Thursday, January 08, 2009

Monday 12th July 1943

Before going John told me: “I may be wrong about you trying to murder me; if so I'm wrong, and I'm sorry. But I'm almost certain I'm right. In that case though, I still forgive you because I think that you are trying to do it for the best because you've had your orders from them. So although I'm pretty sure you've been trying to cause my death, I don't bear you any resentment about it...” “That's very noble of you, John,” I said at the end of this involved and typical speech. “Ah! How clever you are!” he said, “You must know a lot about psychology, otherwise you couldn't have tortured me in this subtle way!”

Once again there is a strong majority of Jews in the ward. They're a hellish pest on Mondays, when there's a big linen change. Few Jews will accept the returned washing when it's initially offered – for instance two of them refused a hand towel which had a small hole in it... they will raise a great outcry about receiving a pyjama jacket which is minus buttons... but an English patient accepts what he's first given. He knows it's impossible to get perfect linen these days, here.

They (the Jews) treat me as a servant. I took pleasure in throwing one out of my linen store today after he'd rushed in four times waving a dirty shirt in my face, crying “Ishmah!” (It wasn't the day for changing shirts, as he'd been told in Yiddish.)

Tried to write letters today but it was hopeless. Eventually struggled through a laborious two-page effort to Bob Dewhurst. It is not easy to write or read these days, except in short spasms. Maybe my mind is fading; maybe it's just the heat and flies, and I'll be alert when winter comes again, and be able to think.

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