JANUARY 10, 1946
LONDON, Wednesday—Someone told me today of an experience he had when he passed a man who was standing on the sidewalk, looking at a big empty space where there had been a building.
The man seized the arm of the passerby to tell him, "There, five years ago, a German bomb landed on a school. Twelve hundred children were killed but no mention ever was made of the incident."
Of course the silence was for security reasons, but five years later a man who may perhaps have been mourning children of his own, still could feel deep indignation about the dropping of that bomb. Somehow it seems to me that it is this kind of indignation that should fill the heart of every delegate to this conference.
War no longer deals with soldiers alone. It deals just as harshly with men, women and children and that is why if our civilization is to continue, war must come to an end.
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We went to the Allies Club the other day for lunch. This is a club where I understand they have held discussion groups from time to time. There is a nice, quiet dining room that looks out on one of those little grassy squares surrounded by houses looking very much alike, which one finds so unexpectedly in London.
A man came out to exercise his two Scotties and as I watched him, I felt homesick for my small Scottie back in the United States.
Instead of the traditional roast beef of old England, we had a nice little fish for lunch which suited me very well, though I don't know what the British may have thought of it. They like to follow their traditions but have had to break so many which they cannot now resume even though the war is over.
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Last evening I dined in a little house which was built from the bombed-out kitchen of a very large mansion. What was once the kitchen and servants quarters now provides an entrance hall and a smaller kitchen at the left.
Down some steps you come into a fair-sized living room with a fireplace and a little staircase leading to a balcony, which is a dining room opening into the kitchen. A mirror cleverly placed makes it seem very spacious. Above there are two bedrooms. This type of building out of the ruins is what makes London still able to house so many people and at the same time gives it an air of being less scarred than one might expect after the V-1 and V-2 bombs.
One notices in some places the deceptive fronts still standing and it takes a second look to see that there is nothing behind them.