Letter from Charles R. Drew to Lenore (Robbins) Drew
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
8 (2,635,430 Bytes)
1949-07-06 (July 6, 1949)
[Drew, Charles R.]
[Drew, Lenore (Robbins)]
Original Repository: Howard University. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Charles R. Drew Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
"My Chief Interest Was and Is Surgery"--Howard University, 1941-1950
July 6, 1949
Hello, how are you tonight? How are the children? Sorta wish I could span the miles and be with you tonight to hold you close
and feel you near while the children patter around upstairs. The days are full, almost crowded with new problems, new people,
new situations. So far I think I have done alright. At night, when the days work is done, I am lonely.
This is the queen city of the old Kingdom of Bavaria. On entering if as in the other cities there is a feeling of utter destruction.
For blocks one can
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see nothing but empty walls and rubble, shells of magnificent buildings standing stark against the sky with their empty windows
like the hollow eyes of skeletons looking out into nothingness. One cannot truly describe it, only feel it.
After a day at the hospital -- a 1200 bed former teaching hospital for the University of Munich Medical School now the 98th
General Hospital, U.S.A. Two of the officers took us for a drive around the city. First around the old city with its large
and once resplendant [sic] gates leading
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into its central square or Rathaus (Town Hall). It is in shambles. Then to the university. Some class rooms have been covered
over and school goes on. There are too many students, too few teachers and few areas for teaching.
We rode through the courtyard of the Palace of the Bavarian Kings. Even in ruins there is a splendor which staggers. No wonder
the people revolted. Little one room, lean too shops are beginning to peep out of the ruins. I am told that until very recently,
there were no shops of any kind for there
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were no goods to sell. While there is an attempt to wipe out the cluster of little shacks where bartering is done and there
are as many as 12 policemen to the block in attempt to break up the black market -- a carton of cigarettes still is the best
money in the country. For instance we tip a waiter two cigarettes, the porter who carried ten bags for four of us got ten,
one of the boys paid a pack for a half sole on his
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shoes and a carton will bring 20 to 25 marks - equivalent to from 7 to 8 dollars. I sold one of my $10 script notes for 50
German marks in order to buy German stamps to put on the children's post cards. Americans are not supposed to use German
money not to have it. Germans may be jailed if caught with American money and are not allowed to use script. An American on
entrance must change all of his money into script (military certificates). If he spends over $5 he must sign his name, give
his passport number and the no. of the bill.
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It is a little complicated to say the least.
We were taken by to see the beer garden from which Hitler launched his first unsuccessful putsch in 1923, past the place where
his first 12 men were killed and the square where they were later enshrined. We had dinner in the Haus der Kunst which Hitler
had built at the height of his power as a modern art center for Munich and had dinner in the private dining room of the big
wigs of the Nazi party held there world changing meetings while G.I.'s danced to Jazz music in the once splendid
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great salon. No Germans, unless they are servants are now allowed in any of these places. All of the homes of the former great
and near great here, as in the other cities are now the homes of American Army officers. The only hotel space I have seen
which is available to Germans is in a former air raid shelter under the central plaza. It has been subdivided into rooms.
One of our team, Dr. Reich who spent his honeymoon here in 1927 has had the blues all day. At times I think he
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has been near tears. One, Dr Torell, a dry little Scotsman from Canada who is now an American and former Colonel simply feels
it serves them right.
I have not talked a great deal about my hospital work. It is not much different from that at home. One cannot enter town after
town without being overwhelmed. It seems almost impossible to rebuild all that has been destroyed--either the buildings--the
heart or the dreams, yet these people are hard at it. Good night sweet,