“Dear Mother,” letter from Berchtesgaden, 28 May 1945
William Bennett, a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, describes life after V – E Day in Bavaria, Germany; including luxurious hotel rooms and exhibitions of Hermann Goering’s stolen art.
28 May 1945
…Am enjoying a two day pass at a resort on Lake Konigsee. The weather is wonderful and it’s a great set up here. Have a room overlooking the lake at the Hotel Schiffmeister – very deluxe. It’s run by a couple of staff of Germans and we have just about everything you could imagine – excursion boats, canoes, speed boats, horses, tennis, several orchestras, etc. We are waited on hand and foot and have been getting the best cooked food I’ve had since leaving the states. Much more of this and we would be badly spoiled. The latest addition here is a contingent of WACS who are on their way up….
…The division is still ferreting out some top Nazis in their mountainous hideaways here. There is plenty of room to take cover in this part of the country and it may be sometime before they are all rounded up. Everyday a few German soldiers are picked up coming down from parts high up in the Austrian Alps where they didn’t even know the war was over. They are surprised to see that Americans have taken over ground here and can’t understand what happened. All kinds of loot is being recovered in this area, and the 101st already has on display an exhibition of some of the things Goering had hidden away that are reputed to be worth many millions. His collection makes up a good sized museum in itself….
Well, that’s it for now-
Gift In Memory of William Vernon Bennett, 2011.100
Posted by Museum Archivist, Lindsey Barnes