Tuesday, September 5, 2017

HvS | WW2 1945 to ERM Jul-Aug, ICAO

1945 Other years 1943 . 1944 . 1946

HvS > ERM 1945-7-12
Hilda Marlin
3728 Northampton Street NW
Washington D.C. 15
July 12, 1945

[From April to June, a conference in San Francisco created the United Nations. ERM was there, having left the O.S.S. and now representing the U.S. Budget Bureau. He served as the Secretary of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization in Chicago. He is being asked to join the newly created ICAO at their new headquarters in Montreal  as an officer. On July 10 the Louvre reopened in Paris; on July 11 the Soviet Union handed over control of Western Berlin to U.S. and U.K. forces.]
Dearest Husband -
So glad to get your letter with your views on world affairs. You misunderstood my remark about the vicar of Christ, I only meant that Miffy [Mr. Smith, WW2 roomer from London], not willing to concede to the right of one person who decides spiritual matters in Christ's place, is of course equally unwilling to see someone assume that power in worldly matters. I would never recommend the Pope as arbiter of worldly affairs – not even in an ideal society (which, according to my views, would be a society spiritually united under the Pope). Only it should be guided by the laws of justice indicated by the church. 
As for the atonement – I only meant that it had been a mystery to me for so long why Christ only could pay the debt of sin in the world. They had only been empty words to me which I accepted on the authority of the church, but which I never visualized, having even a faint distaste for the whole thing as utterly unjust. And it is my feelings about the criminals in Europe that makes me approach the meaning – just a faint inkling of what it might mean. It isn't that I recommend that the criminals be let off – it is only that one feels that their state is already so miserable (though they don't know it) that whatever fate befalls them makes hardly any difference and certainly does not constitute a payment for what has been done. You might as well punish flames for devouring a house. 
Only the sufferings of good people seem to have any spiritual value – Which reminds one of the fact that animals brought to the altar always had to be without blemish. And for that reason of course, only the sufferings of Christ, being without sin, would be perfect. 
Another way to approach it would be to say that to exact retribution from the Germans we would have to act like the Germans and be like the Germans. Which would make everything worse all around. And from a loving God we might imagine that the alternative to Christ would have been to give us over to the Devil, only He didn't do it because He is a loving God – just as we don't want to imitate the Germans because we are still civilized. These are only approaches, mind you, but it helps a lot, all the same. 
Meanwhile I agree about the loss of valuable lives, from a worldly point of view. But so you might have said: "A pity that Christ had to die so young." Which is manifestly absurd. The worldly point of view is usually a travesty of the truth and God. Who could raise men from dead bones can raise gifted men from fools, if necessary.
I was interested in your account of the unfortunate little boy. You have the same feelings about him I had about the Peters boy. I felt it was sinful to have wished Elisabeth to be a boy when she is so strong and normal. But I think I would prefer a brilliant boy with an abnormal body than the other way around, though his suffering is much greater. I believe a great saint was just like that – I remember reading about him. He was useless anywhere, so he was stuck in a monastery and he became one of the wisest writers and saints of the Medieval Church. 

Are his parents Catholic? I believe the Church has great consolations for children like that.
As for going to Montreal [with ICAO, which the family did do], I would think it a delightful adventure if it weren't for my "healthy stream," I really quail at a a new household without help. I know that comfort is often opposed to happiness – but somehow the confusion of six children without help seems to me a happiness I can do without. All the same I leave the decision to you. Jane Gorman is heartbroken at the idea of my leaving.  She was telling me a funny thing – her daughter Susan said to her:
"Mother, if Mrs. Marlin gets to Heaven before you, do you think she'll help you in?"
Shows you the hero worship going on in that family!
Randal would love you to visit his camp for a week-end. Mother didn't tell him about Montreal because she is afraid he'd be too upset. Richard and Gilroy are the world to him at present!
HvS > ERM 1945-7-25
From: Hilda Marlin
3728 Northampton Street NW
Washington D.C. 15
July 25, 1945
Dearest Husband.
We are the last ten days in The Toils of Birdie's Vacation, so I'm just as glad you didn't come. It makes me less than eager to start existence without a servant. 
I have those two interesting communions and I manage to keep on working, did two and a half drawings the first Birdieless week, but of course the even monotony of the days suffer and the house runs down. 
The children quarrel in the rain, Mother is in bed with rheumatism and my only vice is cherries. I buy too many for the budget and I excuse myself that it's about all I eat (no meat since you left) that I don't spend money on myself in any other way and have no other relaxation. 
Still, I am myself down to one pound a day and then I went to Mrs. Gorman and brought her the pound I had "saved." She was so pathetically glad – she had looked at them all summer, she said, but couldn't afford them. I felt like a filthy Croesus and wished I'd brought her two pounds. I am really being a help to her – she has difficulties with her husband and I help her straighten herself out but I might use my own advice sometimes, I think. Only I do think it's hard for a woman never to have any money of her own and I know I am terribly lucky to be earning and to have a husband who allows me free use of my own money. 
I think there is something essentially unjust in an arrangement by which a woman works as [hard], or harder, than a man (she does all the washing and cleaning with only some help for the ironing) and always has to feel she has to account for every penny she spends without any money ever for her own. 
Now her husband accuses her of wastefulness and is taking the management of the money himself, only allowing her money for food. And food prices have gone up so she can't manage and she is at her wit's end. I told her some economies she could make, but she says she has done that already, and she doesn't want her children's health to suffer. 
Of course, they haven't managed things as well as we. She isn't a member of a coop and hence she hasn't got the saving in milk and spends ten dollars more a month. She isn't a member of Group Health, and though she has a garden she didn't fertilize it so she hasn't got a crop. Those things are a matter of foresight and knowledge and in these things they are a little hobbledehoy. 
Then she has a passion for reading and buys a book occasionally to her husband's disgust. I think he ought to be pleased to have a wife with only that extravagance, but of course I don't tell her that. I tell her that I can see his point of view, that he wants to save for emergencies and that if he got a cut in salary she'd have to manage too. I tell her simply to buy less of the expensive food; but as she says, you can't always get it. 
Corn costs a dollar for a dozen ears now! I have ceased to buy it, cherries are cheaper. Even without meat and vegetables (I have my own now, plenty of beans, carrots, squash, cucumber, onions, parsley and spinach) I spent almost three dollars a day just on bread, butter, melons, oranges, cherries, peaches and, occasionally, ice cream. And not extravagantly either. Fruit for one meal at a moderate quantity, comes to almost a dollar. Prices are terrific. I am glad I don't have to buy meat. I was able to give the Gormans almost eighty red points [ration coupons]. They were so glad. But, you see, they do spend it on meat and so they can't buy the fruit. 
The garden is a lifesaver, for vegetables are almost as expensive as fruit this summer and I couldn't have melons or cherries if I hadn't labored over my beans. [The victory garden is featured in The Mitchells, which is about WW2 Washington, D.C.]
The weeds are terrific on account of the rain. And the squash is up to my head almost with a profusion of blooms. I had to spend three dollars on insecticide too, but it will last me the rest of the summer.
I told Miffy about Jane's problems and he said: "But they have a good salary and they ought to be able to manage. Some people have to live on two thousand seven hundred dollars a year." I agreed, it is what has been worrying me all along, but I don't think it is possible in Washington. That's why all these women are working and children are neglected. Unless you put up your own food from a large garden, keep your own chickens and bees and own your own home you can't do it, certainly not with six children. 
That's why people won't have children any more and it's all wrong. But it's no good saying: "It must be possible," because it isn't. Though they don't have a maid more than once a week they have a car and a house to pay for and clothes and doctor's bills and a tonsil operation, etc. He took his vacation camping out with his two boys, to do it cheap, but that didn't benefit her, did it?
Meanwhile this increase you were going to get boils down to four dollars less a payday, and I suppose the same goes for them. A queer increase!
Meanwhile I did a little article for Literary Guild and got the choice of eight books for it. So I thought of your birthday and got two for you – a six-dollar book in two volumes by [Alexis Charles] Henri de Tocqueville called "Democracy in America" which is supposed to be excellent and probably the sort of book you'd want to own and "The Mechanics (or something) of Peace," by somebody else, also supposed to be very good. 

I'll send them as soon as I get them, or perhaps I'll just send the peace and keep democracy in the bookcase for you, for that's more a thing to dip in than to read, I imagine. I hope you're glad – they were the only titles worthy to be kept I thought, the other things on world affairs seemed sort of temporary, like books on how to deal with three hundred photographs on New England and a book on contemporary American painters. 

For mother I got a new biography of Tolstoy and a light novel by Elisabeth Corbeth whom we both enjoy. For the children I got "All the Mowgli Stories" by Kipling and "The little book about God" by Lauren Ford. I think, considering the amount of ephemeral tripe there was, that those are not bad choices. And they amount to about twenty-five dollars. Of course I could have gone to town on picture books for the children but they have enough already and will get more from Viking. I felt they should only have their fair share, and classics are most hard to get at present. Most of them are out of print.
Father Gorman saw the picture I did of the sacred heart after being infuriated with the one I had to hang in my room. (I then dropped it "accidentally" behind the bookcase and had to retrieve it for father Gorman to compare it with my own. Luckily I could then make him a present of the old one and have it off my conscience.) He is going to write to the promoter of the sacred heart about it.
Love to you -

HvS > ERM 1945-8-3

Hilda Marlin
3728 Northampton Street NW
Washington D.C. 15

August 3 (?, n.d.), 1945
Dear husband.
Enclosed is Olga's last letter and a comb case which she made for you with your initials on it. She looks stunning. 

Both girls look well and brown but Brigid [7] is all teeth and hair still. But Olga [10] has a radiance that takes your breath away. She has brushed her teeth regularly and they are sparkling white, her hair is long now and bleached golden. She is much thinner, her legs are beautiful and she is almost as tall as I am and has gained in "poise." She and Sister Petra got on famously this time.

Pop Polak came to see me yesterday, though her husband is in London. She was left behind.


HvS > ERM 1945-8-27
Hilda Marlin
3728 Northampton Street NW
Washington D.C. 15

August 27, 1945
Dear Husband.
Just got your notes. Please realize that whatever you decide will be all right with me. Your wistful wish to see the pictures has made me hang on to them until you see them. Though I don't know whether you'll like them if you do. The only thing I can say is that they're not like other people’s Bible pictures. I saw some in Woodward & Lothrop's bookstore and it is just as if people were scared to draw natural when they are doing it for the Bible. 
They, the promoters of the sacred heart, sent back my sacred heart picture with a nice letter saying they didn't like the face and I agree with that. I realize you need a model and there is someone I can use beautifully, Father Blaise of our parish, a young Franciscan monk with a beard. I'm trying to get Father Gorman to persuade him to sit for me. Mrs. O'Sullivan who lives down the street has a plant which was used for the crown of thorns so I can get that straight too.
I have got into a fight with Mr. Dougherty about LendLease but he is fair and granted me some points. The funny part is that the American grievance is so illogical.
a) England should have known and she can get credit. 
b) England won't take credit which is terrible because she never pays her war debts.
It sounds absurd, but that is the way they reason over here. Also:
a) England is finished and she may as well realize it and all this protest is insincere because 
b) We all know she is much richer and more powerful than she pretends to be and she only pretends because she won't face the fact that she is finished.
You won't believe it, but that's the way they argue. 

Randal will be at your mother's on the twenty-ninth and you can pick him up there. I'm afraid your mother and Ruth would want to come with him. Otherwise and at present I have no place and I am curiously tired – I don't want any more fuss than is necessary.

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