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HST-FBP_14-82_01 - 1945-07-18

Transcript Date

Berlin July 18, 1945

Dear Bess:

I've only had one letter from you since I left home. I look carefully through every pouch that comes--but so far not much luck. I had to dictate you one yesterday in order to get it off in the pouch. I told you about Churchill's call and Stalin's calling and staying to lunch.

The first session was yesterday in one of the Kaiser's palaces. I have a private suite in it that is really palatial. The conference room is about forty by sixty and we sit at a large round table--fifteen of us. I have four and they each have four, then behind me are seven or eight more helpers. Stalin moved to make me the presiding officer as soon as we sat down and Churchill agreed.

It makes presiding over the Senate seem tame. The boys say I gave them an earful. I hope so. Admiral Leahy said he'd never seen an abler job and Byrnes and my fellows seemed to be walking on air. I was so scared I didn't know whether things were going according to Hoyle or not. Anyway a start has been made and I've gotten what I came for--Stalin goes to war August 15 with no strings on it. He wanted a Chinese settlement--and it is practically made--in a better form than I expected. Soong did better than I asked him. I'll say that we'll end the war a year sooner now, and think of the kids who won't be killed! That is the important thing.

I told a three-star general as I got off the boat at Antwerp that I'd like to see my nephew Harry if it wouldn't upset things or detach him from his outfit. They found him on the Queen Elizabeth at Glasgow, Scotland, just ready to sail. They gave him the choice of sailing or coming to see his uncle. He is here--a sergeant and the nicest-looking soldier you can imagine. He was as pleased as could be to see me--and am I proud of him! I gave him a pass to Berlin signed by Stalin and me. He'll stay a few days and then I'll have him flown back to his outfit. He says it's the finest section (he's chief of it) in the army--the right spirit sure enough.

Wish you and Margie were here. But it is a forlorn place and would only make you sad.

Please write and tell the young lady her dad can still read.

Lots of love, Harry