Dear Daddy,

(I originally wrote in April, 1945) President Truman and Allied Leaders issued a joint statement warning against mistreatment of prisoners in Germany. Allied aircraft dropped leaflets over Germany stating that all guilty of mistreatment of prisoners will be ruthlessly pursued and brought to punishment. It’s the first time we’ve heard of government concern about prisoners of war. I hope those leaflets landed wherever you are. We want the guards and commanders to be scared that the end is coming for them and they’d better behave.

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President Truman’s speeches are broadcast at school. He vows to demand unconditional surrender from the Germans and Japanese and is getting tough with the Soviets about keeping their agreements. He confronted their minister, Molotov, and said Stalin needs to remember his word to President Roosevelt about holding democratic elections in Poland. Truman knows that Stalin and Hitler were once allies and Stalin is a tyrant.

Hitler admits on his birthday in his underground bunker that the war is lost and he plans suicide. He rants and raves on a shortwave radio broadcast about German soldiers not offering resistance to GIs and surrendering. Some in his bunker report Hitler had a physical and mental breakdown while shrieking about his incompetent army. That was easy to believe because we have seen him screaming like a mad man in front of crowds at rallies recorded on the newsreels. How could people follow a crazy man like Hitler?

So far, we’ve had sane Presidents of the United States. At least that’s what I learn in school. President Thomas Jefferson used a motto on his personal seal: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.” Benjamin Franklin suggested this motto for the reverse side of the U.S. Seal. It was not adopted, but Jefferson placed those words on the gates of the graveyard at his Monticello estate.

The Germans who followed and obeyed Hitler forgot to be obedient to God. Now their country is destroyed. The newsreels show bombed out buildings and rubble filling the streets. People are homeless and cooking outdoors. Many have died because they disobeyed God and followed a tyrant. Many others are suffering because of their maniac leader, Hitler.

President Truman addressed a joint session of Congress and vowed to carry on in the hard fight for victory. He said that “the world is looking to America for enlightened leadership that requires vision, courage and tolerance.” He asked all Americans to help him keep our nation united in defense of these ideals. He reminded us that “our forefathers came to our rugged shores in search of religious tolerance, political freedom and economic opportunity and such rights can be preserved only by constant vigilance, the eternal price of liberty!”

President Truman also addressed the Armed Forces in a broadcast and recalled the words of President Lincoln: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up our nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan – do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”

President Truman loves our country and vows to punish all war criminals “even if we have to pursue them to the ends of the earth.” He is a devout man who quotes the Bible in his speeches and appears to have reverence for “Almighty God.”

The American Army is liberating concentration camps and Prisoner of War camps, but have not reached Stalag 2A or the slave labor work commando, Zachow 92/VI, where they sent you when Jewish American men were separated from other captured Americans. I hope they find you soon.

There is excitement in the air and optimism about winning the war in Europe. The Soviet Army encircled Berlin and the U.S. Army raised the American flag over the Nuremberg Stadium, where Hitler stirred up the crowds to scream “Heil.” So much for tyrants and their followers.

Love,
Maxine
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