Letters from War – Returning from a post-war vacation at the French Riviera, August 1945

This is part of our “Letters from War” series documenting the World War II letters of Irvin Schwartz of Pine Grove, PA. The letters were all published in the West Schuylkill Press-Herald between 1943 and 1945. 

Read the previous letter here


Irvin Schwartz DSC Social - Boran Photo
Staff Sergeant Irvin Schwartz, 1945

From the August 31, 1945 edition of the West Schuylkill Press-Herald: 

Finds Copy of Press-Herald in French Train

Imagine yourself riding a train en route from the French Riviera to the city of Luxembourg, picking up a discarded newspaper in one of the coaches and finding it to be a copy of your hometown newspaper!

That was the experience of one of our local soldiers, who tells about it in the interesting letter which follows:


Luxembourg City,

August 1, 1945

Dear Mae:

I arrived in picturesque Luxembourg early this morning after a long train ride from Nice. I sure had a marvelous time on the Riviera, even though at one time it was 115 in the shade.

My trip back here was brightened somewhat, however, when I discovered an edition of the “West Schuylkill Press and Pine Grove Herald” which I hadn’t read earlier. It was found in one of the coaches and was probably left there by a Pine Grove or Tremont serviceman just coming to the Riviera.

I will leave here early Friday night by plane for Germany. When I get into Nurnberg, I’ll bring my mail up to date. I’ll get back just in time for the G.I. Olympics to take place at Soldiers Field Stadium featuring as entertainment Bob Hope’s show and Hal McIntrye and his Victor recording orchestra which will come here from Munich for an appearance in the amphitheater next to the stadium. I also expect to attend the championship baseball game which will take place at Soldiers’ Field. All these events will be broadcast by Allied Forces Network, (A.F.N.), Munich, and will be witnessed by more than 100,000 persons.

Please pass on the following message to Corporal Ambrose McDonald who I met in Nice; just two blocks from the beach; Mac, I called at your hotel room twice the last day I had in Nice, Monday, July 30, but on each occasion you were out. Will see you at home shortly, I hope. Good luck.

You at home probably already know that the 26th Regiment of the First Infantry Division has been appointed as security guards at the coming war criminal trails to take place at the Palace of Justice located in Nurnberg. High Nazis such as Goering, Papen and Hess will take the chair during the trials before members of the United States Supreme Court who are beginning to arrive there now. These former members of the Nazi regime will be brought to Nurnberg by special guards from their prison here in Luxembourg.

Numerous war correspondents and photographers are arriving in Nurnberg currently to cover the trials for the press, according to a First Division man I met here in Luxembourg today.

I’ll write again when I get there.

Until then – so long.

Sincerely,

T/Sgt. Irvin R. Schwartz


Featured Image: A photograph of a French Riviera beach in the summer of 1945, National WW2 Museum

This is part of a series titled: “Letters from War.” Read more of the letters written by Irvin Schwartz during World War II


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2 thoughts on “Letters from War – Returning from a post-war vacation at the French Riviera, August 1945

  1. I love reading these letters.

    This one made me think about the troops left there during the transistion back to life as usual, which of course was not possiblefor many years.

    Do you know how they selected the divisions or units to transform society in Germany and Europe?

    Is it even possible to do a cliff notes answer for this question? Like did they just say XX division will stay in yyy area, and other units to zzz area?.

    Guees I should look for a book called “After the war—Then what”.

    Liked by 1 person

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