v-e-day

Doyle on V-E Day near Leipzig, Germany

Bunks at Buchenwald, photo by Doyle

Bunks at Buchenwald, photo by Doyle

May 5, 1945

Dearest Juby:
There is no jubilance here. The armies of Germany are surrendering day by day. Only one sector in the South is emitting any organized resistance. Yet we soldiers who helped bring about the long-awaited collapse of the German armies can’t feel or display any degree of jubilance. We only breathe a big sigh of relief when we hear of the unconditional surrender of some of the armies. We thought we’d be very happy when it came, but somehow we aren’t. We are happy, but we don’t celebrate because there are some who aren’t as fortunate as we are. The war has been over some time for a great many and they will have no homecoming. Yes, that’s why there’s no shouting and blowing of horns. It has been a tough, rough road and some were not able to finish the grind. They are the ones we and the people back home should be very grateful to for having been in our army. Their job is done and done well. I imagine that back home everyone is shouting and waving and raising a ruckus in general over the news. We are only thankful, and to show it we say to ourselves, “We’re lucky.” No one can have this feeling but the men that have been in it. All of my men have been in it. I know because I was with them. It has been rough staying away from you. But honey, it’s going to be so good to be able to tell our son that I fought and helped to suppress a nation of sadistic, maddened killers.
I saw today a concentration camp. The worst part of it had been cleaned up, but I’ll tell you about what I saw and learned. The guide was a Polish prisoner in the camp before it was overrun. He could speak English. The camp was Buchenwald Concentration Camp. .... [more--so much more--detail in Here's My Heart]