Monday, November 9, 2009

Amanuensis Monday: Two Views of War

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, and audiotapes. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

Since Wednesday is November 11, or Veterans Day/Remembrance Day, I thought I would share the transcription of a letter my maternal grandfather, Martin Deutsch (1907-1991), wrote on Thanksgiving Day, 1942, and a few entries from the war diary of my great uncle Mandell Newmark (1923-1945) .

From Martin Deutsch:

APO 625 [Accra, Ghana]
Nov 26, 1942

Dear Mom:

Myrtle writes me that Al is going to be stationed near St. Louis in a short while. I’m very much surprised to learn that he is still in the United States.

How about Ed? Has he joined up yet? I’m waiting to see him after he comes to Africa.

There are a few pictures, which were sent to me from St. Louis. Myrtle made several copies and sent them for me to see. I don’t know whether you have any, but in any case you can hold them.

Say hello for me to everyone. It’s very quiet here – no danger at all. The weather is hot except at night when it’s fairly cool. Everything is getting on fine. We had turkey tonight for dinner, this being Thanksgiving Day. Hope the war will be over soon.


Myrtle is Martin's wife, and Al(len) and Ed are his brothers.

From Mandell Newmark's War Diary:

Dec 13, 1943 – Starting my diary today, as we are getting ready to move out to Lorpal (?) Point for Amphibious training. It is very hot now but have hope that it will be cooler as we move south. We are now stationed near Rockhampton.

Dec 15. – Today is the day we move out for Lorpal Point. Moving out means closing every thing up and every thing that we don’t take with us we had to put in the mess hall. It meant a lot of work as nothing could be left out. Now all we hope is we don’t come back to this hot hell hole of a camp.

We will go by train and train rides in this country are no fun. I often wonder how they run and it takes so damn long to go a short distance besides being so hot.

Dec 20.
Today was our first day of Amphibious training and I will say it wasn’t much fun. We went out this morning on LCV and made a few different landings. It was raining per usual and with all the waves and rain we were really wet. This was just the first day so I guess the going will get tough. And I feel as if I have had enough already.

The weather here has been the same everyday since we arrived. Rain and more rain and the first night we were about flooded out. There couldn’t be a better name for this place, and tonight like always I’m really P.O.

If you choose to join me in Amanuensis Monday and post your transcriptions, feel free to add a link to your post below, or in the comments.

No comments: