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The Charles R. Drew Papers

Title:
Letter from Charles R. Drew to Lenore (Robbins) Drew pdf (4,267,731 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Charles R. Drew to Lenore (Robbins) Drew
Description:
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
14 (4,267,731 Bytes)
Date:
1949-07-10 (July 10, 1949)
Creator:
[Drew, Charles R.]
Recipient:
[Drew, Lenore (Robbins)]
Source:
Original Repository: Howard University. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Charles R. Drew Papers
Rights:
Reproduced with permission of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
Exhibit Category:
"My Chief Interest Was and Is Surgery"--Howard University, 1941-1950
Unique Identifier:
BGBBDR
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Language:
English
Format:
application/pdf
image/tif
Physical Condition:
Good
Transcript:
Sunday July 10, 1949
Dear Lenore,
This afternoon we left Vienna by motor car and traveling down the Danubian Valley arrived about an hour ago at this small Austrian town of Lintz [sic]. It became important during the war because Goring built here under the mountains a steel plant employing 47,000 people. We are now billeted in the house over this vast underground factory which was occupied by the German Gauleiter,
[END PAGE ONE]
[BEGIN PAGE TWO]
Bitter fighting took place in the area before it was knocked out. We have an occupation force here now of about 3000 men and a 150 bed hospital. It is a somewhat isolated post. I shall not speak more of it.
I do want to tell you about Vienna. We left Munich on Thursday night on the one American train allowed to cross the Russian zone each day, a distance of about 200 miles -- an overnight trip. The train -- "the Mazout" -- famous even before the war is now
[END PAGE TWO]
[BEGIN PAGE THREE]
what is known as a "sealed train" i.e. one cannot get off after boarding. It is guarded by American troops. Vienna, like Berlin, is in Russian territory. Only the city is under four power control. The one real fear of the Americans in Vienna is that they will be blockaded. It would be impossible for them to get out and the Army feels that an air lift here would be impossible.
We arrive at about 6:30 AM
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[BEGIN PAGE FOUR]
and were met by Col. Sailor C.O. of the 110th Station hospital. After breakfast we made rounds, watched the chief surgeon operate, had lunch, gave a talk followed by a two hour seminar and then the Col. announced that tickets were available for the opera to be given that night. We skipped dinner in order to get into town by 6:30 PM.
The opera, the Beggar Student was delightful. A cast of about 200 on a beautiful revolving stage with
[END PAGE FOUR]
[BEGIN PAGE FIVE]
Viennese music such as on the Viennese can play in Vienna. The four of us, Reich, Middleton, Tovell and I, enjoyed it a great deal. I, of course did not understand all of the German, but the story developed in such a manner that the sense was easily followed. Being a light opera, the music was the thing. Incidentally, we sat in the Emperor's box. It now is assigned to the American General commanding the area
[END PAGE FIVE]
[BEGIN PAGE SIX]
during the rotation of supreme command. Each month it changes. When the Russians are in charge, the box belongs to the Russian General, then in turn, the English and French. No Austrian is allowed to sit in it.
There is this difference between Germany and Austria-Germany is an occupied country, the occupying forces govern their areas--Austria is a liberated country--they run it them-
[END PAGE SIX]
[BEGIN PAGE SEVEN]
selves. In truth there is very little difference. Neither has any money. American money is rebuilding each and doing everything possible to show the natives that our way of life is the best way. Here in Austria I believe we have been successful.
Vienna, while it has many buildings in ruins was not devasted [sic] like the German cities. It is still a great capital in spite of the fact that.
[END PAGE SEVEN]
[BEGIN PAGE EIGHT]
it is the capital of a lost empire hence must surely die. It is a city of lost dreams and music. I have not had a meal outside of the hospital where there was not music -- all kinds -- from Beethoven to very good American swing. The one defect in the picture is the fact that we are always with Colonels or Generals who of course do
[END PAGE EIGHT]
[BEGIN PAGE NINE]
not indulge in the pleasures of the G.I.s and who at all times are playing a game of bluff with the Russians and conduct themselves in an absolutely impeccable manner. We, as representatives of the surgeon general, do likewise. Even this has not spoiled the enjoyment of the vast historical panopy [sic] stretched out on all sides. The great and beautiful palace
[END PAGE NINE]
BEGIN PAGE TEN]
of the Hapsburg's palace (Burg) in the city and the simply marvelous summer place called Schornbron [sic]. Here Marie Theresa raised her 16 children and gave orders to the rest of the world, From here little Marie Antoinette went to become Queen of France and her sister to become Queen of Holland, Here Napoleon
[END PAGE TEN]
[BEGIN PAGE ELEVEN]
lived from 1804 - 1809 and married the daughter of the Emperor of Austria. Here Franz Joseph was born, reigned longer than any monarch in history and finally died to join 137 kings of the Hapsburg line in a common resting place.
Here Mozart, Hayden Shubert and Bethoven [sic] left their immortal heritage that still lives so brightly in
[END PAGE ELEVEN]
[BEGIN PAGE TWELVE]
the heart of the people. These are not the war like Herren folk of north Germany. They as in the past sip their small sips of Turkish coffee at the numerous out of door cafes. On weekends they hike by the thousands to the nearby Vienna woods.
This city is the melting pot of the East and West. The Turkish influence is still seen in its
[END PAGE TWELVE]
[BEGIN PAGE THIRTEEN]
church towers and architecture, its people are more cosmopolitan than those seen in the German cities, They are poor, but so was Shubert - so was Bethoven [sic] who was buried in potter's field before his genius became appreciated. Vienna is still a fascinating place.
I had the pleasure of making sounds at the world famous Allgemeines Krankenheit [sic] (3000 bed gen. hospital).
[END PAGE THIRTEEN]
[BEGIN PAGE FOURTEEN]
It is shabby and poor, treatment at least 15 - 20 years behind ours yet to watch Herr Geheinrat Prof. Dr. Herman Finsterer operate was a great privilege. He has done over 8,000 gastric resections, No one else in the world can even approach this.
Tomorrow night I go to Salzburg, up in the Austrian Alps. I hope that all goes well. I love you all so much.
Charlie
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2010-12-15
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