Brooklyn in Love and at War

History of World War Two Told Through Letters

I’m At War Too!

In forceful and eloquent words Sylvia describes the ways that her life has been changed by war. She angrily tells Alex that she, too, is at war. She is responding to a letter from Alex in which he must vent to her and tell her not to take on too many activities. I have not found which letter she might be responding to yet and it occurs to me that it so angered her that it was not saved with the rest. As I mentioned yesterday, there is a previous post with a letter from Alex in which he does get angry at her here. Despite their distance and the war — or perhaps because it has so deeply impacted her life — Sylvia rightfully does not back down from this fight! Unfortunately, I do not have the entirety of this letter but the 3 pages that are here speak volumes.

April 26, 1945

Dear Alex,

After receiving no mail from you in more than a week, I rec’d four letters from you this morning. You wrote these before you sailed to your new part where I presume you are at present. In these four letters you again bawl me out. It’s getting so that that’s all I expect in your letters to me! You yell in one sentence and in the next ask me to try and understand! I realize you’re letting off steam and I’m the poor sucker who is in the path of your wrath—I realize you’re anxious to be home with us—

I realize how prisonlike the ship must feel by now—I realize many things! But what you don’t seem to realize is that I’m at war too! Do you think that just because I’m in N.Y. and not in Europe that I’m not in the war? Isn’t having my home uprooted, and torn apart being in the war? Isn’t having my husband in the Anti-fascist struggle being in the war? Isn’t raising a baby who doesn’t know her father being in the war? Isn’t living on a stinking $80.00 a month being in the war? Isn’t having 2 brothers in the Army being in the war? And do you think with all this, that I can sit idly by and do nothing? Do you want a wife who folds her arms and does nothing in times like these? If so, you married the wrong gal! All right, I know what you’re going to say and I’ll agree that maybe I have been over-doing it – and what I’ll have to do is cut down a bit on my activities…

I’ll continue with the paper and with the organizational work of the women’s day group… and maybe with the Thursday night current events groups—but that’s all, I think. Possibly I’ll hand over the second or third item to someone else. – However, none of these activities I’m engaged in separate me from Cookie. As she’s asleep by 6 P.M., they all keep me occupied after that time. I’ve discovered that to attempt to read or write during the day with Cookie around is murder. She won’t let me do it! And before she fell ill….


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This entry was posted on November 6, 2012 by in Angry, fight, Homefront, Sylvia, War and tagged .
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