Thursday, July 14, 2016

AD Hasler 1945 Letters Home from Europe

ADH 1945 Strategic Bombing Survey 
Letters Home to Madison

Art with Colleagues & Jeep in Alps, June1945

A D Hasler Letters From Europe Summaries
May-August 1945
To Hanna, WT Haslers (his parents), Sylvia, NC Fassett (a UW colleague), etc.

Note: We have just found the negatives of dad's photographs that he took during this period. Some are now included below, but I have made a new blog post featuring the pictures.

The following letters have been posted so far:

 (2hw, 3hw, 4hw*, 5hw6hw , 7hw, 8Telegram,  9hw, 10hw11hw*, 12hw*, 13VM, 14*, 17*, 19*, 21*,  23*, 45*) 

Letters marked with a * have been converted to text files. Handwritten letters (Marked hw) have been deciphered and typed by Art's son Arthur Frederick (Fritz). Typed letters  and V-Mails (VM)have been converted to text with Google's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software with additional deciphering and corrections made by AFH.

Control/Apple/V to add cells
From: Location
1st letters hand written, typed after 22 May

2/ 01 May
Washington DC
 Dear Hanna/

General Trip Schedule:
Leaving Saturday (05  May)
Go to London first:  Stay - Army Hotel
Germany Next: Army Barracks
May hop up to NYC before departure
3/04 May
Washington DC
Dear Hanna/

Miss you much Arthur
Visited Sister Ada & Mel in NYC
Nursing Dick, Marilyn is bright
Tomorrow we “sail”
4/05 May
Patuxant MD Letter on Washington DC Carlton Hotel Stationary

Dear Hanna & Kiddies/

Ran out of space at ened
3-5 hr wait here to take on fuel
Will fly on big 4 engine (piston) C-54 from Petuxant (misspelled) MD to New Found Land,
Hop to Azores when weather permits
I am a Major getting $5500/year
Meeting many interesting people (engineers)
Will finish letter on other side of pond
4/09 May
London England
Londoners so relieved war is over… no more bombing, some building still destroyed from ’42 night raids
The (VE day) celebration last night was impressive. People just walked & walked and sang “There will always be an England”
We were delayed in another European Capital (Paris) only GIs were celebrating, French had celebrated earlier.
5/05 May
Washington DC
Dear Hanna

Lovingly Arthur
Send mail to A.P.O 14626
C/O Postmaster NYC
Will fly via Bermuda & Paris to London Proud as Punch of my fine “little” family
6/09 May
6/09 May continued)
London (continued)
With all my Love Arthur
New APO 413 NYC
Be prepared to borrow from folks or Mrs S as my money will be delayed. You will get $350 of my $458.33/month and will send you what I don’t use.
Hope to be back by 1st Semester
Many quaint streets: I’m reminded of being here (on my mission) in the 30s
7/10 May
Dear Hanna & Kiddies/

Love Daddy

8/ 13 May

Western Union Telegram
9/13 May

10/14 May

I tried to buy something for you at Selfridges, but jewelry is rationed and a used linen tablecloth is $22 and weighs 10 lbs. I will bring it home with me if you wish
11/15 May
Somewhere in Europe
Dear Hanna & Kiddies/

Greetings Daddy
I am in no more danger than I would be on a trip to the Brule (River in N Wisconsin)
Planting and plowing is underway. Saw a little boy Sylvia’s age leading a horse for his daddy who walked behind guiding the plow
12/ 17 May
Darmstadt Germany?

13/20 May

Vmail: type to small to read
14/22 May

Letters typewritten from here on.
15/24 May

16/28 May

17/30 May
Schloss Seeburg am Starnbergersee
Dear Hanna and Kiddies
Location: Just south of Munich
18/02 June
Innsbruck Austria
Dear Hanna, Sylvia, Fritz, Bruce, Galen, Mark
V-Mail Letter arrived in Madison
11 June
19/05 June
Innsbruck Austria
Dear Hanna & Kiddies
Letter arrived 19 June on Nazi Stationary:
 Under the signature of
Der Reichsgesunheitsfürer
20/07 June
Dearest Hanna:/

on Nazi Stationary:

Sylvia on her way to Utah
21/11 June
Dear Hanna & Kiddies/
Greetings , Daddie Love & Kisses to each of you
Copy to Folks

We go to Salzburg Saturday for two weeks.
21 continued

Letter by Paul W. Hodson describing trip to Berchesgaden and Hitler’s Eagle Nest
Salzburg Austria

Reminisces being here 15 years ago on his mission.

Trip to Brunnwinkl to see Prof von Frisch
 3 pages type written… detailed description of work with honeybees with only a stopwatch, “magic markers” and sugar water
destroyed house and library in Munich, job saved from Nazi demotion by success with increased honey production.
Dear Hanna and Folks
Camera doing well,
But needs 21/4 by 31/4 120 film
Need to find the photos he took
Dr Harold Rusch
Describes conditions in Germany, Honeybee research etc.
Mrs Hanna Hasler/

V Mail
My dear Hanna and boys

Dear Folks and Sylvia/

Greetings Arthur

Dear Folks and Sylvia/

Greetings Arthur
V Mail
Linz Austria
My Dearest Love,/

Letter Hand written

Newspaper Article in German Script
Linz Austria
Dear Folks and Sylvia

Linz Austria
Dear Folks and Sylvia
V Mail
Dear N. C. (Fassett)
To a University of Wisconsin Colleague
Dearest Love
On Nazi Stationary again
Dear Hanna and Kiddies/

V - Mail
My dear Sylvia
Talks about Sylvia’s trip to Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon with his dad etc.
Dearest Hanna,


German newspaper clipping
Dearest Hanna

Hallein Austria
Dearest Hanna my love,

Bad Nauheim Germany
Dearest Hanna

Bad Nauheim Germany

4 page Handwritten Letter
Flying on 08 August, Should arrive NY 10 Aug

My Dear Sylvia

Arrived in Madison by plane hearing Daddy, Daddy, it was little Fritz and with him stood Mother and Bruce

All Dear
1947 Letter from cousin Chirsta Conradi

Letter # 2 

01May1945 Washington (1 Page HW)

Letter # 3

 04May1945 Washington (2 Pages HW)

Letter # 4

05May1945 Washington

Continued  09MayLondon (2 Pages HW)

Letter # 4

05May1945 Washington

Continued  09MayLondon (2 Pages HW deciphered and typed by AFH)

(2 Pages Hand Written on The Carlton, Washington 6, DC Stationary
Continued on two more pages in letter 06 on regular paper)
London England
5 May, 1945
Dear Hanna and Kiddies,
            The plane from here (Patuxent MD) takes on 2400 gal of gas, flies to N. Foundland (Newfoundland - Stevensville), refuels and makes for the Azores weather permitting. The initial load of gas is for any emergency – could take us across if weather prevented us from landing in Newfoundland. The big 4 engine transport C54 has hatches in the top and rafts to discharge passengers if forced to land on water. Each has a life belt (May West). Great Business. We left late and are having a 3-5 hour wait here. Our luggage is checked, mine is 25 lb under the max permitted.
            Meeting many interesting men, mostly engineers. The contacts and information gained is worth the trip – very educational. Cashed a $50 check to get a travelers check, so cover it at bank. Write folks if there isn’t enough.  We can make it up later when I’m paid. I find my salary is $5500/year. I am an assimilated Major (Art’s army rank) as was my understanding from the outset.
            Had a bath in a Mr. Jirasecks room at the Carlton while waiting 4 hours (2-6 p.m.) for the plane – plenty ritzy. John L. Lewis lives here at the Carlton too.
Page 2)
This chap Jiraseck stays on his company’s pay while away and what a salary!! He’s is in charge of sales for an oil pump mfg. co. (Manufacturing Company)  $20,000/year. He has a mature girlfriend in Washington DC. (Sec’y ?Jorganson? from Jefferson Wisc.) to help him entertain when he is on business – a finished woman. Seems to be on the up and up!?! I didn’t ask.
            Will finish this note on the other side of pond.
London England
9 May 1945
04 Continued.
            Since reaching here, have been keenly interested in the genuine feeling of relief expressed by the Londoners over the cessation of hostilities. Their greatest happiness is the realization that bombing is a thing of the past. The V bombs of recent date must have been terrorizing. (These were the V1 and V2 Rockets that Verner von Braun had developed at the end of the war. He went on to lead the NASA Apollo moon program in the US after the war). This section where I have walked was not hit, but there is an occasional building which has not been restored from the 1942 night raids. I am told that other sections fared worse, especially where there were strategic targets.
            The celebration last night (VE Day) was impressive, fairly orderly. People released their feelings by walking, walking, walking. Great streams poured out upon the sidewalks. Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, Trafalgar Sq. (Square) were like Times Sq. on New Year’s Eve. There was occasional rowdiness & drunkenness, but most were well behaved. The middle aged were obviously incensed by those who misbehaved. One heard groups singing “There will always be an England” almost at every corner. It is a (Early World) War II song, I was told – haven’t got the words.
            We were fortunate to be laid over at another European capital (Paris) for the night of the 1st Announcement of V-Es day. There was little celebration, no crowds or excitement except from G.I.s. The natives looked on. Apparently their celebration took place earlier. Howard Cotton was glad to see us and spent the evening with us. Had us to his room for lunch of salmon bread and peaches from cans. Meals at a restaurant would have cost 5-10 dollars. Everything was terribly inflated. He is still looking for an apt. and has had to delay Kay’s trip. He had but one chance at one apt. for $2000 per year. Even at $6000/yr. salary plus expenses that is too high.  Have made notes  about what I saw in the trip so will tell you about them when I get home. To say the least, much of the travel was wearying.
06 Continued - 09 May 1945 (2 more hand written pages to Hanna)
            Hope you received the cable. Sorry I could not extend the greetings personally. Will get off another tomorrow to give you my A.P.O. because the old A.P.O. will cause some delay. After reaching the continent our mail may be delivered here and there before it gets to us. The new A.P.O. is
A.P.O. 413
U. S. Strategic Bombing Survey
C/O Postmaster
New York, N.Y.

            Financial matters may get confused and delayed so be prepared to borrow from the folks or from Mrs. S (Sieker). They (Accounting Office in London) said there will be a delay of 30 days or more so you won’t get a check before July, I would guess. Then it will be sent to you (Mrs. H.P.H.) from the Office of Dependency Benefits, Newark New Jersey. I have directed that you receive $350 of the $358.33 per month. I’ll get $108.33 here and will send on what I don’t use. We will have meal expenses in London, and transportation in addition to any travel I make outside of town. Don’t know if I will get time to go to the British Freshwater Biol. (Biology) Station or not. On the Continent 75 cents per day will be deducted from pay for meal like any officer. Laundry will be paid for out of our own salary too. There will be no $7.00 per day (per diem) while on the job. On this we were misinformed in D.C. Am glad I put on some ?antis?, otherwise this experience might cost us money.
            Don’t believe we will be here long. May come back en route home. Still looks like we’ll be back before 1st Semester. Hope this stream of returning G.I.s does not delay.
            While with Howard C. (Cotton) we saw a colorful review with all the “babes” revealed in unrestricted costume. Much the same as in 1930. The streets are still dirty – people urinate everywhere at night. Cherry pits were scattered all along the walks. People look well fed in spite of what they “have been thru”. City appears exactly as in 1930 same scenic and quaint qualities.
06 Page 2)
Am rooming with Clifford Kirkpatrick, Prof. (Professor) of Sociol. (Sociology) from U. of Minnesota. One of Lowry Nelson’s colleagues. A very scholarly man of 46, author of several books, Guggenheim fellow, etc. He has a very similar view of people in the country where we will work. Hope I get to work in his group. We will not see our project leader until tomorrow. The big holiday (two) has kept us from doing important work, have gotten only some processing, immunization, and more equipment. One spends so much time walking from one section to another. No taxis,  & busses are few and far between. Last evening we must have walked 10 miles in our circuit about town to watch the celebrations.
            It is hard to believe that I was with Ada & Mel only a week ago. Although a short visit we had nothing to keep us from simply visiting. The Miller residence is nothing fancy. – it is roomier than our place, but not the quality, design nor planning. The village is something like Nakoma except not as new. The college (Sarah Lawrence) is there where Harold Taglar was invited as prexy.
            All the way over I tried to visualize the kiddies, each of them and how they’ll be acting, what they will say, etc. to my imaginative situations. I can still see the little eyes of M. & G. (Mark & Galen). As they study my face while busily nursing the bottle. Way beyond anything I might miss here, the experiences I’ll miss not being with Sylvia, Fritz & Bruce fishing on Lake Mendota, picnicking on Picnic Pt. (Point). Dr. Kirkpatrick and I have been consoling each other. His wife had twins, but one died at childbirth. Did not get it out quickly enough.
            Am expecting Sylvia to take my place in helping you in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday. You’ll have to do it dearest Sister. Daddy has a job to do in the war. You’ve got to take over.
            Hanna Dearest – most of all I miss you. It is such punishment. This is our greatest sacrifice for getting the experience from this horrible war and serving in it.
With all my love,

Letter #5

05May1945 Washington (1 Pages HW)

Letter #6

09May1945 London  (2 more pages HW)

Art Hasler, C54Airplane, En Route to London, Azores, May1945

Letter #7

10May1945 London  (2 Pages HW)

Letter # 8

13May1945 London  (1 Page Mother's Day Telegram))

Letter # 9

13May1945 London  (2 Pages HW)

Letter # 10

14May1945 London  (2 Pages HW)

Letter # 11

15May1945 Somewhere In Europe 
(2 Pages HW)

Letter # 11
15May1945 Somewhere In Europe 

(2 Pages HW Deciphered and typed by AFH)

Somewhere in Europe
15 May 1945
Dear Hanna and Kiddies:

            First impressions of my field work are satisfactory, and above all I want to assure you that I sense no more danger that what might befall me on a trip to the Brule (Trout stream in NW Wisconsin). After supper tonight, one of my colleagues and I took a walk along a country road on the outskirts of a city. Many natives were busily cultivating their small gardens – some were setting out cabbage plants, here & there I saw peas in blossom, carrots peaking thru and iris in full flower.

            On the highways everywhere, planting or plowing was underway – women working in the fields as they used to. Saw a little boy, Sylvia’s age (9 years old), leading a horse for his daddy who walked behind guiding the plow.

            Wish you could see how beautiful the landscape appears in Spring – there is still great areas of beauty. On the other hand, I can only agree with correspondents that it is beyond imagination that some towns could be reduced to rubble so completely. Censorship forbids me to comment on atrocities, etc. Needless to say there are thousands of fine honest & kind people left and by no means are all paganistic barbarians.

            Non fraternization is still in force for the troops. Our project is approved and well planned, so we will proceed – I am glad to be here & would not miss the experience for anything.

            We have (a few) hardships. It is rough and dirty riding in a jeep or a truck, but at night we expect to have good safe places to rest. Our lodging is secure, cots are good and I have a new sleeping bag. The food is adequate – more meat that one gets in D.C. Have not been in this exact spot before, but passed through places today that I visited hurriedly in 1928 after leaving your mother (???)


Darmstadt in Ruins, May 1945

Kids in Rubble, Darmstadt, May1945

Letter # 12

Darmstadt 17May1945
 (4 Pages HW Note-the last two pages weren't scanned)

Letter # 12

Darmstadt 17May1945

(4 Pages Hand Written – hand typed by AFH)

Page 1)
Dear Hanna & Kiddies          17 May 1945
            After two days at the home base or headquarters, things are settling down to a routine and probably will be until the first of the month when we breakup into teams and move out.
            There is a large group of us living in a house or villa of a former Nazi bigwig and head of a large chemical factory. Before the troops got here, he poisoned himself, his grown daughters and their children. The house has a large garden around a moderate lawn & a pine woods back of it. There is nothing elaborate about it, not nearly as well done as our home, yet a bit large like Winchells place. I would say there are many birds and they have awakened me at 6 each morning. The most beautiful singer is the nightingale. It looks like our gray-cheeked thrush. Hare recognized the Edlefinke, the Segler, the Gartenrotschwanz, the Zaunkönig, and others. There is a bird book in the library. Most of the more valuable items have been “liberated” (stolen) by the first troops.
Page 2)
The liberation of items by the invading troops was a common practice. The officers paid little attention. That is called looting when the enemy troops do it. By in large this misbehavior was not overly serious, but would make good propaganda for the enemy newspapers.
            Our food is prepared by some transient German girls and ladies. They keep the house, make the beds, and wash the clothes. Work early and late like you do. We had steak last night.
            We go to work in jeeps wearing field boots, kaki shirts & pants tucked into boots, steel helmets, and field jackets. Just like GIs except we appear more clean. Don’t know how much longer this will last. My bed is a canvas cot.  I spread my sleeping bag for a mattress since it is too warm for the bag. I have two army blankets over me. I “liberated” a half sheet and a pillow 1ft x 3/4ft to keep from itching. Will leave them here when I go.
            On the way to work we pass along a street where not a single house stands complete, a few walls are up with a rusty radiator dangling.  If bombs hit Madison not this much would be standing because of the lumber construction.
In spite of this destruction the

Page 3)

Germans living in the city, I don’t know where, cellars no doubt, are pressed and clean. Their passion for cleanliness has not been destroyed by the dust and rubble surrounding them. Even the little kids are well dressed and clean. They look well, but none is fat. The ration is one wiener-sized piece of meat per week.
            Coming from England by air we passed over the battlefields in Belgium, the Siegfried Line, and Koblenz. Where battles took place, destruction is vivid from the air. There were vast forests of big lumber, vast fields under cultivation. We’ll hope the season is good - - they will need the food.
            There are 3 boys in our group from Salt Lake City and Ken Giomage who married Phyllis Gletchen. Professor Kirkpatrick is still with me and also Riegel and Workman. An Episcopal minister, a ???? several other very ?old? men   of history, language, etc.. There is also a staff of regular army men.
            In London, I learned how to drive a jeep & have a license. Also got dog tags like a regular G.I.
Page 4)
Had a woman to interview with a 3-year old blond boy like Bruce (his third child) only blue eyes. Sure made me homesick for my little boys, Sylvia, and my Hanna. Would so much rather spend this dormitory time, in real play, telling stories, and putting you all to bed. Three months more after June 1. I am so pleased I don’t have to spend any winter months here. It is too depressing. The tales of these poor people be they rich formerly or poor - - tear my heartstrings.  Kiddies are so hungry for sweets and need them. Am still convinced you need to differentiate the 80,000,000 Germans and the Nazi party members (2-4,000,000) just as you must distinguish between Chicago gangsters and the ?Donglars? (ordinary people?)
            My love to you darling wife and to your Sylvia, Fritz, Bruce, Galen, & Mark

Letter # 13

20May1945 Darmstadt (V-Mail)

Letter # 14

22May1945 Darmstadt (2 pages Typed)

Letter # 14

22May1945 Darmstadt (2 pages Typed - OCRd and Corrected by AFH)

Dear Hanna,
Tonight I am especially happy your birth in this country did not insure a permanent residence here. Moreover, I am especially grateful it was my good fortune to win your favor and to have spent with you 12 birthdays, and regretful I cannot be with you today for another. Hanna dear, it is indeed lonely without you--though my work is interesting and much to see and learn, there remains an incompleteness to life for me that only you have been able to fill. The days will all be too long before I can take you in my arms and love you.

Today a mother of 45 told me about one of her sons missing in Russia, her son-in-law missing in the West and her daughter about to have a baby. The diet is short for a pregnant mother and shorter for a nursing one. If the mother cannot nurse the baby there is little expectation of getting sufficient milk for it unless a wet nurse can be located. All civilians must be off the street by 4 p.m. and  she was worried about getting a Hebamme (Midwife) if the pains came after hours. I was able to direct her to the Military Govt. where she got permission to do that. Hers is a mild sample of the problems and sorrows at every turn. In this city there are not only deaths from the front, but also deaths from bombing. This large city was burned and blasted completely in a 55-minute raid last September. Thousands were burned in their cellars. In spite of this terror it is surprising that it did not break their resistance and more surprising that they were able to go about their work within a few days.

Darmstadt is the home of the famous Merck pharmaceutical and chemical house. It had some of the finest research laboratories in the world. The British bombed the city and missed the plant and the U.S. came over a few days later and got the plant without hitting the city. As I see the whole picture it becomes more clear to me that bombing of civilian populations was a useless and ineffective tool of warfare. It was a costly experiment for the Germans. It is beyond imagination the ruin that was wrought here. Just think, there is not a major German city, except Heidelberg, that was not wrecked. True not all are as bad as this one.

The Germans feel a terrible guilt about the atrocities at Belsen, Buchenwald and Dachau, etc. The latter is the only one they knew about. They are horrified that their own people could do such a thing. The Nazi's have been most successful in keeping it from them. Of course once one got in one of those places he seldom got out to tell about it. Apparently it is true. The entire nation was duped by the Nazis and it is hard to see how a handful of gangsters could get control as they did. I have found few sympathizers with the Nazis. Of course there were few over 2 million of them anyway so one would not expect to see them very often. In addition many who were, would have skipped or would deny allegiance.

Again it is surprising that the people rationalize the bombing of their cities. "They say, well we did it too, why shouldn't we expect it."

Page 2. 22 May ‘45

One thing that ought to be done for Germany is to educate the Hausfrau to accept some political responsibly and fight for equal rights with men. They must carry weight in elections to prevent a repetition of this mess. There is such hate for the Nazis now that there will be some careful scrutiny of new parties. But the human mind is so easily influenced by propaganda that I am skeptical about every nation now.

It is sickening to walk through these streets.  The big Museum is wrecked, several hundred thousand books burned.  The Engineering School, works of art, historical treasures.  It is awful.

It will soon be a month since I left home--still no mail. They say it will be longer before the mails get straightened out. I trust though that you have been receiving from me. I have written every other day since arriving in Germany. Some letters have been by V-Mail, or I should say only one. It makes the time go so slowly when I don't even hear from you.

We are still in a period of training here, although there is an intensive study being made of this city from our work and reports. By the first of the month we will break up into teams. As yet I don't know which district of the allied Germany in which I'll work.

Again, happy birthday my love. Be assured that I'd rather be with you tonight than any other place on earth.
I love you dearly.


Art, Colleagues, Jeep Convoy, May 1945

Letter # 17

Starnberg (Bavaria) 30May1945
(3 Pages Typed)

Letter # 17

Starnberg (Bavaria) 30May1945
(3 Pages Typed - OCRd and Corrected by AFH)

Starnberg, den 30 May ‘45
Schloss Seeburg on Starnbergsee (Würmsee)

Dear Hanna & Kiddies

Yesterday we left Darmstadt and arrived in Stuttgart on the first leg of our journey to Innsbruck and Salzburg, Austria. We left about noon arriving at l600 hours. Our convoy consisted of two jeeps with a trailer each--personal: one officer, (a captain) two enlisted men, (sergeants), and four civilians with assimilated ranks. In the trailers were our duffle bags, musset bags, B4 bags or grips (suit cases), canvas cots, emergency gasoline, and rations. The trip for the first hour was uneventful and uninterrupted because the famous Autobahn was intact, But this smooth ride did not last——The Nazis had planted some large demolition bombs at a bridge during the last days of the campaign, leaving a huge gap across a canal. A rough detour ensued, in fact we didn't even get back to the Autobahn, but had to carry east to Heidelberg and along a narrow winding stone road the balance of the journey.

The Autobahn is a new concrete super-highway with 4 lanes divided by a 20 foot grass parking. All railroads or crossroads go either over or under it on concrete pillar overheads or "underheads; " a beautiful piece of modern engineering. Along the margins of the highway streams of people trudge along with packs on their backs, or towing wagons, pushing carts and baby carriages loaded with clothes, and personal belongings. Some ride bicycles, with packs on the handlebars, on the cross bar, and on the fender, plus a loaded Rücksack (Back Pack). It is amazing how they can peddle along with such a load. Others have everything on the bike and simply push it. These people are all ages. Some are German, others foreign workers -- all returning presumably to their homes. Occasionally one sees a German soldier or two, very unmilitary in their march and dress, yet apparently relieved the war is over and released from the PW camp. Occasionally too, American and German trucks trundle along with German PWs so crowded they must all stand-- our attempt to get the releasable element back to the farms or on the railroad so that the labor shortage can be relieved, food produced and circulated to prevent starvation this winter.

The area through which we passed was mostly wooded on either side and fairly flat, in the Darmstadt, area. The trees were either beech, in pure stand, or pine (long needles, reddish bark becoming smooth toward the top). Among the pines in one place was, cut out, a PWs camp with a double row of barbed wire fencing——at each corner emplacements of formidable machine guns commanded the area. The prisoners were sunning themselves with shirts off, mending their clothes, washing clothes and fixing their tents.

As we approached the rolling country in Schwabenland we saw more and more teams of milk cows drawing water wagons. The farmers, mostly women, were setting out cabbage plants, drawing water at each set from the huge oak barrel mounted on wheels. Still closer to Stuttgart there was increasing activity in the hay fields (timothy) either it was lying dry and being loaded, or it was being turned by 3 or 4, girls with huge wooden rakes as they walked in unison turning the drying hay. Where the grass was uncut, few mechanized mowers worked--mostly an elderly man and two or three Women moved down with scythes each cutting a swath contiguous with the other. Here and there the hay was stacked on tripod racks to dry. Some fields of clover were being harvested freshly cut, perhaps silage was intended. Our sergeant was in such a hurry to get to the "target."

Page (2)

where we could sit around and cool our heels, we did not have occasion to stop and fraternize.

As we passed through village after village we began to forget the depressing rubble and gaping walls of Darmstadt, for most of them were untouched by outward signs of war. Very occasionally one would be reminded of war from a burnt, looted vehicle or airplane, a fox hole, some water soaked boxes and empty tin cans where an American outfit had stopped for chow; or there would be a knocked out artillery piece, or anti-aircraft gun. Heidelberg untouched also reminded one of the clean, but crowded German cities of the past, the only moderately large city not bombed. All of this intactness was broken too suddenly as we entered the outskirts of Stuttgart, for here was a second Darmstadt-–the same rubble, gaping walls, twisted steel girders, or where a wall still stood-blackened by soot. The new Bahnhof (train station) was wrecked except one corner, which was a hotel. Here we were billeted in rooms that had been whitewashed recently and patched. Looking into the Hof or out on the street was like looking at a ghost town, one third constructed, but the bricks instead of being stacked neatly were churned and broken. I thought back about the stories Dad used to tell about Stuttgart, its sturdy architecture, the royal guard around the Schloss (castle), the gemütlichkeit (warmth, friendliness, and good cheer) of the people. I was glad he was not with me, it would have brought tears. The streets were practically deserted for most of the people had been driven to find cover in the country or in other cities; or they or had been burned or crushed, or were in prison camps, hospitals, or dead in the battlefield. The city on one of those area raids by the RAF, like Darmstadt, must have been more real and vivid than the most horrible interpretation of Dante’s Inferno.

In Darmstadt, a man told me he watched his daughter run toward him, but the flames from the burning houses consumed her before his eyes. It is hard to believe and harder to imagine the hell of those bombings with incendiaries and demolition bombs. The facts that Cologne alone received more bombs than were dropped on the whole of England gives one some comparison. Getting back to Stuttgart, we walked down the Königstrasse and those massive buildings were unrecognizable. We passed the Schloss Platz where nothing stood intact except the statue (strangely or naturally the statues that stood in the open did not offer enough resistance to be destroyed). I thought of the Royal period around the castle, but could not even mentally picture how it looked then. On the corner of the main streets (now cleared for traffic) a French Moroccan, turbaned or in red caps, directed traffic of the speeding French military cars or Frenchized, U.S. made, jeeps. At nine all civilians and U.S. Army had to be off the streets, but the French patrolled. The people are praying that the Americans will later occupy, for here is a repetition of the last war, the occupation of Germany with colored undisciplined troops--what a vicious cycle.

Early today we left Stuttgart, climbed the hill to the east and looked back into the valley. The horror was dimmed some by the distance and the setting looked so picturesque. Again we were on the Autobahn, which was smooth. The bridges had been repaired, in most cases by the US Engineers (wooden spans) or they have made admirably constructed detours along the side of the mountain. We passed many convoys of troops, more streams of civilians similarly loaded with goods, as I described above. More beautifully kept woods, reforestations, cuttings, fields of hay, etc. on the plateau there were peat fields, the brown peat lying in brick sized nieces stacked neatly. Here and there the grass between the lanes was green cement. Here and there in the same stretch there would be shot-up jet planes, Messerschmitts (German Aircraft Company) that had not gotten off the ground. The Autobahn was their landing and take off field. They were concealed in the woods for bomber spotting, but were easy targets to strafing planes.

Depressing was the arrow pointing to Dachau, the place most feared by any German--the place where thousands of Germans went

Page (3)

because they listened to an allied radio program, whispered a criticism or failed to Heil Hitler. Here they worked at hard labor, or were persecuted, executed and other heinous treatment given to Jew, German or foreigner who did not have their sympathy. Strangely the Germans knew of none of the other horror camps, at least none that we have met.

As we moved around the outskirts of Munich and again out into the wooded countryside the usual relief from destruction brightened our spirits. Soon we were at our branch station located on a beautiful lake, which looks all the World like Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. Instead of being housed in a Chicago Millionaire’s mansion like we were at Lake Geneva, it was a castle like villa of some Baroness, which was converted into a rest home for German officers. We are occupying the double deck metal bunks, working in large living rooms converted to offices. A path leads down the hillside to a boathouse, which is primitive in comparison to the luxury of the castle, and shabby in comparison with the neat, completely motorized boathouses of the Lake Geneva (Carz's, Bill's and Wrigley)

At the officers mess we are met by a civilian clad, polite Kellner (waiter) who serves each table, quite formally, though the formality breaks down some when the Army food is passed one to another. It is wonderful food, more than adequate butter, more and choicer meat than you have at home. I came prepared to make some sacrifices, but this appropriating of the best homes and villas for officers is fast, taking me beyond the suffering or persecuted feeling. We may occasionally have to shave in cold water and sleep on a canvas cot, but the environment, in which we do it is so luxurious that you don't think it.

I wish I could write long and interestingly enough to tell you about the different specialists to whom we talk, also the officers who are fresh from the battle. Some could not be told because of a censorship on pertinent military matters, but other tales would be most interesting.

Our training period has finished and the vacation days between are over. We start another 8-hour day interviewing schedule with write-ups at night. We will have Sunday for sightseeing and certainly a couple of hours after supper, so we can absorb much in this beautiful alpine area. Oberammergau is near, Dachau, Berchtesgaden, Garmish-Partenkirchen (winter sport area), Munich, in addition to the general Alps. I hope to visit, some of the lakes where fisheries work was first developed in the modern sense, talk with colleagues if I can see them and see their stations. Really, the whole experience has been so worthwhile until now that, I hardly feel like I should have been paid. Of course that feeling is not very long lasting when I see how insignificant our whole project is in contrast to the expenditures each day in war. I am so impressed by the might and force we brought down-upon the Germans.

My love and best wishes to all of you! Don't worry about me because I am in good hands, the people have showed no signs of belligerence, in fact they look (most of them) upon us as liberators from the Nazi yolk.


Major Hasler, Colleagues, Jeep in the Alps, June 1945

Letter # 18

Vmail from Innsbruck 02June1945

........."Yesterday I visited in Munich and at Freising where the Ag (Agriculture) Station is located. I spent the morning with Prof. Dr Jacops at the Zoologists Institute in Munich. It was hit by bombs several times and burned, but the walls still stood and part of the roof keeps out the rain. It had just rained so that the part that was hit, let water in freely so that the halls were wet.... Many of the buildings all around are badly damaged. Munich as a whole is bad, much worse than I expected, because it was so far away from England...... The famous Rathous of Munich still stands and houses the military government."

Salzburg, Austria
17 June 1945

"When I called on him at the University of Munich I was informed that he had left there to live at his summer home, because his own home had been ruined by a direct bomb hit. The assistant director of the Zoologisches Institut in Munich gave me a letter to take to him when I got Salzburg. This I did——it was the first news he had received from the Institut since before the surrender"

Letter # 19

05June1945 Innsbruck (2 pages)

Letter # 19

05June1945 Innsbruck (2 pages
OCRd and  Corrected by AFH)

On Nazi Stationary (See Facsimile Above)

Der Reichsgesundheitsführer (Regime Health Director) Innsbruck, Austria
5 June 1915
Dear Hanna and Kiddies:

The offices where we carry out our duties are frequently those used by the Nazi government officials; consequently the storerooms have quantities of stationary which we use for note taking. I have taken the liberty to "liberate" this sheet to write a note.

Sunday one of my colleagues and I took the Drahtseilbahn (funicular railway) which is arranged in 3 different sections in order to attain 3 levels on the mountain. The peak we reached was Hafelekar 2300 meters (over 7000 ft.) This does not seem high in comparison with Mt. Timpanogos, but the rise from the valley (Innsbruck) is about 5500 feet. At the second level the Tyroleans were skiing, as were several GI's. On the cable car with us was a small circle of native Tyroleans in costume. The boys had leather shorts (Lederhosen) with elaborately embroidered suspenders—in fact the embroidery extended onto the pants too. The coats were gray, bordered with green. The customary green hat with the beard of a mountain goat hung right angles from the band. On the side of the hat they carried the mountain insignia; Edelweiss, medals won in skiing, hunting or climbing. In addition they had badges of organizations dealing with conservation and protection of the flowers and wildlife of the mountains. The girls were dressed for climbing, had big ski-like shoes with metal cleats and hobnails. Their dresses were not as elaborate as the Sunday and Holliday dresses 1 told about before, still they had the gray or green coat bordered with the contrasting color. Two of the young men carried an accordion and a banjo.

When we reached the top they put on a dance (Schublade Tanz," the national Tyrolean dance, cleverly executed by peasants”) for us--the kind you have seen in the movies (Tirolean Dance (1907)) where they slap their heels, knees, head, etc. It is a real folk dance and you could see the others look on with admiration; they are proud of their traditions as one can suspect. All of them were sturdy, well developed legs, from the climbing and skiing; deeply tanned and rugged in appearance. Apparently they were happy, probably happier than they had been for years because the war was over and at least the danger and death part of their existence has been lifted.

We talked with them some and they seemed pleased to receive some personal recognition and they made an effort to talk High German, in fact en order to make me understand, they had to... The Tyrolean dialect is almost equivalent to learning a new language. When they talked among themselves I could catch only a word here and there and would miss the meaning entirely. Soon they climbed off into the crags to spend the day, while we, as true Americans hurried back down to the cable car and easily descended the mountain. Later in the afternoon, after mess with the GI's (an occupation force) we climbed up to the first bench of the mountain which is still in the timber belt and took a Spaziergang (walk) among the fir trees “und auf der Alm” (to be on a farm higher up in the Alps). Here and there families, children and all, were sprawled under the trees resting from a meager picnic lunch. Some of the children played a hide and seek sort of game in the trees. The children are clean, neat and dressed in good taste. It was surprising to me to see so many people picnicking; no matter how far one walked. It seemed that half the townspeople were in the mountains. Certainly the picnic tradition and love for life in the mountains and nature is marvelously developed in these people. Their healthy appearance is evidence for the good effects it has on them. The rate at which they climb would indicate that the heart ailing individuals could not survive in this region very long.

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We are living in a house similar to the one in Darmstadt. It is the home of a physician who was a ranking Nazi medical man (held some public office). Our captain located the house on an earlier trip. The family was not evicted as is done in most cases, but instead they were crowded onto the top floor (there are two stories above the ground floor. ) It would be much the same as the Japanese or some other invading force would occupy our house, move us up stairs and take the main floor and the basement for themselves, put up cots or take over davenports for beds, sleep in our living room, bathe in our tub and in addition make you do some of the housework, in addition to turning over your maid, if you had one, to caring for the cleaning, washing of officers clothes, etc.  Our captain offers to pay them 140 marks a month, $14.00; (those that work for us.) They prefer to take their pay in food, however. In spite of our efforts to be friendly, one can put himself in their shoes and imagine the inner feelings of having 3 times as many people in a house, misusing belongings, liberating rare articles. The first day or two they were fearful we were counter intelligence men, and would shake all over when talking with us. Now we have been around a few days they are beginning to act calmly and are putting flowers in our room and other courtesies that seem genuine friendly gestures. Or it is fear driving them to win our favor -- I prefer to think it is the former, because they are paying dearly for the mistake they made of jumping on the Hitler bandwagon. Personally I am anxious to forgive them and let them start freshly on a new life, for they are basically good substantial people who disapproved of most of the later policies of the Nazis. They were carried away at the start by the promises of work, better living conditions, roads, etc. The persecutions, Dachau, and war soon disillusioned them.

This city is in fair shape in contrast to the German cities. There is plenty of destruction and one sees, as in all cities, hospitals and churches of all denominations blasted open. Here one of the most beautiful old (Baroque architecture) churches … totally ruined.

Tomorrow our captain will go to Munich to see if our mail has come. I am really anxious to learn a smallest bit of news about you. Again not that I am worried for I am certain you will be able to meet most any emergency. I see so much sorrow here, so much hardship that I am always happy in the (knowledge) that you will not have to be suffering to such a degree.

We are very busy now and have to work an hour or so after supper to catch up. Still I have time to do many things I like to do. Last night I invited, with the Captain’s permission, the professor of zoology at the University of Innsbruck to the house. We had a long talk. He is a very congenial chap, has published a lot of ecological work on the animals of the Alps, aquatic and terrestrial)—we had a grand time talking shop. In Science there are no boundaries, we are friends—-if only the whole world could adopt the cosmopolitan understanding long established in the sciences. All of the professors I have met so far are so different from Jollos--more like Noland, I would say, or Meyer. There is a very good medical school here. Yesterday one of my jobs entailed contact with an eye specialist who was trained at the Univ. Here a specialist, does not do nose and ear and throat work; only eye surgery and treatment.

The game the little children were playing in the trees was: Schneiderlein Schneiderlein, leih mir die Scher (Little tailor, Little tailor loan me your scissors). Answer: Geh nur weg ich hab kein Scher (Just go away, I don’t have any scissors). The one says the piece standing in the middle of 3 trees. Three children are at the 3 trees and try to change quickly. lf they get mixed up and one tree is vacated, then the one in the middle takes the tree and the loser goes in the middle.

Love, Daddy
Letter # 21

11June1945 Innsbruck
 (3 pages, 3rd Page Hodson: Eagle's Nest)

( 3rd Page Hodson Eagle's Nest)

Letter # 21

11June1945 Innsbruck
 (3 pages, 3rd Page Hodson: Eagle's Nest OCRd and Corrected by AFH)

Dear Hanna & Kiddies
11 June 1945

At six o'clock yesterday we set out to cross the Alps via the divide that separates the Tyrol from Vorarlberg in order to reach our target, the Bodensee, or Lake of Constance. Our party included: the jeep driver S/Sgt. Lorenz, from Chicago who immigrated to America when he was l7 from Saxony; Mr. Paul Hodson, secretary to the President of the U. of Utah; Mr. Franz Plunder, sculptor, who was raised in Bregenz on the Bodensee and came to America years ago and is teaching in a college, St. Johns, at Annapolis, Md. He is also a sailing ship architect. A few years ago he sailed a small yacht across the Atlantic, one he had built himself, and got some notoriety from it.
Our first stop was for late breakfast at Landeck, a village, about 2 hours drive through the winding mountain roads of the Alps. Here Mr. Plunder had an aunt, and cousins whom he had not seen for several years. They live in a 200-year-old house in a narrow little Gasse (Alley). We had saved the coffee from our K ration - - they heated water and prepared it for us. It was good to get a hot drink, because it had been cold and rainy all the way. The friendliness with which we were received was really touching. One just can't hate the German people when you see such genuine friendship. They even offered us bread, a scarcity item. When we left we dropped a few cookies and a can of meat that we took from our daily ration.

When we went over the divide it was still raining, we could see only the road and the snow banks on the side, but was we descended into Vorarlberg we could see the sun peaking through here and there and it began to warm up. The beautiful wooded or meadow mountainsides, spotted with little sheds in the fields and picturesque houses with exaggerated roofs, and painted front exposures were a sight. At three different villages we stopped to see a piece of sculpturing that our colleague Mr. Plunder had made. They were on or in churches, monuments to the fallen soldiers (World War I) of that village. In Bregenz we stopped at friends of Plunder. We were all taken in as long lost brothers, no feeling of animosity. We soon arranged to have them cook our C rations and we sat on the roof garden and ate with the family. They added fresh fruit and fresh lettuce to our canned things and we had a big meal of it. The whole Bodensee valley is very fruitful and seems particularly adapted to fruit trees. The cherries were ripe. The only depressing part of our visit there was the heavy French occupation with Moroccan and Algerian/black troops. The comparison with the occupation in our zone it is immense. They were living off the land while our troops have their food shipped in. Our hosts told us how the Nazi element was already taken in by the new Government because most of them being businessmen spoke French and were therefore favored. There seemed to be fraternization in the open.

I went out to the Institut für Seenforschung and found there two scientists still at work although the entire building was occupied by French officers. The main laboratory had beds in it and the scientists worked among the beds. 1 had a splendid visit and got some good pointers, saw some of the projects they had been carrying on. Dr. Nümann, a young worker, was especially kind and cooperative. Here again there was perfect understanding and sincere friendship. In Science there is no border, no political faction.

When I got back to Bregenz, Mrs. Risch had gathered a circle of Mr. Plunders friends to talk with him and we were all served coffee and strawberry shortcake on the room. The strawberries were wonderful, but the cake part was made without shortening (they have none) and was more like bran than anything. An ear, nose, and throat surgeon was there -- a splendid man. one in whom one would have the greatest confidence, and a  Ph.D. chemist. We had a short exchange of ideas and left for home. It was 5:30 and we wanted to get over the Alp summit before dark because it was 5-hour ride home. As we left the sun was shining brightly and just enough cloud effect to make a beautiful

Page 2

wetting. Across the Bodensee were the gentle green slopes of or Switzerland, the home of Dad's folks; leading up to the majestic, rugged, snow capped Swiss Alps. The first valley we entered in progressing toward the summit is much like the entrance to Provo Canyon in rock formation. Naturally the moist climate makes possible more vegetation on the slopes and on top of the cliffs. As we got further toward the divide we passed two large Glaciers, we could feel the cool air blowing down from them. They have a greenish, blue tinge and the end of the glacier is quite spectacular. It was several thousand feet above us but Mr. Plunder told us it was 300 ft. thick. He had climbed up to it, as a young man.

I met a man who had spent a year in Dachau who told me a new story about its management. The SS sought out from among the prisoners, the sadists, and criminal sexual perverts and put them in charge of work gangs. These prisoners spent their abnormal emotions upon the other prisoners and were hated by the "lay” prisoners as badly as the SS themselves. Most of these men were communists, so he said. He said that all of the stories one hears are largely true, although he saw no medical methods used in torture. He was released and was so intimidated that he never told a soul. This seems to be the way this atrocity was kept away from the German people as a whole. One seldom finds a German who has heard of any camp except Dachau, and few who have any idea of what was done there.

Today we started another week or concentrated work. We have breakfast at 7 and go right through to 5:30 and then another hour or two in the evening. Today, when we were working in a small town near Innsbruck we had our noon mess with the Officers of the occupation regiment. They had taken over a mansion of an Austrian Baron. We sat down to a table covered by a linen tablecloth -- one piece for a 16 place table. Glass chandelier above, chairs all overstuffed, pictures of the Austrian monarchy all over the walls, large wood inlay cupboards and bookcases. The colonel sat down, we followed, an orderly brought us food, the best, superior to what we had in the mess at Innsbruck. It was real style. I suppose the Baron does not care for the American officers. One of the officers told me that each of them had a separate room and that the Baron had to leave, comes only to care for his plants, garden etc. They have Polish girls doing the cleaning and cooking.

Love & kisses to each of you
We go to Salzburg Saturday
for two weeks
Copy to folks

Page 3 (Paul W. Hodson’s letter about visiting the Eagle’s Nest)

Today four of us went to Berchtesgaden (By four of us, I mean four of us on a team of seven). Hitler had quite a place. It is simply fantastic. The setting is the green, majestic Bavarian mountains. After a drive of several miles, in low gear, right up the mountain, we came to Berghof, Hitler’s home It had been bombed to bits; the outside walls are for the most part intact, but the inside is completely gutted. There is not much to see here because of the damage inflicted by the bombers. A little farther on is Goering’s  house. Notably there is still to see his giant bathtub that is the size of a baptismal font, and refrigerator, which has room for enough ice cubes to cool the whisky and soda of a regiment. Then farther on are the barracks, that is, what is left of them. What remains shows the tracings of good camouflage. But the bombers certainly did a good job of blowing everything to h -----.

The fantastic part is "The Eagle's Nest. This lies four miles above Berghof- and is right on top of a mountain peak. We went 4 miles up a steep winding road of excellent mountain-road construction passing occasionally through stone lined tunnels. The jeep was in low gear the entire way – on the sides of the road over the first few turns wide areas of the trees were blasted and splintered to the stumps by bomb explosions.

The last mile we had to walk. There is an elevator, but the huge copper doors before it were locked and marked "off limits." The Eagle Nest is amazing. I was puzzled by my own alternating reactions. On to one hand I was impressed by the strength and grandeur of this (if the bombing is excepted) of this impregnable mountain fortress. The walls of stone are about six feet thick. As one walks inside he sees a big motor, which lifts the elevator. Upstairs is the council or living rom. At one end is a massive fireplace. Big easy chairs, in which Hitler and his henchmen sat, are before it. In the center of the room is a low round table about 14 ft in diameter.  There are low comfortable chairs all around it. It is easy to imagine how maps were laid out on this table during a council of war. The room is round so that this table is a circle within a circle. All around the room are large windows looking out on the enchanting panorama of Königssee, which is a clear blue lake in a pocket of shaggy stone mountains; the town of Berchtesgaden with its quaint houses and red roofs; and the snowcapped Alps in the hinterland.
The second reaction is one of protest - a protest that an individual should build such a monument to himself at the expense of a people, at the expense of all people. I found myself constantly thinking back on what must have been the scenes of such a few weeks ago and wishing that I could have transposed myself to those fast fading weeks, to sit quietly and unobserved on the far side of the big room while momentous decisions were made, decisions which condemned a nation to utter ruin. A few days ago in Bregenz, I was told that the city went un-bombed until the day before the end. Many other cities were completely bombed to pieces during the last few weeks. The decisions of Hitler, quite likely at the Eagle’s Nest, were responsible for this. And so at the Eagle's Nest I found myself protesting, protesting at the insane determination of a man with power who had transposed himself to the mythology of the Götterdämmerung.

Paul W. Hodson

Letter # 23

17 June 1945 Salzburg (3 pages

Art & Colleagues, Hitler's EagleNest, June1945

Art, Plunder, Fluss, Hudson (one of them is the photographer)

Eagle's Nest, Berchtesgaden, Germany, 17June1945

Letter # 23

17 June 1945 Salzburg visit to von Frisch 
(3 pages - OCRd and corrected by AFH)

Salzburg, Austria
17 June 1945
Dear Hanna and Kiddies:

Today has been so filled with events worthy of detailed description; I hardly know where to begin.

This forenoon Messrs. Plunder, Fluss, Hodson and I took a trip of some 15 miles to Berchtesgaden, the elaborate Bavarian retreat of Adolph Hitler, the late Führer. Because this has received so much attention in the press and elsewhere, I shall not attempt to describe it myself, but will give a little account at the end of this letter which was written by Paul Hodson when he returned from Berchtesgaden this noon. I shall proceed to tell in as much detail as I can, the events of the afternoon which are extremely important and interesting to anyone who is a biologist.

Mr. Plunder and Mr. Hodson decided to remain at home during the afternoon excursion. Mr. Fluss, a former Austrian Army officer (World War I) and man of means, jeeped with me to St. Gilgen, 27 km. from Salzburg, in the region called the Salzkammer Gut. The object for the "target" was to pay a professional call on Prof. Karl von Frisch, famous zoologist of the University of Munich, a man whom I have admired for several years because of his outstanding research on the sensory abilities of fish, bees and some other animals. When I called on him at the University of Munich I was informed that he had left there to live at his summer home, because his own home had been ruined by a direct bomb hit. The aissistant director of the Zoologisches Institut in Munich gave me a letter to take to him when I got Salzburg. This I did——it was the first news he had received from the Institut since before the surrender.
We drove through the little, quaint village of St. Gilgen, inquired for Brunnwinkl, drove down a narrow road along the beautiful Wolfgangsee, admired the angular, wooded mountains that shot up several hundred feet around the lake and then stopped at the top of the hill' where a path led down to the lakes edge. There we saw some old Bavarian type houses, walked down to them and inquired for Prof. v. Frisch. His wife took us out to him where he was busy at work under a little shelter continuing his observations on distance perception and transmission in bees. He was leaning over, watching a colony of bees in glass case as they swarmed over the large enclosed cone. Here and there among the mass of bees was a bee” with l, 2, 3, 4 or 5 different colors dobbed on the thorax. He was watching them, counting and pushing a stopwatch. As he observed, in between counts he proceeded to tell us about the experiment. It happened that the bees were feeding at a sugar feeding station 700 yards away; after we finished the observations I walked over the hill to the station (a 15 minute walk) there sat his laboratory aid with her paint sticks, marking the bees as they lighted on an elevated platform on which was a shallow watch-glass of sugar water. The work, so he proved to me has showed that, the bees find this feeding station and return to the hive to notify their co-workers who get the scent and fly or follow him back to where he got the sugar. To notify his colleagues the bee makes two types of dances; the Rundtanz (Round Dance), - or the Schwänzeltanz (Little tail dance). The experiment was done with the latter group. When the Schwänzeltanz is done, the bee goes around in a circle and wiggles his hind end, he makes these rotations at different rates depending upon the distance the food store is from the hive. The farther it is the slower the rotations. The bees at that moment were
rotating 5 times in 15 minutes which he said was characteristic for that distance. It was strange to see these bees fly in the hive door get among

Page 2. Salzburg -- 17 June 1945

the bees and begin the dance. The colored dots on the thorax gave the experimenter the number of the bee which had been put on by the aid located over the hill. The colors can be arranged so that he can number up to 99 different bees. It impressed me to see a man doing such fine work, with no equipment, except a stop watch, a hive of bees, sugar water and 5 different colors.

Prof. v. Frisch is a man about Dad's stature and build, his face is more rounded, wears glasses (about 59 years old) gray hair and a kindly unassuming manner, so characteristic of a really great scientist. It was good that I understood German, for his English was very rusty. It was a marvelous experience to be with this man for those 3 hours.
His story during the war is as follows: Because his wife had a Jewish grandmother he was to have been released or retired from his professorship. Also he was an announced anti-Nazi from the beginning of the war. It so happened though that he was not retired, because it was learned that the Russians had picked up one of his experiments on bees and put it too use in apiculture (Bee Culture). They got such good honey yields that the Germans decided von Frisch could be of use them so they postponed his dismissal until after the war and gave him a grant of research money to continue this important work.

During the bombing of Munich, the professor’s home was struck and his whole belongings including all of his personal library burned. He was very depressed about having lost all of his books and reprints in his special field of Tierpsychologie (Animal Psychology). When I get back I shall write some of his colleagues in the field to see if they can find duplicates of those things for him.

The work on bees the Russians used to put into practical application was where he was able to train bees to pick up the scent of a flower, communicate this scent and its location to the hive workers. That is, one could dab a flower into sugar water, carry it to the hive, let the workers catch the scent, they would go out in search for this flower (a clover field for instance), soon the whole gang would be notified and the collection of nectar would begin. The Russians used this stunt, (gave v. Frisch credit for the idea in their publication) to increase the honey collection 50% over control bees who were not notified in this way of special flower fields. The Russians used a flower of a crop called Zottelwicke (Vicia villosa); not only did the honey collection increase, but the fertility of this crop increased, because more bees came to carry the pollen around from flower to flower. Apparently v. Frisch would have suffered the fate of Jollos, had he not discovered something that could be used practically in German Agriculture.

Dr. v. Frisch showed me the place in the lake (Wolfgangsee) where he discovered the principal of the Schreckstoff in minnows, a work that I reported frequently to my students and colleagues. I read it in the Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Physiologie two years ago. I was delighted to hear the account again at first hand.

In the attic of this Bavarian summer house there is a huge room which the professor calls his Museum. It is a wonderful collection of the animals occurring about the St. Gilgen area; 1 was most impressed. There were 7 species of shrews from the area——peculiarly there are only 7 species reported for Germany and all of them occur in that small region. He had glass covered insect boxes of neatly mounted insects notably butterflies and moths. They were stood up around the wall and a black curtain was kept over them to prevent bleaching. In another demonstration he had a collection of several species of bumblebees, and their nests. One had used feathers, on one nest; the same species used deer fur and also some other substance. One collection of bumble bees was one in which the female lives over winter and in the spring lays her first eggs and cares for the small group of larvae herself, they mature dwarfed because of shortage of food and space, the generation that comes next is larger because the dwarfed bees bring in


more food and also enlarge the nest. By fall the bees are normal size and all die off, but the big fertilized female who lives over the winter to start new colonies.

On the walls and tables are collections of the local snakes, fish, amphibians, fossils, etc.

Another interesting demonstration was of the solitary wasps. One lays an egg in a deserted terrestrial snail--in the top most coil, then fills in one turn of the coil with pollen, another turn with fine pebbles and then closes the aperture with wax. The egg hatches to a larva, eats the pollen until grown, works through the pebbles, wax and then pupates, developing later into an adult. Each egg is placed in an empty snail shell. Another species laid its eggs in the groove of a wood beetle larvae. An egg was laid at the bottom of the groove then pollen, an egg, more pollen until 10 or so eggs filled up the groove or tunnel. He had an amazing lot of examples of natural history. Being a director of an Institute he no doubt has had assistants help in over many years to make up this Museum.
Such was the trip to St. Gilgen. Next week I hope to get out to the Attersee to see Prof. Dr. Einsele, at the Reichsanstalt für Fischerei. Dr. Einsele is an outstanding fisheries biologist. Our team Army Officer Capt. Pruitt was connected with some fisheries projects in Alabama, I am hoping he will want to go along and get some ideas to take back to his colleagues in Alabama.
Greetings again to you all. I hope the above account will assure you that this trip is a great educational advantage as well as a service to the government. Only wish it were a peace time trip and that you would see these things with me.


Art Hasler, Karl von Frisch, Wolfgangsee, Austria, June 1945

Karl von Frisch, Wolfgangsee, Austria, June 1945

Letter # 27

Salzburg 24June1945

"Today, I spent the forenoon with Prof. von Frisch again. We took him in our jeep and went on the Attersee to see Dr. Eisele."

Karl von Frisch, Dinner Party, Brunnwinkl, Wolfgangsee, 1945

Art Entertainers, Hafelekar, Austria, 03June1945

High above (7000 ft) Innsbruck Sunday 03 June 1945

Schuplade Dance, Entertainers, Hafelekar, Austria, June1945

Schuplade Dance, Entertainers, Hafelekar, Austria, June1945

Colleagues, Jeep in the Alps, June 1945

En Route to Brenner Pass, June 1945

Major Hasler, Colleagues, Brenner Pass Alps, June 1945

Letter # 32

Bad Nauheim Germany 31July 1945

Dearest Hanna, 

"..............Tonight I went down to the station to watch a train go through. There were people sitting upon the train, standing on ledges of the coaches hanging on the steps and lodged between the coaches. A sorry looking group trying to get someplace. The problems are still bad with displaced persons......"

Letter # 45

l8Augustl945 Madison

(1 Page Letter to Sylvia in Utah)

Letter # 45

l8Augustl945 Madison

(1 Page Letter to Sylvia in Utah OCRd and corrected by AFH)


l8 August l945
My dear Sylvia,
As much as I was pleased to a live home and be with Mother, Fritz, Bruce, Galen and Mark the house seemed almost empty without you my dear. Last evening when we launched the boat to go on a picnic I automatically called to see where you were and why you had not gotten in the boat. We miss you so much dear Sister, but realize that we must get along without you until the pollen season is over, or at least until someone can come out to Chicago with you. The hay-fever season is in its fury now and we are comforted to know you are not suffering with it at Provo.

I left Scotland Sunday evening, had breakfast in Iceland a second breakfast in Newfoundland and lunch in New York. The Air Transport command took good care of us, it was a wonderful plane, with reclining easy chairs, toilet; lunches served. I did not get sick like I did flying over when the cargo smelled and the plane smelled and the seats were hard and uncomfortable.

The evening of Monday I was sitting at supper with Ada, Mel and Marilyn when we heard the word from the White House of the surrender of the Japanese. We were elated, of course, but each of us wondered why it could not have happened 9 months earlier -- then Mel’s brother might have been eating supper with us.

Tuesday was a grand day, because I stayed home with Ada all day and followed her around like a little lamb as she went about her housework and shopping, talking, talking and catching up on events. We played with little Richard too -- he is a handsome boy, a strong and healthy specimen too. Marilyn is precious and she tagged me about like I shadowed Ada.

Wednesday, Ada and I were picked up by the Pres. of Sarah Lawrence College, Harold Taylor, a former Wisconsin colleague who had just been made president. He took us about the luxurious campus and well-planned buildings, and then to the train. Mel met me at the Air terminal Where he saw me off in a big limousine for LaGuardia Field, We left at 1400 and arrived in Milwaukee at l800.

A two-hour lay over and then on to Madison arriving at 2200. As I stepped off the plane I heard some one call Daddy, Daddy--it was little Fritz and with him stood Mother and Bruce --what a grand reunion. But we missed you and are counting the days until you will be with us.

In Scotland I laid over two days, saw Glasgow and Ayer. At the latter I saw where Robert. Burns wrote and lived, also some places where Robert Bruce had been. The Scottish people are very friendly.
Sincerely your Daddy
Who loves you dearly,
Daddy (ADH)