Robert D. Davis



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letter, correspondence, army, World War II


World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army


Davis describes his "very luxurious" accommodations in the one-time villa of the Minister of Labor, Robert Ley. He discusses the one "case" that he had to investigate--a self-inflicted gunshot death. He continues by discussing his trip to Zurich, his failed attempts to meet lovely, gracious Swiss ladies, and his delight at discovering good coffee in a Swiss Tea Room.


Agent Robert Davis

13CID, % PM Sec.

3rd U.S. Army

APO 403,

% Pm. N.Y.



Mrs. R. L. Davis

1619 Boston

Muskogee, Oklahoma

7 March 1946


Dear Folks:

Am “settled down” now. We are located in a suburb of Munich, GRUNWALD, S.W. of the city, very luxuriously, in the one-time villa of Robert day, Minister of Labor.

So far have had one “ease”. A Self-inflicted shooting, by a poor young private, who didn’t know much about pistols. Killed quite quickly, we had to investigate, and certify as to the accidental nature, pure routine. It took the entire day, as we had to read and run down the autopsy reports, and also to locate the very small company until in Munich, when it was not listed in the directory.

I was relating my experiences in Switzerland. As I said, on the day, we entered Basle, passed through customs, and pro-ceeded to Zürich. Zürich is a large city, but provincial. I had announced to Runte any basic intention of going to a night-club at 4 in the afternoon and sticking out the evening there. I found this in Zürich impossible.

Of course the first project of a young man in a ^NEW large city is to find a well-mannered, socially gracious, nice-looking young lady companion. (I had previously declared to Runte, my ^sole intention in Switzerland, that of meeting “EiNE VORNEHME SCHWEIZERiN” [A well-mannered, or socially gracious young Swiss lady].) After tramping the streets for 3 hrs the first afternoon, after furtively fre-quenting department stores and a large public exhibit of the “RAF,” As standing with aching feet at five in the afternoon on a corner of Zürich, I came to the conclusion there were no “VORNEHME” swiss girls. (For it is obviously the duty of a socially-gracious young lady to show at least some manifestation of interest in a graciously-mannered young man of not unpleasant appear-ance who is availably walking the streets of her home-city!) And no one showed any interest. Also Accordingly, in an excess of despondency I wandered into a Tea Room. And in the Tea Rooms of Switzerland one I finds the most pleasant little remembrances I have of Switzerland.

The Tea Rooms are the afternoon retreat of the wealthy Swiss, or the upper middle-class Swiss. One sit enters a hush quiet, reservedly-decorated pair of rooms, with adequate, cushioned seats, beautiful tables. One asks for coffee; and gets a surprise. The waitress brings you a small tray with ^a tiny silver coffee container, a tiny =, delicate cup ^+saucer, and a silver tray containing an even tinier lump of sugar (cream is in a microscopic doll-pitcher.) The Swiss have good coffee from the States, and perhaps the sensation of being able to get a good cup of coffee was itself enough to cause me delight. Then they bring around delicate and lovely-decorated pastries on trays, which one boys extra. Well, I fell in love with the Swiss Tea Room habit, and was on the spot every afternoon at five every one of the succeeding 6 days in Switzerland (My pen has just busted off one point. Damn it.



Letter from Munich, 1946 March 07


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