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Night and Fog

The body of Wilhelm Keitel after being hanged, 16 October 1946. Photo by U.S. Army. P.D.-U.S. Government. Wikimedia Commons.
The body of Wilhelm Keitel after being hanged, 16 October 1946. Photo by U.S. Army. P.D.-U.S. Government. Wikimedia Commons.

Early on the morning of 16 October 1946, Wilhelm Keitel walked up 13 steps of the scaffold, had the rope adjusted around his neck, and dropped 6 feet through the trap door. The Nuremburg Court’s verdict of death by hanging was carried out on one of the major architects and perpetrators of the Nazi war machine.

Today, we tend to see World War II through the lens of the History Channel framed by the events of Pearl Harbor, D-Day, and the Holocaust. Rarely do we dig below the surface and become exposed to the sheer brutality, horrors, and inhuman behavior of the Nazi regime and its criminals (yes, these were criminals, thugs, lowlife, misfits, and degenerates). Researching my new book (Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters? A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris) has brought many of these barbaric events and behaviors to my attention. I have trouble comprehending so many horrific stories as I scratch the surface. One of these stories is Nacht und Nebel. Read More Night and Fog

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Sorrow and Pity

 

The Sorrow and the Pity, a film by Marcel Ophüls (1969)
The Sorrow and the Pity, a film by Marcel Ophüls (1969)

It takes a special event to pull Sandy and myself away from the television when the British Open takes over our weekend. Yet, it happened this year. Right in the middle of the Open on Sunday, we spent over four hours watching a 1971 Oscar® nominated documentary film.

I’m deep into my research for the next book, Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters? A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris (1940–1944). Right now I’m focusing on the French Resistance, its members, and the foreign agents that supported the resistance movement. As part of the research, I’m “meeting” many brave men and women who were real Résistantsnot the ones who put the armband on when it became clear the Allies were close to liberating the country (and Paris) in the summer of 1944. These incredible people were the resistance fighters who knew what the ultimate penalty would be for being captured by the Nazis and turned over to the Gestapo. Read More Sorrow and Pity