Re: the smell of burning flesh

From: Scottie Bowman <>
Date: Wed Jan 08 2003 - 03:27:05 EST

    I don't have Alsen's knowledge of Salinger's whereabouts
    during the invasion of Germany but I wonder how the story
    about the Hurtgen Forest gained currency? It would certainly
    take more clinical chutzpah than even I possess to distinguish
    between 'combat fatigue' (a very wide category at the best of
    times) & a man's emotional response to a place like Hurlach.

    My late chum Dick Walsh was easily the most widely read,
    most musical, generally most cultured doctor I ever knew.
    In May of 1945 an urgent request was passed around the London
    medical schools among final year students for volunteers to help
    in clearing up the concentration camps which were then being
    uncovered by the advance of 21st Army Group. Dick was one
    of those who went.

    Dick drank very nearly as much as I did - but otherwise showed
    evidence of only one neurotic sequal that he attributed to
    his experiences in Buchenwald. Until his death more than forty years
    later, he retained an abiding suspicion, contempt & revulsion for all
    things German. At least for all things German dating after circa 1850.
    Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, of course, were OK - but not Wagner,
    even though he had a gigantic collection of operatic records & travelled
    all over the continent in his quest for the great performances. Not
    through Deutschland, though. And certainly not in a Merk, Audi, Opel,
    beetle or BMW.

    Which was, of course, very illiberal of him. (I wonder did he
    even, just occasionally, use the word 'hun'? Ooops. Sorry.)

    Scottie B.

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Received on Wed Jan 8 03:28:49 2003

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