April 20th 1945
I fear to write of what just happened but I feel I need to talk of it. The vile feelings that I have witnessed today are all consuming in their intensity. I should best start from the beginning. I was walking down Baker Street near dusk, with a bag of groceries that scraped above my bare necessities, when I saw the most abrupt atrocity I think has ever existed. A man who had seemed perfectly healthy, walking upright and proud, obviously not unfit for service, was walking down the opposite street. A woman brushed past him and deposited a feather in his lapel. He called out to her, rather impolitely, but not harshly or rudely. He then continued walking. As he was about to reach the corner of the almost deserted street he passed a dark alley from which suddenly 3 men in police uniforms burst from the darkness. With calls like “coward” “profligate” and “foolish vagrant” they drew nightsticks and began to assault him. As one man used his weapon to get the young man by the throat, pinning him against the cold brick wall. As the man started to call out, I saw a flash of light, reflecting from cold steel. Realising what was imminent, I ran away from the street, dropping all I held. I still could not escape the choked cry and gurgle as the man was so cruelly and violently murdered by men who’s livelihood is to protect us.
And yet my largest regret was dropping the groceries. A compassionate citizen I am no longer.
April 17th, 1945
I struggle through the rest of the week, finding solace in the fact that I have no family to share my grief with. This would be my burden. My father was dead before I had even spoken a word, my mother died out on one of the cattle ranches, a house servant. I have not the heart to further pursue the terms unto which I find myself alone. All I know is that I await the arrival of my brother’s personal belongings. Perhaps, if I can see what he saw, read what he wrote, before his lifelong struggle with God himself was ended by a soulless Hun warrior, I could better appreciate the older brother who had stoically taken the challenges fate had thrown at him.
I only now realise how much I will miss my brother.
April 13th, 1945
Today I went back to work at the munitions factory. Two days since my brother’s death in a charge against a stretch of “seemingly undefended” German trenches. I spent most of the day explaining what had happened to friends, both mine, and his. Their reactions ranged from outright woe, to shock, to “it happens to the best of us.” While that last response invoked a sharp feeling of hatred for the offenders, it didn’t take me long to realise that many more has lost their whole families in this war. For me to simply strike down anyone I deemed deserved it would be both selfish and idiotic of me. I am not the only victim of this war, and I will definitely not be the last.
April 11th, 1945
I barely remembered what happened today. I got up, had breakfast and fed my dog, Brandy. I was interrupted in my daily routines by a knock on the door. Wondering who would come to the house at such an early time, I opened the door, to be greeted by the solemn, young face of a Digger. Unemotionally, I put out my hand, and was given a letter, the texture of which I would never forget. My own emotions had shocked me into a robotic state, yet I could still register that the envelope was among one of the softest materials I had ever encountered. Such a beautiful thing, for such harsh contents.