Monday, Oct. 11, 1943
Lois was in a somber mood today as she wrote of crunching over the carpet of autumn leaves on the sidewalk. “I like the crunch of dead leaves,” she explained. “After all, the tree gets its food from decaying thing as well as from the air, and among those decaying things might be two-legged corpses.” As the Allies had been advancing in Italy, the war in the Pacific seemed to take a back seat. But now, the headlines blared, the Yanks had the Japanese base of Vila in its control. Island hopping in the Pacific was a bloody protracted operation but slowly the Allies were nearing Japan. Beginning to look ahead, the Allies were anticipating the need to feed as many 150, 000,000 refugees and displaced person by the war’s end in Europe. Francis B. Sayre, special assistant secretary of state, declared, “We must begin by feeding the starving and binding up the wounds of the stricken.” He expected the army to handle emergency relief as the active front moved forward with civilians taking over in time. All nations would have to contribute, he said. The US was already giving 9% of its food to Allies. Not content with its brutality toward subject peoples, the Nazis had taken the time before their retreat from Naples to burn down the medieval library in Naples and destroy its entire contents. For many Americans in uniform, the treasures of Italy, even in ruin, would be a bittersweet experience.