - but 'twas not to be and I am really relieved. It is only 4 or 5 hours by car and Dr. Ecer - a very difficult little Czech who has been on the commission in London invited Olive Chalufour and me to go with him Thursday, returning next Monday. Knowing his complicated character, I parried and cleared it with the Justice who said no. And quite rightly I think. The man is pleasant and amusing but a bit of an international trouble-maker and I don't want to be in his debt. And certainly don't want to complicate things for the Justice. So no Prague, at least this time.

Vishinsky - under Molotov in the Foreign Office - and Ilya Ehrenberg, the correspondent, are here. So we are very, very cosmopolitan. Yesterday at lunch a Russian officer wanted bread and butter which was in front of me, a long way from him. So he simply arose, stretched out a long arm and speared it. Just stopped to ask the maid what time it was. Es kann nach neune sein. I have lost the stem (winder) of my watch and can't replace it. So I am lost most of the time. Maybe I can buy a Swiss watch in the PX. They draw a lot for them. One of the officers promised to send me a cheap spare one of his from London. Don't think it worth while to try to send me one from the U.S.

Sent a lot of Xmas cards yesterday.

The PX closed, out of rations. Am worried about cigarettes. Our international guests have exhausted our supplies.

I could, I think, send you a Xmas cable - but shan't do so as they will be so flooded.

Must I tonight wish you a Merry Christmas? I do so with all my heart and shall be very homesick thinking of you.

All my love.