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World War, 1939-1945; Letter writing; United States. Army
Davis talks about Matt Kimes and asks for clippings about him. Runte had a friend visit from Munich, Schmuker, who was in jail with Runte and sentenced to death for corresponding with the allies. He has been nominated for the Police Chief of Munich and Transportation Minister of Bavaria. Schmuker talks about his job and about the Gestapo containing his wife for 2 months while trying to get a confession from him. Schmuker refused to escape from jail because he was afraid they would take his wife. Davis went to Munich to visit Schmuker and his family.
T/5 Robert Davis 18107121
G237, Co F, 3rd MGR,
% Pm. N. Y.
U.S. ARMY POSTAL SERVICE
9 DEC 4 1945
Mrs. R. L. Davis
30 November 1945
I was very interested to see in the Stars and Stripes that Matt Kimes was acting up again, and was hiding out in Eastern Oklahoma in the hills. I’m sure that everyone feels a grand exuberation as the good old home counties got back in the news with a native sonn. Please send me some of the clippings about him. Is bother George Kimes, the artist, still in the Pen?
The case becomes particularly interesting to me, due to the kind of manhunt that we are conducting now thru’ our county and several others for members of the Underground resistance. It is all in the hilly and lonely farm regions where the hunting takes place. The men are all local boys who made bad and joined the SS, and refused to take “no” for an answer after VE day. The work is a lot of fun, and we always go in terrific force and number, so don’t you worry. But it takes up a lot of time.
Runte had an interesting friend up from Munich for a three day visit. The guy was a wealthy German dilettante, who had message contact with the allies over Switzerland, and in consequence of which he was sentenced to death while in the same cell with Rune. The guy is sitting on top of the world right now, and has turned downn positions with every Bavarian Ministry formed. He has been nominated as Police Chief of Munich and also as transportation Minister of Bavaria, but has turned them all down. Because of his faultless political past, he has very high standing with Counterintelligence circles in the Army, and it might be said that he and Max have about as good a standing as any Germans in Bavaria. This fellow’s name is Schmucker, his wife is an ASbach, the wealthiest liquor family in Bavaria. Just lately he was assigned as bodyguard to Minister President Hoegner, which job he got rid of as soon as he could; Schmucker’s philosophy of life is contained in the following Schmuckerisms.
“I only work three days a week, and then only two hours a day, and that from 10 o’clock p. m. to midnite in a party setting………I immediately ascertained that to be police chief of Munich would involve getting up mornings at an impossible hour and a tremendous number of hours of work each day…..The most disagreeable thing in the world is getting up in the morning; I try never to do it before ten.” Yet, in spite of all this flippancy, which he xxxxdescribes as the reaction to 6 years of War, he has had a very tragic past six months. Trying to get a confession from him, the Gestapo picked up his wife and held her for two months. The marks of the torture that she went thru are still visible, and the only time he got serious was when he talked of a plan to kidnap the Agent who beat her from the Munich Police, bring him up to Ingolstadt where he would have a free hand with him. When he was beaten the first time he was questioned, he struck back, which got him a straight jacket for the six weeks that he was in the Munich Gestapo station. He was not beaten, due to the findings of such incontrovertible proofs against him that confessions were unneccery. (The lawyer he retained to defend him was Dr. Sauter, who is defending von Ribbentrop in the Nurnberg trials; the “trial” lasted one hour, and he was sentenced to death.)
Tho’ it would have been a very simple matter to escape, (since all the jail inmates were left unguarded during air raids) he refused to do it, in spite of Runte’s remonstrances with him, because he was afraid that the moment he disappeared, the Gestapo would take his wife again. Runte says that he was cheerfulest fellowin the jai; during the several weeks that he was awaiting execution before the Americans got there. Naturally hewas more thann casually interested in the arrival of the Americans, and would hang on to their arrival and any little bits of news he could get. He is a wonderful fellow, and a perfect clown and mimic, rarely uninhibited in making a fool of himself for the sake of the party. I went down to Munich two Sundays ago with the Runtes to call on the Schmuckers, and they have the most beautiful home I have ever seem, from the inside, that is. Gorgeously furnished, with the most costly furnishings I could imagine. (At this visit to his house I met a Capt. Lavery, a football player for U. J. in 38 and 39, from Tulsa.) Mrs. Scmucker has a 17 year old son and a 10 year old daughter, and both of them are 36 years old, the same age as Runte.
We have a few interesting people in Ingolstadt (but very few) from a social point of view, whom I will discribe to you in a later letter.
P.S. Please send me plenty of cigs and some coffee --