Carleton Hotel, Frankfurt, Germany
7 March 1946
Two months ago tomorrow morning I passed through this war torn city on my way to Berlin. And here I am again, making this headquarters for a swing around southern Germany. Last Monday Heath proposed that Wally Dietz and I get out into the field. Tuesday afternoon we took the duty train and after a most comfortable night’s ride in a sleeper (sheets ‘n’ ever’thin’) we landed here at about 9:30 AM. Travel is maddeningly slow, for rolling stock and roadbeds are none too good and frequent bridges in a blown up condition cause long detours. The countryside – what we saw of it was drab and watersoaked and most of the towns we passed through were a mass of ruins, so we didn’t mind riding at night. Someday, however, when nature has started to bloom I want to take the Berlin-Frankfurt trip by auto – a good day’s run of three hundred odd miles.
The Carleton Hotel (that was also its name befo’ the war) is a comfortable and luxurious as any American hotel twenty five or thirty years old. It is now run by USFET as an officers’ mess and temporary billet – more swanky than any we can boast in the American Sector of Berlin. But most of the buildings around it, including the main railroad station across the square, are nothing but depressing ruins. Golly, but it will seem strange when I get home to see cities which are intact.
USFET and OMG(U.S.Zone) have their main headquarters in the huge seven story I.G. Farben Building on the northern fringe of the city, with odds and ends of buildings all over the city, when they were found in usable condition, serving numerous purposes incidental to military government.
1230 AM (0030) der nexte Tag.
Wally came in at this point – and that put a stop to letter writing. Now we’ve just come back from seeing Lola home and are ready to bed down, in preparation for a heavy day at Wiesbaden, our regional office for Greater Hesse. Lola? Oh, she’s one of our Berlin girls who is on a thirty day transfer to Franfurt, a custom we have over here – and she greeted Wally and myself like old home folks when we showed up yesterday – or was it the day before yesterday – well, let’s skip it!
Wally and I have put in two pretty intensive days here, sacheting back and forth between brass in USFET and OMG(US Zone). But our evenings are our own and we three have spent both of them at the Rendevous, a night club run by USFET. It’s a completely preposterous set up, dancing to a German orchestra run by Teddy, the piano player (who joined us up here in my room for cocktails (Spanish brandy) this evening. Teddy is out of this world on the piano (I wish you could hear him, Rog) and his 7 piece orchestra “gives” every evening at the Rendevous in true American jive style – with a mistress of ceremonies (German) who sings Star Dust and Stormy Weather in a completely convincing manner. And Teddy can rag any American music provided it is pre-Hitler!
Tomorrow we have a car and driver at our disposal and it’s ours for a week. We return here tomorrow night from Wiesbaden, then swing around the circle – Heidelberg, Stuttgart, Munchen, Regensburg and Nurnberg – and back to Frankfurt before en-training for Berlin. But more of that later. – I’ll tell about our trip in my next circular letter.
And now to bed. I expect that your next letter will be awaiting me, sweet, when I return to Berlin. I hope it is one written AR. – after Richard. I’m well, happy and having quite the time of my life. Lots of love, mes enfants –