Getting There and Trips Around Europe: 1946 – 1947
Mists of time. Yes. That depicts it well. Fifty-five years ago I embarked upon an event that affected my life forever. And it is covered in a scrim screen in my memory. I was six years old and am now sixty-one. The memories are mine and may or may not be precisely accurate but they ARE mine.
So many aspects of 1946-1947 I could ramble on about. The trip over to Europe, life in Vienna in post war times, trips while there, school times, etc. So, this epistle will be about trips. Others later.
First Trip was actually getting there. Continue reading
Letter 1: September 8, 1946
Dearest Mother and All,
The best of intentions were mine, when I began this ocean voyage, to write a day-by-day account of my feelings and the happenings. But along with many other things, I had planned on this trip when I left home, have had to fall by the wayside. It would simply be unable for me to explain why. Anyone would have to be on this trip to understand. You made the remark before I left home that now that we were leaving not to look back. That is good advice but extremely difficult to follow.
The main essential of this trip is a rugged physique and much fortitude. That I must have in comparison to many on this trip. From all reports we have had it harder than the other groups that have gone because they simply tried to send too many at one time. Our sailing was canceled three times but finally we loaded Tuesday morning, Sept. 2nd. Three hundred girls, without youngsters, had been quartered on the boat on the Friday before, in order to make room at Fort Hamilton for the new group coming in. Continue reading
Dear Family and Friends
After forty-two years I revisited the scenes of my youth in Vienna.
Wien, Wien, nur du Allein,
Solist Stetes die Stadt Meiner Traune Sein.
(Vienna, Vienna, of you alone, so is the city of my dreams.)
It was amazing how much, and how little, things had changed.
We left New York City for Vienna, Austria on my thirteenth birthday, November 10, 1946.
My father had been assigned to Vienna and had left in July of 1945, so we were anxious to join him. I can’t remember his specific assignment, but he was in charge” of the American sector of Vienna, which was divided into four sectors American, French, British, and Russian, as was Berlin. He had superior officers over him so I am not sure what my mother meant when she said he was “in charge”. Continue reading