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Paree! (A Young Man in Paris)

May 4, 2012

Each post on this blog builds chronologically on the ones before. Journal entries are written in bold and comments are written in italics. I gratefully acknowledge the sources I used to follow Al’s journal and have listed them on the page, “Where to Learn More“.

May 13.

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Moved back to Miesterhorst – started playing ball – pretty good team.

May 31.
Left Miesterhorst early in Bn convoy – went through Halberstadt, Nordhausen, Erfurt and Gotha to Molschleben.  Big theatre at Gotha.

June 17.
Left for three day pass in Paris

June 18.
Left by truck 4 a.m. via Limburg, Seigburg, Cologne, Aachen, Duren.  Arrived Viviers, Belgium and boarded train at 9 p.m.  Choo, choo, Paree!

June 19.
Arrived about noon. – Oo, La, La, big time ahead.

June 20
Mine 23rd birfday and what a celebration (Hic).

June 21.
Made a bus tour of the main parts of Paris: Arc de Triomphe, Tour Eifel, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Seine River, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, etc.

June 22.
Returned to Viviers by train.  Stayed at Jayhawk rest camp awaiting transportation back to unit.

Shortly after the Germans surrendered, Al was off on a leave to Paris. It isn’t hard to imagine that the prospect of spending his 23rd birthday in Paris was exciting.   The only written description of his Paris leave in his journal are the entries above, “Oo La La, big time ahead” and “Mine 23rd birthday and what a celebration (Hic). 

We know he toured but he also made a lot of friends.  One, Charlotte, corresponded with him for at least a short time after the war.  In her letters, she updates him on the friends he made while in Paris – Fabienne, Luzanne, Gisele, Mme. Marie-Louise, Fernande, Yvette.  Once he’s home, Charlotte reveals her heartbreak from a love affair with another G.I., saying that,”I loved him even more than my fiance”, and that she gave to this friend , what she had “given to no man”, not even her fiance. Such relationships were probably relatively common.  The first page of a letter is shown below.


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