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Date: May 1945
Wanda Gill - (wife)
Leslie Gill

bokstav #101

København, Danske
Sondag, Denso Maj 1945


Jeg elskedde! As you may surmise from the salutation, we are in another foreign country, Denmark this time. After I went to all that trouble learning Norwegian, I’ll have to start all over again and pick up Danish. By the way, this is Copenhagen and that o is not crossed out, its one of their extra vowels. København is pronounced Kulnhalon, as near as I can distinguish. The salutation above means “darling” and “Jeg elske dde” is “I love you!” so you mustnt think Im swearing at you!

Are you getting fed up with these travelogues? Sorry, [hjeledegge?], but thats all I have to write about, and since censorship is abolished (with certain exceptions) its still a novelty. Besides, I’ve had no mail from you (or anyone else) since May 6. Thats two weeks ago. Of course, I could fill the page with “Jeg elskedyges” and while it would be true enough, it would get monotonous after a while. So heres some more travelogue.

I went ashore all by myself and fought my way through the civilians. They look much better fed than the Norwegians. There’s lots of Jerries walking around, Army Navy and Luftwaffe, although most of them are in prison camps all over the country. Theres hundreds in the dockyard buildings awaiting transportation to Germany. Lots of kids collecting autographs of course, they are the worst nuisance. I didn’t mind so much in Oslo, because they were cute little kids there, and so polite! The little boys bow and the girls curtsey! These Danish brats rush up and shove their books in your face at the same time demanding “Chocolada!” We are also pestered by furtive-looking individuals who wish to purchase cigarettes and tobacco, and whatever other rationed articles they can.

I soon met up with a bloke who claimed to live in Vancouver. He is a veteran of the last war and knew all about Victoria (names of streets etc. no people that we know) and was quite entertaining. He showed me all the sights in Copenhagen, including the famous Nymph Hotel, Tivoli Gardens. Ever heard of it? Neither had I, but it has reason to be famous. What a place! We had a couple of “gin and vermouth” at the bar and he continued to be affable, spending my money, and smoking my cigartten till two young Underground blokes came in. They knew him well, and a rather nasty quarrel started. Apparently the old bloke is suspected of being a collaborationist. No proof, of course, else he would not have been at large (or alive perhaps!) but I thought it wise to remain at the bar, when Mr Andersen was requested to leave the premises. He made a dignified exit, and the two young blokes apologized to me, introduced themselves, and bought me a Red Devil cocktail. Much better than the gin and vermouth!

The young fellows names are Benny Hein and Folmer Andersen. We got quite chummy. They insisted that I should dine with them at a real posh place, the Scandie Restaurant. We went home to young Andersen’s room first to tiddly ourselves up. A most interesting room! Complete files of Underground literature etc and a well stocked liquor cabinet. They wanted me to sample everything, but I am learning to be cautious! After that do in Oslo I guess I should. He had a large collection of Danish bric-a-brac, paintings, Royal Danish porcelain etc. I was a bit too dizzy to appreciate it all, but I am to visit them again on Tuesday, so will be able to give a better report then.

The dinner was a wonderful success, although I’ve forgotten what the dishes were! Main course was liver, from “the young of the sheep!) prepared in some special way with a very thick sauce or gravy. Tons of other items which I forget, but I do remember the wine, aquavit, snaps and øl (thats beer!) we had with them. By then it was 9 PM, and my leave was up at 10, so we had to rush back to the ship. We commandeered a “taxa,” no mean feat these days, in any part of the world, and made it back to the ship in plenty of time.

Today being Sunday we had divisions on the jetty and I went up town to walk around this afternoon. Was kidnapped by a Mrs Laussen, and born off in triumph to meet her husband, Dr. Lauritz Laussen. She’s English and he’s a famous Danish nerve specialist. At least, Mrs Laussen says he’s famous but he denies it, modest man! Continued, but in case they’re separated,


Original Scans

Original Scans