On Jan. 23, 1943, my uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, (photo in uniform, above) reported to the draft board in Chicago to start his training for WWII. So began the correspondence between him and family & friends, comprising almost 300 letters going both ways. I’m posting many of these World War II letters, each on or near the 70th anniversary of its writing. To start with his induction, click HERE.

This blog began in Nov., 2010, when I posted a century-old love note from Josef Gärtz, my paternal grandfather, to Lisi (Elisabetha) Ebner, my paternal grandmother, and follows their bold decision to strike out for America.

My mom and dad were writers too, recording their lives in diaries and letters from the 1920s-the 1990s. Historical, sweet, joyful, and sad, all that life promises-- and takes away--are recorded here as it happened. It's an ongoing saga of the 20th century. To start at the very beginning, please click HERE.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor Day-A diarist's response to war

December 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor was bombed seventy years ago today. My mom, Lillian Koroschetz, started a brand new diary on New Year's Eve, 1941 reflecting back on the previous year and the effects the barely three-week-old war was already having on the every-day lives of Americans.
See this link at Naval History and Heritage for a thumbnail sketch of why the attack in Hawaii was such a surprise and how it enraged and united Americans into a singular resolve to defeat Japan as well as the German Nazi and Italian Fascist regimes.

December 31, 1941 - 10:15 pm

Wreckage of the USS Arizona after attack on Pearl Harbor
Image from Wikipedia "Day of Infamy speech"
By pure coincidence, I am beginning this book practically at the dawn of 1942. What will this New Year bring me––I wonder. For that matter what will it bring the world? 

This has been a momentous year for the world, rather sad for the world, and a very good year for me. 1941 gave me great happiness with Fred.

December 7, 1941 brought the momentous bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, that definitely entered the United States in the World War #2 in which, in my opinion, we were destined to enter since the repeal of the Arms Embargo Act. So far the war has not yet touched the great mass of us as much as it probably will have by 12-31-42. We already have a taste of it by the rapidly rising prices in everything, federal tax of 10% on luxuries ($1.65 "Nylons,") which, however give a tremendous amount of wear. 

President Roosevelt delivers his "Day of Infamy"" speech
12/8/1941. (Wikipedia image). Within an hour after the
speech, Congress declared war on Japan.
Automobile tires, too, are unobtainable for civilian use, and car production will be eliminated in favor of defense activities by the auto plants. I have a firm conviction there will be a severe depression in possibly 5 or 10 years and I am determined to save some money. I have a start now, $34.00 in postal savings. Also I buy 10 cent defense stamps. When I have saved sufficiently by way of these stamps, I shall buy an $18.75 defense bond.

Ever practical and pro-active, Lil was planning for how she would personally respond to the the war.

Next week: Lil's leaves the topic of war behind to prepare for New Year's Eve and be "damn mad" at Fred for not asking her out!


Marian Kurz said...

We must never forget this day.

Sandy Arnone said...

"...a date which will live in infamy..." Your mother was aware of what she need to do from the beginning. Unfortunately, I'm wondering if we should be thinking along the same lines today.

Paul Gartz said...

Sis, How momentous a moment mom (and you) captured here as seen through the eyes of a VERY young woman of just 24! The world still pivots on the consequences of this day 70 years ago. I am impressed by the sense of perspective mom had at such a young age. I wonder how many today of 24 would be able to write something like this about today's events? The referenced site is filled with chilling photos...even for history buffs like me. "Freedom" is a never ending battle between those with power and those with less...always needing renewal by the next gen...isn't it? We see it in 2011 in yet a new format and challenge. Good show! Paul

Linda Gartz said...

Thanks to all for comments on this anniversary that changed our country, our families, and our world. It will soon be only in the history books. I read that the WWII vets from Pearl Harbor will now end their yearly get-togethers. All dead or in nursing homes. it was a front page item on NYT today, but the stories will get smaller and smaller.

Shirley said...

Linda, this truly is a day for focus on your story. My mother, age 84, remembers it well, as do all those who remain of her generation.

Hope you saw that Terry Helwig answered your question, and I tossed you a link on 100memoirs.