(05/15/1945) Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley

1814th Ord S&M Co (Avn)
APO 149, U. S. Army
15 May 1945

Dear Aleister,

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law!

So now the war is over and we are settling down for the long sweat. So far we have no idea which way we are going or if we are going to be static for awhile. The Army has announced the point system, which determines who is to be discharged first, and I may get out sooner than I had expected. The artificial score has been set at 85 points and I now have 82 and expect 5 more in the near future. Of course there are strings attached to it as far as officers are concerned — critical personnel, you know. I may be over here for a year yet. Will give me time to get some of this study completed, anyway.

Well, if Katie rated a snapshot you deserve at least a portrait. Here is one I had made in Luxembourg several months ago. Ok, so I’m bad for not mentioning the Katie incident. Frankly it wasn’t worth mentioning. From my point of view, at least. I had gone into Paris well heeled to blow off a lot of accumulated stress. We met, drank a bottle of Scotch, and she played hard-to-get until time to catch the last train out. Left me wandering around a blacked out Paris with mission unaccomplished. Undoubtedly my fault but that didn’t help my temper any.

By the way — I wrote Grant shortly after writing you on the 26th. Sorry to hear he hasn’t panned out as hoped.

Was telling you about the damage over here. I suppose you have visited the old walled city of Nürnberg? About all that is left is the wall now. Many of its old buildings can be restored as well as most of the wall but the inner city has been burned to a shell. I also visited the Reishpartietage stadium at Nürnberg. Very imposing structure from a distance. You perhaps remember seeing pictures of Hitler giving the slave salute from the podium with a huge Nazi eagle on the wall behind him? Well, somebody must have put about a twenty-pound charge of dynamite under that eagle’s fanny because it has been blown sky-high. I have yet to find a city that has been left undamaged but some are worse then others. Frankfurt am Main is about as bad as any, I suppose. But then Frankfurt enjoyed the unfortunate position of being on the western edge of Germany and if our bombers couldn’t find their target they would just dump all unconsigned cargo on Frankfurt on the way home.

We celebrated V-E day with Pink Champagne. Or at least that is what we call what appears to be a low grade variety of Sparkling Burgundy. I took out 20 men and three trucks and made a midnight requisiton {sic} on a winery for about 1500 bottles of the stuff. Some of the more ambitious lads were drunk for two days — and we still have plenty of the stuff around. Now that conditions are becoming stablized {sic} we are able to procure German beer by the keg, which is the best we have had since leaving home, and even ice. An unlooked for luxury. You know these Americans — if there is anything to be had within a hundred miles we get it.

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours ever,

Note: Originally published in Thelema Lodge Calendar, December 2001.

(05/15/1945) Grady McMurtry to Aleister Crowley

Note: Thank you to William Heidrick for making this image available.