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The Henry Swan Papers

Letter from Henry Swan to his first wife, Mary Fletcher pdf (855,138 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from Henry Swan to his first wife, Mary Fletcher
Intending to have them published, Swan's wife had his letters transcribed as he sent them.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (855,138 Bytes)
1945-04-10 (April 10, 1945)
[Swan, Henry]
[Swan, Mary Fletcher]
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
World War II
Exhibit Category:
Medical Training, Wartime Surgical Experiences, and Early Career, 1935-1949
Box Number: 1
Folder Number: 51
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Series: Correspondence, 1944-1996
Folder: World War II. Letters at home, by Henry Swan II, 1944-1945
April 10, 1945
We stopped work a little early tonite, so Red and I took a little tour on his motorbike. It was a beautiful soft spring evening, and the bike was running nicely. We covered a good deal of the local country-side, located the nearest cub field, saw some impressive and famous bombed areas.
It is a constant and increasing wonder to me why the Germans keep on with this self-destruction. The deeper one gets into Germany, the worse it gets. All the towns are masses of rubble, and the bigger cities, especially in the center or near the factories, are a mass of ruins. The civilians that are left are living in the few undamaged (relatively) houses, or in the cellars beneath the rubble. But still they resist; even in rear areas sniping continues. Today we treated a lad who was sniped by a 12 year old boy. German girls have proven particularly treacherous. Many have been shot in the act of sniping, according to some of the boys engaged in the mopping up in the northern edge of the Ruhr. A German boy, 17, came through the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. He had been in the Army seven days. And so it goes. There does not appear to be a large group of Anti-Nazis who have been smoldering under the iron fist of the Gestapo. The Nazi toxin seems to be so wide-spread in all classes and all ages. We are truly fighting the entire German people.
Already we are voting money and food to feed the Germans! If, as they promise, and as Gen. Ike predicts, there will continue to be a strong underground resistance movement after the physical destruction and occupation of their entire country, is it wise to feed them? The immediate problem of control is going to be a difficult one indeed. Meanwhile, with Americans still rationed at home, and France, Greece, Norway, and Holland, and Czechoslovakia & Belgium poor, cold and hungry, we plan to tie up shipping and food for the enemy. Whom has he fed? Let them read von Rundstedt's cold and ruthless plan for the destruction of the nations of Europe by starvation, and see if the taste of their own medicine be sweet or sour.
My boy with the arterial suture is doing fine, and it is very pleasing to feel a good pulse in the foot. Successful cases of this kind are not common.
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