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Date: April 7th 1945
Mother and Father

7 April 45 Germany

Dear Folks

Thought I should write you a letter from a nice German town across the Rhine. This one never got a bomb and hasn't been evacuated. We drove in here in tanks at 25 miles per hour and didn't fire a shot. Quite a pleasant surprise for us. These opposed river crossings arent exactly a joke. Well last night caught up on a lot of arrears of sleep in a German hotel and it was a good go.

Have been away from the regiment most of the time supporting the tanks and infantry and it is more exciting than with the guns further back. This is a war of knifing deeply now and leaving thousands of Jerries behind. The result is that every corner is a puzzle, are there Jerries or are there not. The civvies are queer. They act almost glad to see us. They organized surrender and assisted us to round up German soldiers hiding here and Hitler Jugend. They seemed almost afraid of the latter. I cant figure them out. Maybe it is a gigantic plant but there is not the slightest sign of unfriendliness. We do not fraternize with them at all for military reasons and if it werent for that I think there would be soldiers in every home. These Jerries are sure clever. They did that in the last war too so we shouldn't be caught twice. However it is a strain not to be able to give kids chocolate but that would be the thin edge of the wedge to fraternization and eventual undoing of all the proceeds of our losses and sacrifices. Then the other side of the picture is the German prison camp not far from here where al the Russian women in the camp starved to death and many of the men. The brutality of these people when they are up is beyond understanding; their kindness and demeanour when beaten, just as ununderstandable; here is a confusing picture of the people. We are liberating people of all kinds now and the administration problem is terrible. Russians, Jugoslavs, French, Dutch, Belgians are floating around. How to feed and organize them as well as fighting a battle is quite a problem.

Well have to move now so will close for now.

Elmer D.