Kalbfleish Letter

August 12, 1947


Ed Kalbfleish 1941

Dear Prince Ri:

I find this a rather difficult letter to write, Your Highness. For when one attempts to thank another for saving his life, it should be done only in person. Printed words are too impersonal to adequately convey the feeling which is behind them; only the spoken word can express the true feeling.

But since many miles separate us, I must use this method instead of the personal one.

It was only early this year that I learned through my good friend Tamotsu Murayama, that it was your intervention which prevented me from facing a firing squad or a hangman's noose. When I paced away my time in solitary confinement at Shinagawa Camp, I felt that my case was almost hopeless. However, my trust still rested in the mercy of the great God who would not allow my life to be snuffed out for having tried to help my fellow prisoners of war. And when I was marched out of that camp, I knew that He had intervened to preserve my life. I did not know how He had done it. But I was positive that my life had been spared because Murayama-san had been able to put my case before someone with great authority. That someone was you, Your Highness, I can only say, "thank you," for I know of no other words to express more sincerely what I feel. Not only do I thank you, but also my parents and my wife thank you. For you made it possible for me to return to them and to once again enjoy family happiness.

I sincerely hope that someday we may meet, and I may tell you this in person. I shall always be deeply grateful for your beneficence.

Sincerely and respectfully,

(signed) Edwin Kalbfleish, Jr.

Photo courtesy of Nancy Hightshoe, daughter of Edwin Kalbfleish, Jr.