Borrowing a few of Hitler’s things
Vail, CO Colorado
From Dachau, Frank’s battalion went south to Munich, where they found little resistance. They continued their march through Europe and ended in Salzburg, Austria. To find himself in a town such as Salzburg at the end of the war was like waking from a nightmare into a soft dream.
The town had sustained little damage; it was as if the war had bypassed the town. Spring was in the air. Daffodils bobbed their heads. Pale pink blossoms covered fruit trees. The air was heady with aromas of fresh flowers, spring grass, and clean air, rather than the normal scents of war: gun powder, sweat, blood, and death.
The only noticeable fact that a war was in progress was the lack of gasoline.
The day after arriving, Frank and his driver went to Eagle’s Nest, which was Hitler’s castle and which the British had bombed the previous evening. When they arrived, flames still flickered skyward from the ruins and it smelled of burned timbers and ash.
From time to time, a section of wall would crumble and more ash twirled out of the ruins. Strangely, when the men arrived, sheets of paper littered the ground and flittered this way and that. Frank picked up a piece of paper. On it he saw gold embossed letters: this was the Fuhrer’s personal stationary.
Chuckling, Frank gathered many pieces of stationery and in the ensuing days, enjoyed writing home on Hitler’s private paper.
Frank knew the Allies had beaten the Nazis and the war was coming to an end, so he reviewed his options. While in Salzburg he applied to aviation school. Easily accepted, Frank then returned to Dachau for his acceptance physical.
By this time, the death camp had been changed to an army field hospital, and for Frank, to see the place saving lives rather than taking them was comforting.
By June, Frank was back in the states, preparing to attend aviation school. He found himself in Texas in July of 1945, where he went to the school. There Frank met with his wife. He had been gone more than 14 months and done and seen things that turns a young man into an adult.
Most importantly, he found that he had nothing in common with his wife. It seemed as though it was in another life that he married her.
Sad as it was, he was not in love with her. She felt the same. In the spring of 1946, she filed for divorce and Frank did not contest it. The one thing his soon-to-be ex-wife wanted from the divorce was a sum of money.
Because Frank had been so successful in his bridge and poker games, he had the required funds to make her happy and that simply was the end of the relationship. Little did she know that she sum she requested was a pittance of the total of what Frank had won gambling.
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