World War ll London Blitz: 9-2-42 to 9-28-42 The Ottawa government has announced the loss of Canadians in last months raid on Dieppe. The figure given is three thousand three hundred and fifty killed, wounded, missing and believed dead.

Purchase Diary's:

September 2, 1942

I just got back from seeing Mother onto the train, all a simmer with emotion which is half anger, half derision, not aroused by Mother (or only indirectly) but by Ted. I here put it on record that I despise Ted Thompson; despise him because I think he is despicable. I think him a fool, an utter fool.
Last night he loved me, properly, and as a man should do. It was good, and today I woke refreshed, renewed, and happy. Can Ted let a good natural action stand? No, he cannot. Mother has been spending the day here. We’ve had a good day, happy together. Well, at teatime Ted raised the question with her. What about Auntie Mary, and did she ever go off and leave Gladys and me to ourselves when she had been left in charge of us whilst Mother was in the hospital one time? Joan had told us some such story, and I had disbelieved it, for I certainly have no memory of any such event. Well, Mother began to explain the episode, which Joan had garbled. She began by telling us about her period in the hospital for the removal of varicose veins.
 “Of course I was alright then,” she said, “but as soon as I came home I became pregnant again at once. Then I got the thrombosis and had to go back to the hospital. Whilst there I had a shock, bad cases were brought into the hospital. Besides there was a row at home, and Mary did refuse to stay there. She didn’t leave you children; she took you to my mother’s. Well, then one day I had a miscarriage, a bad one. I was alone in the kitchen, Annie had gone out, and suddenly, there it was, a hemorrhage.” 
She got no further, Ted pushed his plate away, got up from the table, and took himself off into the parlor. True, it wasn’t exactly tea table conversation, but Ted’s squeamishness was absurd. Mother was abashed.
“Good gracious,” she said, “have I really upset him? I should have thought I could have said everything in front of Ted, a man who has had all the children he has!”
But no! He did not return to the room until the six o’clock news came on, and then he looked not only cross but pale also. We had to sit silent. So Mother started for the station, and I got ready and went out with her.
This is what has angered me. As I returned from the station and walked along South Street, I saw Ted turn out of Western Road. He was in Home Guard uniform, nipping along. He crossed the road, so that he might not salute me. He had seen me (you know when people see you and when they don’t) but he deliberately crossed the road so that he would not have to pass me on the pavement. He deliberately ignored me. I had offended him. Mother had offended him. We had afflicted his modesty. Therefore he disowned me.
A memory of a similar disowning many years ago in Macy’s luncheon room came back to me. I had gone to town unexpectedly one day, and knowing where and when Ted took his luncheon, I went to meet him, thinking I would give him a pleasant surprise. Then, too, it had been after a night of love. He was angry, could hardly be civil to me! He had to speak to me, because other men were there, but he was horrid. I felt like two cents. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I ever lunched with him in town again. I definitely remember on various later days in town, sitting in Macy’s outer lunchroom, alone, and watching him pass by. That’s how things are in this marriage. After a night of love when a woman is made to feel herself utterly precious and desirable, even the very next day she is made to feel herself as worthless as dirt. Oh, the purity of men! The squeamishness of men! If a man was an impotent eunuch one could understand that he couldn’t bear the mention of conception and misconception, but when he is virile, the father of many children, a man who takes his pleasure in your body whenever he feels like it, oh, I say damn his modesty! His mock modesty!
I feel everything is a mockery in a life with Ted. He isn’t in love with me. I am not in love with him. We are a male and a female who habitually sleep together for the needs of our being; but love, real love, love of the mind, the heart, and the soul, there isn’t any. There isn’t even love of the body, only lust and appetite. After that ingratitude, and shame. To Ted it boils down to this, the sin of concupiscence. He always hates me most after he has most “loved” me. It is after he has “given way to me” that I can most easily anger him. Then he tries to make me feel the guilty one! So now, he cannot bear the talk of natural things. He must live in his dreams, his purity, and his Christian purity. I say damn, damn, damn, and I am sick of his niceness, his awful purity. Ted is a man with a perverted mind. His body can act properly, when he will let it, but the very essence of him is perverted. He is mushy at the core with his damned Christianity. To me it is all filthiness. He thinks I am the earthy one, the unclean one. I think I am the natural one, the sane one, and I long, long, long for a sane and natural man. God! I am so sick of Ted Thompson.
Then he was so rude to Mother. He started the conversation, but mother mentioned the unspeakable, therefore he had to show his displeasure. He is so childish. Why couldn’t he dissemble, change the conversation, or something? No, he had to mark his displeasure and disgust. Why? It is some way he has of asserting his superiority. He will slide over nothing that he doesn’t like, oh so childish, so pettish! Well enough of spitting down my own disgust. Au-revoir.

September 3, 1942

Last night old Bert knocked at the door. He came to bring us some of his pears He sat with me until after the nine o’clock news, and we fell into talk of Ted. Being angry, I spilled over to Bert. It did no good, except that I got some of the irritation out of my system. Bert told me of incidents way back in Alaska. It seemed that once Ted saved Bert’s life, for which, he says, he has always had a soft spot in his heart for Teddy boy.
“But he’s a damned annoying fellow,” said Bert. “Always finding fault. Faults in the clients, in the world, with young Maurice. Oh, with Maurice, he’s chronic, and damned rude. I don’t listen to him. I won’t. I can’t bother myself. You should be the same. God all mighty you’ve lived with him long enough! You know he’s always the same. Don’t listen to him. Don’t pay any attention to what he says. Yes, I wouldn’t want to live with him. He’s not my cup of tea.”
Then Bert spoke of Ted’s religion. He said he was always peculiar about that.
“It’s a kink he has. When he was a lad he went in for Freethinking, then Socialism, then Vegetarianism. Damned eccentric he was, always. Then when he joined the Catholics, do you know, he wrote to me from the states and said he thought it was his duty to inform me he was going to join the Roman Catholic Church! I wrote back to him and told him it was my duty to tell him I’d bought a house and was taking the family to Sweden for a summer holiday! His duty! That’s the trouble with him; he’s got duty on the brain, especially other peoples. That’s why he’s after Maurice, Maurice doesn’t do his duty, he says. Oh well! His Catholic Church mania! Damned lot of Irish he’s in with there! It’s anything for the church people. Do you know what? He rented a house to some Irish people from the church. What tenants! Dirty, vague, irresponsible! Of course you can’t put them out. Now he’s rented another house to some more Irish. I had one house to rent, a nice house, and you know houses are damned scarce now. Well, only today I had an offer for it, so I said to old Bumble-Bee (Bert’s name for his old clerk) 'What about that house? Think I’ll put it in for so-and so.' He said, 'Oh, Mr. E.T. has rented that, to an Irish family.' So I’ll be damned if I haven’t got another pack of rascally Irish on my books!”
Of course, with Ted, it’s anything for a Catholic. Probably the man was a “knight.”
Actually Ted becomes more and more Irish himself; that is, in his sympathies. For him, now, the Irish are martyrs, and the Irish can do no wrong. The Irish!
Whilst downtown I ran into Miss Coppen, so we went into Neville’s for coffee. We happened to fall into talk about Maurice, and she told me that Maurice is on the point of leaving the firm because of Ted’s manner to him. She says that Maurice says that Mr. Thompson is so rude to him, so sardonic, and so fault finding, that he can’t stay in the same office with him any longer. He says he treats him like a child, like a naughty child, and he won’t stand for it. She said that she and Stanley had insisted to Maurice that he shouldn’t leave right now, just as young Bertie has been called up, that would be too unfair to old Bert. So Maurice has consented to keep quiet for awhile, and hold back his resignation, but that he says if Mr. Thompson (Ted) doesn’t leave him alone there will come a day when he cant stand his nagging another hour, and he will walk right out.
Elizabeth says this has been going on for months and that Maurice comes home and says he cannot endure the office any longer, because he cannot endure Mr. Thompson. Mr. Thompson is so nasty to him. She asks, is it perhaps because subconsciously Mr. Thompson is resentful of Maurice still being free, not dragged into the war, whilst he has two sons in it? Therefore he takes out his resentment against Maurice in every way he can?
I say no, certainly not. That is not Ted’s attitude of mind, not at all. He doesn’t mind his sons being in the war. Most of the time Ted forgets he has sons. Actually nobody is important to Ted but Ted. Actually he is a terrible egotist. Unfortunately for the rest of us, he is a born nagger. He is sarcastic, what mother calls “a sarcastic devil.” It seems to me, living under him, watching him, all these years, that what he does subconsciously suffer from is a sense of his own inadequacies and therefore his deliberate nagging and belittling of others is the way he compensates for his own inferiority's. The smaller you can make the other chap the bigger you can make yourself appear. Why does Ted evade his equals, which he does consistently, all the years I’ve known him, except that he’s afraid of them, afraid they will discern his shortcomings and expose them? If you are a very young person, or a very ignorant one, Ted will be charming to you, but if you are a mature adult minded and educated person, Ted will evade you as much as he can, or, if he must come into contact with you, then he will prick you, steadily, prick you. What is his most peculiar secretiveness but a way of adding power to himself? Oh what a person! Enough of him for today.

September 7, 1942

I am swearing at Ted again. Oh, this man makes me so cross. This morning I changed the sheets on our bed. I went upstairs a few minutes ago and found the bed stripped open! Ted airing the bed! He insists and has done for years, that I put damp sheets on the bed. This is ridiculous. How did he discover there were clean sheets on the bed today? He must look under the bedspread to investigate everyday. Fool! Yesterday evening when it grew chilly I closed the door to the kitchen. To save matches Ted has made a habit of going into the kitchen to light a spire at the gas stove every time he wants to light his pipe. Actually this consumes more fuel than any lighting of matches, for he turns a burner on full blast every time. I say nothing. Well last night he went through to the gas stove, but coming back into the dining room he forgot to close the connecting door. My back was aching and it was an effort for me to pull up out of my chair, I said, “Close the door, will you?”
He said, “Please? Did you say please?”
I said .“yes” though I had not said. “please.”
“Excuse me, I didn’t hear you,” he said, and closed the door.
I said, “Thank you” but was annoyed. Ted talks to me as though I were a child. Be a good girl and say, “please.” Then Chaliapin was on the radio.
“You don’t want that, do you?” said Ted, and turned it off. I did want it. I like to listen to Chaliapin records. The same with the Postscript, we couldn’t listen to it, he didn’t want to hear it.
Then this morning, he goes all through the house as soon as he gets up, and opens all the windows wide. This lets in all the September morning damp, and I get up to shiver. He goes out to church and presumably gets all the fresh air he wants, but why inflict it on me? I stay in the house, when I want the windows open I will open them. Oh, he is an interfering fusser and he exasperates me. You see he lives for himself alone. It is what he wants that goes. This is his house, his home and I am his servant. He holds the Victorian working mans conviction that a man's wife exists to work for him and to do his pleasure; rights of her own she has none. Is there equality of the sexes? My God! This particular house is getting on my nerves. It gives me no outlook. The blackout is a ceaseless nuisance, but even in the daytime I see nothing of the outside world. I feel cramped and confined in this little house, most literally. I long for an American home, Oh, how I long for America! I think of our Tenafly house, spacious, windows on all four sides of it, and lawns all around, I think of the beautiful trees, and then I feel this place is a prison and Ted the jailer. Mrs. Garven said to me, “It must be wonderful to live with Mr. Thompson! He’s such a saint, isn’t he?” Yeah? Well, try living with him.

September 9, 1942

I went to the movies this afternoon to see, Gone With The Wind. I liked it better than I had expected to. I was unable to read the book. I went to the pictures mainly in an attempt to break my mood, which remains a bad one. Ted is on my nerves most frightfully. I don’t know how to endure him.

September 10, 1942

My feeling of misery persists. I want friendliness in the house and there is none. At breakfast Ted said, “Do you want those apples? If not I will throw them away.” They were windfalls, standing in a box in the wheelbarrow. I began to explain why I had not used any of them.
 “Well, you see,” I said, “I have no sugar. I can’t cook them until the end of the week when we get our sugar ration.”
Ted broke in angrily, “I didn’t ask for an explanation as to what you had or hadn’t done with them. I asked did you want those apples? The answer is no!”
Since then he has made no further remarks to me. He came in for lunch and said nothing. Finishing his lunch early, there was no dessert, he went off into the parlor and played the piano, his rendition of a Bach Fugue. Then he went off to the office at one o’clock. This unsocialness gets me down. It afflicts me even physically. It gives me a pain in the pit of my stomach, nausea, a feeling of fright. It sets me to grieving. For two pins I could weep. I want to be happy. I want easiness. I want to be easy. Easy and friendly. Geniality. I want a man who could laugh. Oh God help me! What a life we live!
It is evening now, whilst I was writing Father Bishop came calling. I had a lively chat with him about politics and the war.

September 11, 1942

I have heard disquieting news about Dr. Keighley. She has left home, practically run away. The report is she has gone to Scotland, and that a lot of her furniture has been removed from the house. Dr. John, her husband, came back from the Army early this year, and has remained at home ever since. They did not agree. I believe it has been an unhappy marriage almost from the beginning. He is a Catholic and she is not. Once she told me that the subject of birth control caused a lot of trouble in the house. She said that in the beginning they couldn’t afford to have a family, and now it was too late. Another time she said that her sex life was very meager, and that though a younger woman then myself, I probably had a fuller sexual life than she did. Report says Dr. John has “affairs” with various young women. Anyhow, it was generally known they were unhappily married. Now she has up and left him! Betty says she is going to join the A.T.S.  the boy is at Beaumont.
There has also been a rumor that Dr. Elizabeth “took drugs.” Maybe she did. I heard this years ago. She is a very good doctor. Actually her degrees are better than her husbands. Perhaps some of the trouble lies in that. Again, here is a career woman failing to make a success of living. How unhappy women are! You hardly hear of men being unhappy, but women all the time. Yes, it’s a man’s world, and women don’t like it.

September 12, 1942

It is dusk now and we are delaying lighting the lights, so as to conserve electricity, at twilight Ted came into the dining room and sat with me for a while. I was resting on my sofa; he made himself comfortable on his. In the next house a raucous old gramophone was ceaselessly playing and the row irritated me. Ted began talking his banalities. I looked at him there in the gloaming, and I wondered about him again, and why it is that such an insignificant being can prevent me so much. Why? Above all, why have I permitted him to do so? I felt cramped in this room, with no outlook, and the horrible distracting noises of the neighbors coming through the walls.
I remembered my dismay when Ted arbitrarily made his first “break” in our life. It was when Eddie was a baby, and we had only been married about eighteen months. One day Ted came home and said he had changed his job, just like that. To the English girl I was at the time this was an awful jolt. I never heard of a man who changed his job when he didn’t have to, for a whim, to suit him, because he didn’t like his boss, because he wanted a change. This action frightened me. I wondered what sort of man I had married. I felt afraid for our future. I realized I had married someone unpredictable, somebody unreliable. I also realized that to him I was of no account. Well, it has always been like that. Ted plays a lone hand. He decides for himself what he wants to do and he does it. This is fine if you happen to be a solitary on a desert island, but not so fine if you happen to be a family man.
There is no co-operation in our marriage, and there never has been. It was the same when Ted resigned from Hamm’s, his last American job. He just resigned because he wanted to, because, as he said, he was tired of the job, but he consulted no one, and I was only told of the resignation after it took place. That was at the end of nineteen twenty-six. We lived on in Tenafly until the end of nineteen twenty-seven, Ted doing nothing. I see now we should have gone on living there, even if Ted still continued to do nothing. No, I let him persuade me to break up the family, to sell the house, to come to England. Here we are. Ted is happy, still pursuing his private interests, but I am unhappy. Here I am isolated in the dead end of life, without my children, without interests, and on one dull level.

September 13, 1942

I am in a better frame of mind this morning, and this, of course, as so often with me, is due to a dream. After daydreaming yesterday about Tenafly, I went to bed and dreamt of America. Naturally. My dream was back in the summer of nineteen-twenty, and the months we shared a house on East Thirty-Fifth Street, Bayonne, with the Taft’s. The Taft boys and our boys flitted in and out across the dream, the old crew, all still in knickerbockers. We were fixing up the house for a party for them. The most important part of the dream was Alice. Neither her Ted nor mine were there, so we were full of talk, women’s talk. Most of it was Alice’s talk. “The trouble with you Rue,” she said, "is you don’t control your imagination enough. Use your imagination, but not to land you in miseries. If you can’t have what you like, like what you have. You worry where worry won’t help you. All very bad for you, you know. It is Bad for your hair, your skin, your teeth, your hands, and your circulation. Worry means fear, and what are you afraid of? Afraid you won’t get back to America? You will. But remember, worry means fear, and fear paralyzes the mind and upsets the digestion. Remember that. You know, all this unnecessary mental and physical wear and tear arises from a bad mental habit. Stop it. Stop it before it wears you out anymore and makes you older than you need to be. There’s no sense in being afraid. Never be afraid of anything or anyone. Don’t be afraid of life. Don’t be afraid of Ted. I’ve told you before, Rue, Ted can’t hurt you; only you can hurt yourself. The cure for worry, for dread, for unhappiness, must come from within you. You must say to yourself: 'Here I am for better or for worse, and its more likely to be for better than for worse. The sun’s still shining in the sky, and only the sky’s the limit.' You, know, the normal, healthy person is happy merely to be alive. You’re normal Rue, absolutely sane and normal. You know you are. So you know that the joys of life outweigh the sorrows and that to live is the greatest adventure we shall ever know.”
She flitted about, arranging flowers, dusting chairs, setting the table, and then she was saying: “Maybe you think you aren’t an ideal wife and mother, which is probably quite untrue. Maybe you think Ted isn’t an ideal husband and father, which is probably untrue also. He is making the best he can of the job, and so are you. After all, in spite of spots of hell, except life itself, marriage is the greatest adventure of all. Rue think of this. Now listen. The only thing that really matters is death, and as death ends our career on earth, including its worries, death doesn’t matter either. Fix this fact in your mind and your capacity for worry ceases, and you can and will enjoy life as nature meant you to. You’re alive, Rue, very much alive, stay alive. Keep your patience. You can. You know I say, and everybody who knows you says, you are the very rock of Gibraltar for patience.”
A dream. Thrown up from the old subconscious, but a very definite help in time of trouble. Definitely a hundred more times helpful to me today than old St. Francis. My thoughts, my philosophy, I suppose, and probably Alice Taft’s also. Yet what did Alice do with her life? In the end she divorced her Ted. In the end she couldn’t stand her man or her marriage any longer. Queer. It was a queer dream, but a good one.
It is all very well for my old subconscious in dreams to tell me to think right but what am I to think? The fact is I don’t want to think. I want to feel, to feel happy. I know the war afflicts us all, and there is nothing I can do about that, but other people suffer from the war and can still find happiness in their personal affairs. This town is full of old husbands being pals with their old wives, cherishing them, full of old couples going about together and enjoying themselves. Why can’t Ted and I get some fun out of still being alive together? We can’t. So there it is, he goes his way and I’m left to my own devices. A very limited lot of devices they are: reading, sewing, the radio, an occasional movie. I want my children!
Elizabeth Keighley finds her husband intolerable and she leaves him, she leaves his house, she leaves her daughter. Elizabeth Keighley has a profession in her hands. She is a highly qualified doctor. She can earn her living anywhere. I can’t, I have no profession and I am an old woman. I am fifty-eight years old. How can I earn a living? There is no way. I am financially dependant on my husband, and this he tells me, fairly often. He began telling me this thirty years ago. Of course that is when I should have left him. I was young then and could have worked at something but I didn’t. It is another of my mistakes.
Well as Alice Taft said in my dream, I must keep my patience. The war will come to an end some day, and then perhaps I will be able to step off into life of my own. I don’t know how, but at least I ought to be able to arrange then to go and see my children. Meanwhile I must keep serene, and as young and well as possible, I won’t let myself fall into premature decay.

September 14, 1942

This is how my day ended yesterday. I was sitting in the gloaming when Ted returned from church, listening to some community hymn singing, coming from Cobridge Parish Church. I did not particularly want to hear hymns, but the only alternative program was a talk about yellow ochre, which I certainly did not want to hear. Immediately on entering the room Ted commented on the hymn in progress disparagingly. It was one he did not know; therefore it couldn’t be a well-known one, so why sing it?
After the nine o’clock news we went to bed and fell asleep in silence. In the middle of the night, without warning, without a word, without a kiss, he took me. I felt annihilated. He did not take me for love, but for his own satisfaction. Like everything else, it was for himself. However, the needs of the body disregard the sensibilities of the soul, and in spite of myself, in spite of the mortification's of my soul, I arose this morning a new woman. When my body functions naturally my spirit too is normal, my whole being is in equilibrium.
So this morning, although we are both of us exactly the same people we were before last night, and neither our situation nor our history has altered a particle, I am in a proper rational frame of mind, more ready to accept Ted’s eccentricities and more willing to discount them.

September 15, 1942

The Ottawa government has announced the loss of Canadians in last months raid on Dieppe. The figure given is three thousand three hundred and fifty killed, wounded, missing and believed dead. This is the loss of the Canadians only; our own losses have not been given out. The Germans claimed to have killed or captured ten thousand men. Very likely they did. Our government has been suspiciously quiet on the subject of Dieppe. Naturally everyone considers it a major disaster. “Reconnaissance in Force” is what it is described as. Also, general opinion is, that the raid was ordered by Churchill, at the instigation of Stalin, also that Churchill went to Russia to bolster up Stalin and keep the Russians in the war, he even said on his return that Stalin thought we should do more in the West, but that “it was difficult” to make Stalin understand our difficulties of water transport. Very likely. We have two large bodies of opinion in this country, one is that we should immediately open up a second front in the West, to help Russia, and the other is, that we cannot do so, and that to attempt to invade the continent is to bring about another Dunkirk.  Dieppe would seem to prove that the second opinion is the right one. There is much talk about helping Russia, so far so indeed that you would think Russia entered the war of her own free will, to help us. This is nonsense. History is, that whilst we were negotiating in Moscow, for an Alliance with Russia, Stalin signed his non-aggression pact with Hitler, and further very soon after that, Russia invaded Poland and invaded and attacked Finland. All that is forgotten.
I do not believe in the wonderful noble heroic Russians. I think the Russians are savages much in the style the Germans are. Yes, they are enduring horrible invasion now but, after all, its only tit for tat, therefore, why should our boys be thrown away on the continent merely so as to help Russia? Politics! The imbecility of war! A most terrible battle is raging for Stalingrad. It has been going on for three weeks now, but I expect eventually the Germans will take it. Madness and hell, that is what war is.

September 19, 1942

“Donkeys! Janet, donkeys!” Thus Betsy Trotwood. Well, I have a phobia, definitely it is nuns. One morning during the week the doorbell rang whilst I was upstairs dressing. As in this house a window is most conveniently placed directly over the front door, I can open this window to see who is at the door and ask them to wait whilst I descend the stairs, or do my business with errand boys without coming downstairs. Well, whatever morning it was, when I looked out of the window I saw two nuns, at the door, one of them in a brown habit. They smiled at me very ingratiatingly and said, “Mrs. Thompson? We’ve come.” Come to beg of course. I didn’t answer them. I simply shut the window and returned to my room. They did not ring or knock again, and presently went away. I was angry for a moment, but I forgot them. Except that same night I dreamed of Blanche Sivell, but before she went into her convent.
Well this morning there was a ring at the door just before noon. I thought it might be Elizabeth Coppen, who often calls in for a few minutes on a Saturday morning, so naturally I answered the door. There on the doorstep stood two more nuns! I just looked at them, saying nothing.
 “Does Mrs. Thompson live here?” asked one of them. I nodded.
“Can I see her? Is she at home? But you are Mrs. Thompson aren’t you?”
“Yes.” Probably I was glaring at them in my anger and surprise.
“Is anything the matter? Aren’t you well? You don’t look well. Poor Mrs. Thompson, you look as though you had just come out of a dream!”
I was in a state of fury. “Excuse me please,” I said, “I cannot talk to you this morning.”
They persisted. “Is it an inconvenient time perhaps?”
“I cannot talk to you this morning,” I repeated, “you must excuse me.” And I shut the door in their faces. Had I known nuns were at the door I should never have opened it. I hate nuns. I loathe nuns. In an instant they can fill me with rage. I know it is not their fault, not individually. It is not even the fault of the system, which though detestable and medieval to my way of thinking, I can ignore. It is Ted’s fault, because he thinks too much of them and reveres them absurdly and allows them to act like leeches on his pocket book. It is the visible expectation of respect, honor and cash, on their faces, which I cannot stand. They fawn on you like a dog fawning for a bone. They are so surprised when they don’t get it! I hate this whole begging system. It is a form of blackmail, nothing but. I hate their spurious “poverty” and their equally spurious meekness and humility. The deceitfulness of nuns, the hypocrisy of nuns, above all the arrogance of nuns. Oh, I loathe nuns.
Yes I know there are a few fine characters amongst them here and there, I know some of them can act like heroines when under fire, but en masse I hate all nuns. I will give them nothing. I cannot even give them ordinary courtesy. They are poison to me. So it’s “donkeys, Jane, donkeys.”

September 28, 1942

I have passed Colonel Casado’s book to Ted to read. Though dry in places, that is, for civilians, it is an extremely enlightening book on the Spanish Civil War. Casado, though a Republican is definitely against the Russians and their so-called help in Spain. He declares Spain was lost because of Communism, and Soviet intervention. He complains of their practical control of the radio, and how Spaniards, instead of being reminded of heroic Spaniards and of Spain, heard only interminable laudations of Stalin, and ceaseless Russian music, etc. This makes us think of what is happening in England, where daily the B.B.C. gives us preponderantly Russian themes and Russian music, Russian artists, and constant praise of “our allies, the Russians.” It is all very insidious. True, the Russians are fighting well, disagreeably surprising Hitler but they are not fighting for us, or for civilization, they are fighting for themselves, and that only because they were attacked. The pact they signed with Hitler before he invaded Poland is forgotten. Had Hitler not invaded Russia it is certain Russia would not have come to our help against him; but we go to hers. Then our wireless and press talks daily of the wonderful Russians! Yes, they are fighting, but for themselves.

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