About a year ago, a man in Mesa, Arizona, emailed The Washington Post saying he had hundreds of letters written by a single family during World War II. When reporter Dan Lamothe began reading them, he couldn’t put the letters down.
The letters detail everything from the monotony of training, to the struggles of the Great Depression back home, to the prospects for the Chicago Cubs, and ultimately the horrors of some of the most intense and significant battles of the war in the Pacific. In this podcast, you’ll hear the story of these brothers — the Eyde brothers — and of World War II, as told through their letters, in their own words.
In seven podcast episodes, bringing the letters to life are modern U.S. military veterans. At key moments in the story, we’ll talk to them about how these letters compare to their own experiences — what’s universal about war and what’s changed. How they felt reading the words of these men who fought 70 years ago. And why everyone who picks up these letters feels like the Eyde brothers become a part of their family.
Episode 1 — 1941: The calm
Meet the Eydes, four brothers from Rockford, Illinois, living through the Great Depression. Even with two away at basic training, and Adolf Hitler’s conquest of Europe well underway, war still seemed a remote possibility. Until the unthinkable.