WAR LETTERS: From Family - 1943 Europe


In this section, we present letters written by parents to their children.

1943 Europe

Kathryn Brott Higgins was a little girl when she received this letter from her father, Captain Clarence Brott. Kathryn tells us,

"My father was a Captain during his tenure with a front-line surgical unit for approximately three and one-half years. He left the service as Major. He was involved in the Anzio, Salerno, and Omaha beach landings. He was also one of the first units that went into the concentration camp Buchenwald. When he returned from the war, he was a physician in Beatrice. where I grew up and where my mother at age 85, still resides. It is difficult to share these few pieces of paper with strangers, as they cannot truly understand or know the depth of this very special human being. Words can never say or do enough for this special man, my dear father."

March 4, 1943
Captain Clarence Brott's letter to his young daughter

March 4, 1943

Dear Kathryn,

At this time your father is many miles away, yes, even a thousand or more away and I believe you might appreciate a few lines for future reference in case I should not return. It is my most sincere prayer that such a thing shall not happen, but one must always be prepared for the unpredictable. It was very difficult for me to bid you and Steven good-bye, both of you being so small, innocent and young — but I shall always remember the questioning look in your eyes, as if in fear of the unknown. I hope and pray that fear was unwarranted.

Your mother has those sterling qualities of all true mothers. I request that you remain obedient to her at all times, take her advice and recommendations at all times. It is because of her true love for you and your well-being that she makes such recommendations.

It has been impossible for your father to provide you and your mother with ample financial means as he desired, but by you cooperating with your mother and being thrifty, I believe you shall not suffer.

At times your father seems to have been confronted with problems, which for the moment seemed insurmountable, but these have always been passed by using prayer. When things get tough, pray that prayer your mother and father first taught you to pray — "Now I lay me down to sleep, etc." I am still saying my daily prayers so that I might return to you after this war ends. Regardless of what you might be taught in schools, or told by others — believe in God. All my medical education, experience, etc. only convinces me more thoroughly that there is a God.

I am sending this letter to your mother who shall keep it until you are old enough to realize and appreciate its meaning. She may then either give it to you to keep or read it, as she desires. Since you are older than Steven, I think you should help your mother teach those same principles of truth, loyalty and obedience to Steven.

Never forget the bible passage — "Honor thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth." May God bless you all!

With love,
Your Father



1943 Europe          1944 England