12. Occupation Duty,
January 5, 1919

My dear Parents,

. . .We have but little trouble with the people, who seem to be glad it's all over, though once and while some mother bereft of her boy by an American or Allied shell bursts out in hysterical rage and she has to be treated diplomatically and made to see that some Allied mothers have suffered and then she will say that wasn't her fault So there you are. But most of the civilians see that the Americans are treating them very justly, only really demanding of them some few facilities for making the men as comfortable as possible. One or maybe two rooms are requisitioned for the troops to sleep in and it makes the people a little crowded but they know they have a big debt yet to pay and so don't even whimper.

There are so many young children. You see the German govt condoned and even encouraged illegitimacy all over the country in order to keep the population at par if possible to make up for her casualties in action. Of course there was more of this in the cities. Troops on leave and in rest area ran around pretty loosely and big shipments of war babies went distributed over the country in the small towns, farms and villages especially and were apportioned to families according to their ability to care of them and rear them like their own. We have found them everywhere. It seems that the government would have hesitated before taking such a step that makes bastard children of almost a generation But Germany in her military program considered men as so much gun fodder and there you are. Its a pitiful situation but just one of the many that come to light as we investigate. . .

Back to Eugene West's Main Page