National Geographic : 1947 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Hans Hubman from Black Star A Back Yard Helps Americans Make Themselves at Home Abroad With their children, two American wives of Army officers take the sun outside their quarters in Wiesbaden. Washing hangs on the line overhead, and the husbands watch from a balcony. During the first 17 months after V-E Day more than 18,000 dependents of American military personnel were shipped overseas. Of these, 9,800 went to United States Zones in Germany and Austria. this lovely bird a part of English landscape. The train brought us to Paris in the fresh morning, and during the few days I stayed there the faces of the people remained a per petual benediction. The mobility of the facial features and a kind of brightness given by hope seemed to belong to another world from Germany, where for months I saw on nearly all human countenances only heaviness, secre tiveness, depression, surliness, and often hate. Even if they had nothing but colored water to sip, the Parisians sat at their boulevard tables and sipped with spirit. Many of the mademoiselles I saw had clothes of lesser quality than some German frauleins wear, but they wore them with a brighter grace. I remember the lilt with which a middle-aged Frenchwoman at headquarters mess took my raincoat for checking. There is as much difference between the general run of frauleins in Germany and the general run of mademoiselles in France as there is between a German figure of Bismarck and a French figure of Joan of Arc. I returned by way of England and felt free again. What startled and struck me repeatedly when I got to New York was color. Color in the shop windows, color in lights, color in clothes, especially women's, color on so many cars and other manufactured objects, color in voices and human movement. The color intensified the profound and almost unrelieved grayness that in some ways seems to me to sum up Germany today.