71st Infantry Division WWII Letter June 12, 1945 Eagle's Nest

This letter was written by a soldier in Augsburg, Germany, on June 12, 1945. He was with the 71st Infantry Division. From the letter…..

   Last night I was going to be a good boy and catch up on all of my correspondence. But as most of my good intentions, it turned out wrong. I have a bad hand and it started hurting on my first letter. So I had to go get it soaked in hot Epson salts water. Then I went down for a good bull session with Bob.
   The outfit has been reformed and Bob is just downstairs from us. We had a good time last night talking and arguing about some of the policies of the army. Quite a few of them I don’t argue with. But I don’t think I’ll change it.
   Four enlisted men and two officers (I was one of the enlisted men) left Bad Hall Tuesday morning for here. Chaplain C?? and Captain ? were the two officers. We really had swell time. When we got to Salzburg, we decided to go by and see Berchtesgaden.  ? Is a sight that I wouldn’t take anything for seeing. Hitler’s home and the homes of some of the other leading Nazis are about half way up the mountain, but there is nothing there now but ruins. The Air Corps did a thorough job on that place. You’ve heard of the famous large windows in Hitler’s house, haven’t you? The frame is all that is left. I took a picture of some of the fellows standing in it and one of the view one gets from there. He picked a beautiful spot for his retreat on up the mountain is the famous Eagle’s Nest, where most of his big conferences were held. It is still intact. Wasn’t  touched by bombs or so far by G.I.s. It is built right on the crest of a hill nine thousand feet in the air. You can drive to within about two hundred feet of it and have to climb the rest of the way. Hitler had a elevator for his cars. The drive up there is only about three miles so you can imagine how steep it is. But the roads are good. I burned out the right hand front wheel coming down I touched those breaks a couple of times coming down and they went all the way to the floor. My heart went with them and I started working on the gears. The view from there is truly magnificent. Mountains and snow covered peaks all around. In the distance are two large lakes. One laying in between two mountains and the other at the foot of another. In between is a green valley dotted here and there with towns and villages, connected by long ribbons of white pavement??. I wish you could see it for my powers of description are very poor. Maybe the pictures I took will come out good and it can show them to you one of these days.
   We are living in what was at one time German barracks. They have some fairly nice buildings but these Germans make some hard floors. I’ve heard that we are moving into town soon into houses and into a good deal. I certainly hope so. I don’t see any reason why we can’t have a good deal when all of the other outfits have.
   I certainly hated to hear about Jack being killed. Thanks for telling me about it. He was a darn swell fellow quite a bit like his brother. I saw him last summer just before he took off from Savannah. He was all excited about going over. I wish some of those fellows could know what they’re going into. Some of them wouldn’t be so hot about coming over.
   I’ll write again in a day or so. In the meantime, how about doing the same. Give my regards to your folks. Bye for now.


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