April 28, 1939
Dear Thelma –
Words fail me in expressing my reaction to your loving and considerate thought in your letter with regards to my prolonged stay up here. All that I can say is if it wasn’t for your appreciation and encouragement which you have given me I fear that it would be too much for me to bear. You if no one else can see that my behavior is not motivated by blind selfishness; without consideration due to ourselves. Life and what it has in store for us lies ahead for us but for my father, well there’s not much left. If I were religious I’d be on my knees praying for a miracle. As it is every bit of my attention is devoted to prolonging his life.
Thelma, sweetheart I won’t be able to send you any money till the end of next week, when I will make up for the lost time. I am mindful of this matter constantly and won’t fail, rest assured.
Got up this morning very early to hear Hitler’s speech. The whole matter reduced itself to the pot calling the kettle black. If Germany and Italy are run by gangsters Hitler says and proves conclusively that England, France and U.S. are equally as guilty of the accusation also. It is my belief that the gangsters concerned in the international squabble will forget their differences, join to-gether and go for their real and common enemy, namely U.S.S.R. It will surprise me if the capitalist nations war with each other thus permitting the U.S.S.R. to step in and make capital after they lie prostrate.
Well, my mother’s toe is all healed now and all fear of amputation is off our mind. And she has my father to thank for effecting the cure. This is the second time he has accomplished this. Monday if the weather permits we are taking the folks out to Grafton. We are depending a lot on the air, sunshine and water to help my father. The other day while out there he noticed that he didn’t cough so often. As for the rest of the family they are fine and dandy and send their best wishes.
That sure must have been a bombshell for the folks of everyone concerned to learn of Leonard and Sonia. After all the babbling and shouting is over it’s no one’s business but their own. Leonard is 21 years old. And they (Leonard and Sonia) have a right to happiness as they see it.
And while on the subject of happiness there’s one thing of which I’m positive. There will not be a happier couple on earth when I return to your side. Darling if there wasn’t anything to live for our love would be enough for me. That I love you doesn’t half express it.
P.S. Usual regards to family + comrades. Write me soon. Please.
Editor’s Notes: Others may be worried for Izzy and Thelma’s relationship with him being away for so long. But, Thelma is 100% supportive and understands that Izzy needs to be with his father. Izzy and Thelma are young with a whole life ahead of them; they are willing to prolong their own happiness in order to extend an old man’s life. Their love and dedication is inspiring.
You can see that Izzy learned about loyalty and love from his parents’ own relationship. His father is ill but still able to help heal his wife. Another couple seems to be on the verge of tying the knot – Leonard and Sonia (from the neighborhood, probably Leonard and Sonya Gorin). A couple is not an island, there are usually friends and family members voicing opinions, but if they are not an island they are at least in their own rescue boat together.
Now, on to the historical context. It begins with a letter from U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, and a similar letter to Italian President Benito Mussolini, on April 14, 1939. You can read the letter here. It asks Hitler to decree that there will be no invasion or attack of 31 nations for the forseeable future.
Hitler responded to this open letter with a speech of about 90 minutes. (broadcast in the US from 5 AM-7 AM) Hitler said he reached out to all 31 nations and none of them felt threatened by him. I think it is safe to say that if they did not already feel bullied, they would soon. You can read the whole transcript here and watch a clip from the speech here or listen to the whole speech here.
“Some of the lying statements fabricated in the past few weeks by these international warmongers and published in numerous newspapers are just as childish as they are malicious.” – Adolf Hitler, April 28, 1939
This letter is still some months before Hitler invaded Poland and WWII began. I am not actually a history buff so I’m going to have to do some deep diving to understand the American Socialist’s views of Lenin, Stalin, Russia, the USSR to get a complete picture. However, the climate of the time was that everyone’s common enemy was Stalin, the USSR and Communism. And then Hitler happened.