On the day the Nazis surrendered to the Allies in Europe, OSS operative Lt. Richard Helms wrote the above letter to his three-year old son Dennis on stationary he nicked from Adolf Hitler’s desk in Berlin. Transcribed, it reads:
The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe – three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins. He had a thirst for power, a low opinion of man as an individual, and a fear of intellectual honesty. He was a force for evil in the world. His passing, his defeat – a boon to mankind. But thousands died that it might be so. The price for ridding society of bad is always high.
Interestingly (or disappointingly), Helms went on the become the only director of the CIA to have been convicted of lying to Congress and his son is now an intellectual-property lawyer in New Jersey.