Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

Doc Dreher writes letter to Grandmother
                                                   Feb. 5, 1945

Just a few lines again tonight while I have the time. We just got back from a short rest period in Arlow, Belgium, where we had a very good time, there was plenty of good beer and no one to tell you to get up at a certain time. We stayed in a civilian home that had electric lights and a radio. The people sure treated us well.

We stopped there a few weeks ago but this time they welcomed us with open arms. They told us stories of the German occupation, how they were treated and everything.

The local tavern keeper and barber both had been citizens of the U.S., but came back to marry their childhood sweethearts then just stayed here. The really had some stories to tell. They said that when they first came through, all the men from 15 to 50 went to France and when the Germans got there they had to come home again only to find that the Germans had taken all of the furniture from the homes and set it afire.

The fellows we stayed with was the station agent and he told us he had been a leader of the underground movement and they had caught him and he spent three months in a concentration camp where they tortured him. He could also speak English and he said that when a news broadcast came on, his wife and daughter stood guard while he listened and he also said that the people couldn't trust their own neighbors for fear that they were Gestapo agents. He also said so many things that I can't remember all of them, but there wasn't any of them very nice, I can assure you.

Well Grandma, the weather has broken here now. The natives say the winter is over. They say there may be a little snow, but it won't last. Right now all of the snow is gone and it has been raining the past few days. All of the frost is out of the ground so you can imagine the mud we have now.

Grandma, the holidays were sure lively. For our Christmas present we were on our way to stop the great counter attack and New Year's in the city of Brastogne, but by the time we got there the battle had cooled down quite a bit. In fact, I couldn't see any difference between that and any other place.

Well I must close this letter and I will write again soon.

 

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