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Trier, Germany. July 15, 1919. My Dear Uncle Frank: - I received your letter some time ago while I was in the hospital getting over one of those unpleasant “itching” experiences which everyone who has been in the army has had to deal with. I know you and Aunt Jessie are glad to have Blatchford back. It was a shame that we did not meet over here. I was in Paris a couple of times but not more than two days at a time. I did not konw his address and I was very busy both times there. Yes, General Pershing and I
decided to remain over here for awhile and “lookout for” the Germans, although I am afraid soon one will have to do it long after I am gone. Don’t let it surprise you, but I am of the opinion, and I am not the only one either, that Germany has accomplished her purpose in this war. There is not one foot of German territory which has been harmed in this conflict while the whole of northern & eastern France is absolutely laid waste. Practically the whole of France is demoralized to a certain extent, much more so I think than Germany. The French are not a people who will catch on and develop a possibility or opportunity to its fullest extent. This is easily seen by the men of the
French army, who are without a doubt the most slouchy, sleepy, and actually dirty bunch that I have ever seen. I have travelled through some of the devastated parts of France and all I have seen some German prisoners sleeping among the ruins or talking with the French sentinels, the latter of whom looked like they had never shaved for weeks. In the parts of France where I have been, there really seems to be no determination to come out of a rut yet at all. Of course our papers have “Joan of Arced” them and praised their morale to the skies so that we can think of nothing else. It is different when one gets over here and right among them and sees “what’s what.” It is different when one looks at Germany. Although they have been in
the war just as long and have had just as hard if not harder fighting than France, they are already putting their noses to the grindstone without a flinch. Merchants are quietly playing their trade and everything is settled back to normal again with the exception of a few larger cities. Everything and everybody from the Mayor to the school-boy is working day and night to get the “Fatherland” back on its feet again. They are so used to being bound together by an iron hand, that it becomes natural for them to work in unity. Their morale is by no means broken. As soon as a satisfactory government has been established, which will take a year or two yet, every man will flock to it. Germany has made an awful holler about being choked
to death by the peace treaty, but I believe that within twelve or fifteen years, perhaps less, she will have paid off her war debt and proclaim to the world that the German race has accomplished the impossible. She will be more united and as strong as ever. Although I am glad to say that I am sure such a strong military regime will never again be in power here. Germany does not depend on anyone else for support for she has lived under “her own steam” for the last five years and she knows it. From the way things look, it seems as though it would take poor France a generation or two to get back on her feet again and no telling where Germany will be by that time in the commercial and financial world.
One of Germany’s chief objects was to put France out of running and get control of certain interests in the enormous fields of Russia. She does not have to support nor depend on Austria any more and she is watching with pleasure the scrapping of the little nations south of her. Athough there may be certain things we have to admire about the German I shall forever despise her methods in gaining her ends and hate her boorishness. I have lived and purposely made myself a part of the best families here and I know what I am talking about. I hope you will not let this that I have written get very far. I am only writing it because the
censorship is lifted and I thought you might be interested. There will be much to tell when I get back. I hope to be in the States (God’s country) one month from to-day. Give my love to Aunt Jessie and Jessie. Best regards to Blatchford. I thank you again for your very cheerful letter and hope the pipe continues to draw like a smoke stack. Best of luck Burnham
From the service of James Kellogg Burnham Hockaday, First Lieutenant, 354th Infantry, 89th Division.
|Date||July 15, 1919|
|Year Range from||1919|
|Year Range to||1919|
Hockaday, James Kellogg Burnham
World War I