Mollie's War: The Letters of a World War II WAC in Europe
Author: Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, Cyndee Schaffer, Jennifer G. Mathers
Publisher: McFarland (2010)
Binding: Paperback, 291 pages
Why did an average American woman become a WAC during World War II and place herself in peril?
Mollie’s War documents the human side of life during the war—a life that alternates between fear and romance, exhaustion and leisure. Some of that story was picked up by the Detroit Jewish News in her hometown when a columnist for the paper asked her to be his overseas correspondent. The newspaper and B’nai B’rith raised $165,000 in War Bonds in Mollie’s name.
It took many letters home telling everything from daily challenges to exciting experiences (when the censors allowed) for her story to emerge. What was it like to be in England while the country was under constant bombardment by unmanned German missiles? Imagine being among the first WACs to enter Normandy after the D-Day invasion. Did you ever wonder whether you would use your foreign language skills from high school? Well, Mollie used those skills when she was transferred to Paris, acting as an interpreter in both work and social situations. Envision being a young Jewish woman in Frankfurt Germany on Rosh Hashanah 1945 and walking with other G.I’s to the rededication of the only standing synagogue.
This collection depicts vividly Mollie’s experiences from her first train trip to Daytona Beach, Florida for basic training in Oct. 1943 to the dramatic image of seeing the Statue of Liberty as her ship approached the shores of the USA in Nov. 1945.
The 150,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps are now seen as the under sung heroes of the Second World War.
This memoir describes the life of a WAC enlistee who would serve in England when it came under attack, to France immediately after the Allied “D-Day” invasion, and Germany after VE Day.
From her personal experiences Molly has provided the readers with photos from her collection and many letters describing her day to day activities and travels that stretched from her basic training in Daytona Beach, Florida to the climactic moment when she saw the Statue of Liberty as her ship approached American shores on her return home.
This work provides a glimpse into the life of a woman in uniform during this crucial period in American history.
Reviewed by: Bob Ruehrdanz (2010)