Days Like These

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7 June 1942


a captain in the Wehrmacht in occupied Paris, writes in his journal:

"In the rue Royale, I met, for the first time in my life, the yellow star, worn by three young girls who passed near me arm-in-arm. These badges were distributed yesterday; those who receive them must give in return one of their clothing coupons. I saw the star again in the afternoon, much more frequently. I consider this date deeply worthy of note, and also in my personal history. Such a spectacle cannot but provoke a reaction - and so I found myself immediately ashamed of being in uniform."

7 June 1950


writes in her diary:

"It is a long time since I saw two such successful, well-adjusted, victorious people as those we met at dinner with Julia [Strachey] last night - Veronica Wedgwood [the historian] and Freddie Ayer [the philosopher]. They make some of our friends seem dim and uncertain. No 'sort ofs' and appalling 'd'you know?'s but an even flow of words fluently expressing their eager and complicated thoughts. Each has the confidence which is solidly based on knowing that they are extremely clever. Both are frankly delighted to talk about themselves and their work; but whereas she emitted a great breath of candour, an air of putting her cards upon the table, and when talking of Love at once took a back seat and volunteered that she had endured 15 years of unrequited love, and 'been quite unable to charm the undergraduates', Freddie declared that the greatest misery was to be loved by someone you couldn't love."

8 June 1941


politician, writes in

his dairy:

"Every night Night Wardens are on duty in shifts at the Foreign Office. Last night, as they were searching the innumerable rooms and poking every sofa, they eventually reached the Secretary of State's room, and someone jabbed the sofa and was startled by a feminine scream. The surprised warden flashed his torch and found a couple reclining in flagrante delicto. 'What are you doing?' he asked, somewhat superfluously. The culprits were a young typist and a young man in the cypher department. Surely such a thing has never happened in that room before - or perhaps I am wrong?"