06 June 2014


In honor of the brave assault of 24,000 United States, United Kingdom, and Canadian troops who stormed the Normandy coast of France 70 years ago on June 6, 1944, we share the next to last diary entry written by Beaufort businessman, Fredrick Holmes Christensen. Writing on Sunday, July 23, 1944 he stated:

It seems strange that I should write a diary in these exciting war times and have nothing to say about it. But to write a history of the war by a business man is out of the question. At best it would merely be the current rumors. Events crowd each other at such a bewildering pace that one can not begin to keep up with them. About a month ago the British and Americans accomplished the impossible and made a successful landing in France and took Cherbourg, but ever since the Germans have held them in narrow limits. During the past month the Russians on the other hand have crowded forward breaking one German line after another, seizing first one strong fortified point after along an eight hundred miles. They have driven the Germans out of Russia, have entered Poland, and are reportedly approaching Germany. The Allied forces in Italy, after being stalled all Winter, during the past few weeks have made notable progress, capturing Rome and driving the Germans to the Northern part of the county. The first week the Americans took Leghorn [?] on their end of the line.  Now come news of an attempt on the life of Hitler by members of the Army staff, which appears to have almost succeeded. The world can only judge of it through rumors that leak out, but it seems to indicate a serious conflict between the commanding officers of the army and Hitler's political following. Also in the last few days there has been a general shake up in the Japanese cabinet. This last appears to stem from the rapid and unchecked advance toward the homeland by the American forces.

Christensen died a few months later, 5 September 1944, purportedly from a blood clot while he was sitting in his hospital bed drinking a glass of milk. We have bound photocopies of his diaries, written from 1893 to 1944, courtesy of one of his descendants.

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