Being there . . . . among the 150,000 women who served in the Women’s Army Corps in World
War II now valued and praised as unsung heroines . . . . .
JOINING MOLLIE IN HELPING DEFEAT HITLER
Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi
This memorable memoir describes the enlistment life of a dedicated American WAC who
served resolutely in England when it came under relentless attack by the German air force, the
bloody battlefields of France immediately after D-Day, and obliterated Germany after VE Day.
From Mollie Weinstein’s first days of basic training in Daytona Beach in 1943 to the climactic
moment when she saw the Statue of Liberty as her troop ship approached American shores
upon returning home in 1945, the collection of conscientious, loving letters to family and
friends written whenever time permitted provides an intimate glimpse into Mollie’s personal
life as well as the lives of fellow women in uniform during the most terrifying, nay, horrifying,
war in world history.
“MOLLIE’S WAR – The Letters of a World War II WAC In Europe”, by Mollie Weinstein Schaffer
and Cyndee Schaffer (daughter). McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers: 2010, 281 pages, sc;
Readers of this reviewer’s reviews have long realized how biased he is of several American
and British military publishers, i.e., Casemate, Schiffer, McFarland, Naval Institute Press, and
Osprey. But even among these, none had thus far matched McFarland in publishing an
endearing family collection of letters such as this. McFarland focuses mainly on selling to
libraries, utilizing direct mailing to connect with enthusiasts in niche categories, i.e., military
history, film, chess, and every other imaginable subject. But this time it has outdone even itself
in not only providing readers a superb introductory scholarly treatise on the growth and
development of the WACs, authored by Leisa D. Meyer; but also an enthralling, enjoyable
combined biography-autobiography-compendium of personal letters dealing with the
experiences of a young woman volunteering, then contributing magnificently, as America
fought three nations in an Axis simultaneously.
Writes Mollie in her Preface, “My book tells the story of the everyday life of an enlisted
woman between October 1943, when I was finally accepted into the WAC, and November 1945,
when I was honorably discharged. This book is possible only because my sister Rebecca (Beck)
saved most of my letters and the letters that had been sent to me by various friends (which I
had mailed to her for safekeeping). Somewhere in this host of letters, my sister reminded me
that I once dreamed of writing a book. More than 60 years later, my sister is gone but some 350
letters remain. I am grateful to my daughter, Cyndee, for all work in choosing and editing my
letters. I am also grateful to my other daughter, Roberta, son Joel, granddaughter Ariel and
grandson Jordan for their assistance in my project.”
Mollie was one of the first groups of WACs to land in Normandy after D-Day in the summer
of 1944. She was also one of the first groups of WACs to enter Germany after May 3, 1945. She
was present for the re-dedication of the only standing synagogue in Frankfurt on Rosh
Hashanah in 1945. “I never returned to Europe to see how England, France and Germany
recovered from the war. All in all, being a WAC during World War II shaped the rest of my life.
My experiences in the European Theater were enough to last a lifetime.”