A Jewish GI’s World War II Letters Home
A story of wartime life, love, and service
The children of immigrants, Abraham “Abe” Klapper and Lillian Schein were newlyweds expecting their first child when Abe was inducted into the U.S. Army and later served in an antiaircraft battalion. Between 1943 and 1945, the couple exchanged over 800 letters. In Love, Abe, author Bonnie Goldenberg draws from her parents’ voluminous correspondence to reveal the unique perspective of a first-generation American Jew sent to fight the Nazis in Germany.
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“Love, Abe offers an intimate window into a long-distance love in a world torn apart by war. The touching story of Abe and Lillian Klapper is a fitting tribute to a Greatest Generation family’s experience during America’s battle to liberate Europe.”
Jonathan W. Jordan
best-selling author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and the Partnership That Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe
“Love, Abe tells a GI’s personal story from a treasure trove of love letters—from the home front to the war front during the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany. It’s an intimate and personal perspective, beautifully written and well documented.”
Lillian Schein’s nursing school graduation photo, ca. February 1942, before my parents were married. Note inscription to my father at bottom right.
My father Abraham (“Abe”) Klapper home on an emergency pass from Fort Eustis, Virginia, just after the author’s birth in August 1943, taken in Far Rockaway, New York in front of my mother’s parents’ house.
My parents Lillian and Abraham Klapper holding their firstborn daughter, Bonnie, in March 1944. My father was visiting his family in New York while on home furlough from training at Camp Stewart, Georgia.
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January 5, 1945
So many miles are between us, but I feel you in my heart tonight and that brings you close to me. I can’t help but feel how much water has passed under the bridge since we first laid eyes upon each other…. I can’t seem to realize that I am so far from home. We have been on this ark for so long now, I think I am able to find my way around in the dark. This may be the last letter we will be able to send out until I land….
I love and miss you both.