Threaded through the renewed hope for the future demonstrated by the recovery of France and preparations for the upcoming trials in Germany, Dodd reflected on October 2 that “I sometimes feel depressed about the future. Many well-informed people over here say another war is inevitable–already we are laying the foundation for it.” [p. 154, 10/2/1945]. Observations of the actions and attitudes of his colleagues on the other prosecution teams did not bode well but Dodd resolved “to stand openly and firmly against this menace.” [p. 155, 10/2/1945]
Meetings, desk work, interrogations, staff changes, lunches, dinners and the occasional evening entertainment filled the time as the days passed and became “ordinary.”
Dodd recounts Keitel’s admissions of branding Russian prisoners, terrorist activities and other activities providing evidence for the Russians post war retaliation, having become “a perfect tool for Hitler” [p.158, 10/6/15].
The pace continued to increase as interrogations with Keitel, von Papen and Seyss-Inquart continued and the date for the serving of the indictment looms, after which the real work will begin.
After the tense, days, Dodd writes that he relaxed by retiring “at home and having some alone time. ” I get into bed, take all of your letters and read them over. Then I just recline comfortably and think about you. I recall all types of
incidents- all manner of experiences that we have shared together. Then I fall off to sleep thinking of you.” [p. 156, 10/4/1945]. Even to the point of looking forward to happier times to come, together as a family.
As time went by more permanent accommodations were made for the American staff in Germany. Dodd and Colonel Brundage moved into a beautiful house with six rooms, a kitchen, a bath, and much more. They felt bad about the removal of the family who lived there “but it is war, and this mission is a result of war” [p. 157, 10/4/15]. They also acquired their own personal driver and car, because of the distance of the house from the office space they occupied in Nürnberg–a true luxury!
Sadly for Tom, Brundage decided on October 6th that Nürnberg was no longer his place to be. In his heart, Brundage could no longer be a part of it. Other close friends Dodd had made since arriving in Germany soon followed and by October 7th Tom Dodd felt as lonesome as he had the day he arrived. With only his conviction of the importance of what must be done, he doggedly moved forward.
–Owen Doremus and Betsy Pittman
[Owen Doremus, a junior at Edwin O. Smith High School, is supporting this blog series with research and writing as part of an independent study.]
The majority of the letters from Tom Dodd to his wife Grace have been published and can be found in Letters from Nuremberg, My father’s narrative of a quest for justice. Senator Christopher J. Dodd with Lary Bloom. New York: Crown Publishing, 2007.
Images available in Thomas J. Dodd Papers.