Letter from Charles R. Drew to Lenore (Robbins) Drew
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
16 (4,359,837 Bytes)
1949-07-17 (July 17, 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
Sunday July 17, 1949
I have been away almost three weeks and I have not heard form you yet. If you address an air mail letter to my A.P.O. 403
Med. Headquarters, it should catch up with me in about a week. I should like so much to know how things are going at home.
Tell me how you and the children are doing. If I don't
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hear from you I shall make a long distance call. I do miss you.
This city, Nurnberg, is a depressing place. Four years after the war most of the old city is little more than a rubble heap.
Its old wall has been blown up and the mote filled with debris. The city is closed to all out-
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siders except members of the U.S. Army or Military government. Every room must have two (or more) persons in it. The shops
have little to sell but I understand it is much better than it was just a few months ago.
The American Hospital was built by Hitler in 1938. It is a modern and well equiped [sic] place.
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It is about the size of Freedmens and has a good number of sick in it at this time because some 30,000 troops are in the field
on manuvers [sic] at this time. The wives and children of the soldiers are quite a problem too. So far I have done well, surgically
In this city there is a large detachment
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of Negro troops. Because I had no hospital duties I went out to their billets at a Kaisern just out of town and at the request
of the Chaplain spoke at the morning church services. This was my first contact with Negro troops on the trip. At Chapel there
were about 25 German brides, many
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of whom had their brown-skin offspring with them. This relationship there seemed quite alright; they looked like any other
family going to church. Afterwards I had lunch at the Officers mess and picked up some rather interesting
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data. In the outfit I visited there are 900 men. During the last 19 months there have been approximately 176 marriages. Since
Jan. the authorities made the regulations stiffer and the rate has slowed up. Now marriages are not permitted until the man
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three months of his departure for the states. He must place $1000 in escrow with the family welfare office and the girl must
be OKed [sic] by the C. I. C. (counter intelligence) and the provost marshall [sic] (to check morals status). What has simply
happened is that the
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boys now live with girls out of wed lock. There have been 196 babies born to such couples during the last year. The Chaplain
estimates that 80 - 90% of the men have "homes" in the city. This of course infuriates many of the Germans but they
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protest. The white soldiers do not like it and many fights ensue. Tonight, looking down on the main plaza of the city from
my hotel room, I should say that at least two-thirds of the troops were walking off arm and arm
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with some Fraulein within the first 50 yds from the bus stop. It is not nice, as a matter of fact, makes me just a little
sick in the stomach -- but this is a victorious army, the Negroes are a part of it, there are
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few German men, the girls are still hungry and the Americans feed them, dress them and fill their wombs. More than the towns
have been destroyed in Germany -- the normal codes have been destroyed -- values are not the same.
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When I left the barracks after lunch I went with a party consisting of the C.O. of the hospital his wife and son and the chiefs
of three major divisions with their wifes [sic] to see the Opera "Grafin Mariza" a sprightly
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light musical comedy type of play. It was delightful. From the theatre we had tea at the Officers mess in the Stein Castle.
Here the proprieties were so much in evidence, almost stuffily so that I excused myself
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to come back to my room to write this letter. There is a very wide range in the scale of man's living. Today I have observed
portions close to the bottom and a sphere close to the top. We as a race have so far to go.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Wurzburg.
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After that for Giesen [sic] and Frankfurt and then a long jump to the North Sea to Bremerhaven.
Please save the things I send. They will make a nice addition to the kids scrap books.