tv Interview with Representative Tom Cole CSPAN September 11, 2016 8:15am-9:01am EDT
>> and now, and delighted to introduce tonight dr., trans fixes the professor, historian, novelist, columnist and media commentator whose recent books include the president's wife, affairs of the state and america's first crisis, which received a 2014 gold medal in history from the independent publishers association. visit sunday columnist for the sun sentinel and is currently the political analyst for debut ptb five and nbc affiliate in florida. his latest book, "the nazi
titanic: the incredible untold story of a doomed ship in world war ii" recounts the little-known tragic and sometimes surreal stories surrounding the cap corona, a luxury ocean liner built in 1927 scale rivaled the titanic. in fact, it does it in a propaganda film. the story of the ship encapsulates the collapse of the third right from the devastation of the holocaust and astonishing and disturbing ways. columbus dispatch writes that the titanic what compelling book tells the story of the ship and its passengers sitting in the context of the chaotic and horrifying end of the war and almost forgotten subject well worth bringing to light. we are very pleased to welcome the author. please join me in welcoming robert p. watt then. [applause]
>> thank you for coming, everyone. it's conclusion of my remarks will be happy to take questions from the book or anything else to talk about. we tend to think we know all there is we need to know about history when it comes to momentous events like world war ii or the holocaust. in the seven decades of the end of the war, we've had great museums open from the holocaust museum in washington to the foundation, world war ii museums, imperial war museum in london. countless, hundreds come without the books have been published. as an historian there's more we don't know than we do now. even about event like this. the foundation has done a remarkable job taping interviews with folks that have survived the holocaust. as of the 6 million voices that will never be taped. world war ii museums have collected everything from tanks
to home and 60 to 80 million people died in that conflict. the worst bloodiest conflict in history and we've lost so much of that. i was always a fan of the late great librarian of congress committee and divorce did. daniel boorstin had said to be talk about this law of the survival of the unread. here is what he would say. 99% of all the books ever bit, whether you study something 200 years ago or 2000 years ago, 99% of everything written is gone. it's finished. decomposed, loss, burned, destroyed on purpose. therefore whether they go back 100 or 1000 years, but we work with it's arguably less than 8% of the books written. think of it this way. if i spent a day or week or month with you, there's no way i could write your biography. not only are we losing 99% of the books but, but something i
always teach my students a corollary of the unread is this. the least 99% of all the things that make us distinctly human, do things that lowlife and wind into the sales of humanity, things like love letters, poems, recipes, musical scores, the games children play, we've lost all of that. another way to look at it is this fear throughout history most people were illiterate. therefore the history that was is only maybe 1% of the 1%. another thing your history books rarely tell you this paper or parchment or some into right to were prohibitively expensive and exceedingly rare. how could somebody living on the front tier possibly have time with the means to write down something. if i could decomposed in a log cabin, the far majority of women from the majority of time until
now that is lived today around the world were illiterate, therefore they did not record stories. even today we don't see fit to record, save and teach a lot of women's version of history. there's more that we don't know than we do know apropos to this book. i was planning on writing a book on the last week of world war ii in europe. i have over three dozen books and i would say a third to a half i never intended to write. but as you do research you find something far better. i is the case with this book. i was going to read a book on the last week in world war ii world war ii because it was completely chaotic. some commanders killed everyone. some holocaust concentration, not, others told people to run. in this chaotic than the last week of the war we pretty much lost. fuel filter suicide april 30th
then the end of the war in europe a week or so later. as soon as the war and in europe but pity to the pacific. the island hopping, dropping of the bomb to surrender japanese. then you have from the marshall plan to the berlin air lift, the rise of the cold war. everything. such momentous event that we pretty much forgot about what happened the last week of the war. most holocaust survivors didn't talk about it. is. it wasn't until the great boat before holocaust survivors felt compelled by welcome to share their story. same with a lot of world war ii veterans. we all know father or uncle or grandfather or neighbor who just didn't talk about it. even events like the war in the holocaust a submit space-bar we don't don't know than we do now. never wrote that book. what i wanted to do was tell the last week through the eyes and experiences of people in intimate and personal way.
i wanted to find one story of love and one story of lost each day about last week. maybe a baby born two days before the end of the war. maybe somebody got carried the day after hitler killed himself. is the last soldier to die in the war? while i was doing research i came across a letter by a british nature named tale and basically says in the letter that of all the horrors of the second world war, though one might dare -- nightmare i will never forget the disturbing for the rest of my life was when thousands of baath that the concentration camp prisoners died in the final moment of the war. i went what? i've never heard of this. i called some world war ii scholars, holocaust scholars said what event is still talking about? they all said i don't know. must be in this date. i checked with museums and
everybody went didn't hopping. so what would you have done? possibly what i did. not great together broken play detective on this boat. in london would have been missed this event was real and thousands and thousands of people perished at the end of the war ended appears that the british government was so would areas by what they did that they sealed the records until the year 2045, making it a 100 year secret. happily, some of those records have been released. happily i was given access to that end here is the story. germany through much of the 20th century love ships. the germans, bowman bosque, homburg, south america, bottles of, these companies are integrated shipping companies in the world. shipbuilding in germany through the 20th century was kind of like more than just ships.
as a culture of the cars in the u.s. and 50s and 60s in germany made these great ships. what happened after world war i of course is a belligerent nation germany was severely punished after the war in in the 19 carinthia germany was to rip the paper it is printed on. an audacious idea in germany by homburg, south america was they wanted to launch in the 20s that great a ship said the titanic. they hired blum in boston still in his us to build the ship and they studied the architectural plans of the titanic. how can they make it better. marlette exposed an innate in 27 day launched the new titanic. it was called a cab or kona -- ss cap arcona in north-central germany in the southern baltic coast. the ship looks like the titanic. it was almost as big.
it was this opulent cared seven course dinners, walking tracks, pools, tennis courts, first class, second class, a remarkable ship. in the 20s and 30s it was perhaps the most celebrated ship afloat. european monarchs failed on it. and i found newspaper accounts around the world during its 91 crossings at the up and take some of the most popular destinations for presale for the uruguay and argentina. anywhere for incoming newspapers to say that titanic would be here and 16,, five days, four days. people would go to the portly people here go to the red carpet in hollywood to see the who's who on the ship. that was the cap or kona. at the rises to in 1943 and it turns out hitler and his
henchmen like the propaganda minister anheuser candler gestapo another's loved big ships. the others used the ship for propaganda purposes. they basically announced to the world your titanic song. look at ours. in the crème de la creme of the world: our ship. they used it for propaganda purposes. everything changes for the ship. it is sent to the polish coast, the germans had seized poland as you know. they've renamed the town and they sent the titanic bair and if she sat resting. they took the persian carpets out, the chandeliers from the grand stairway they took it out saturday to coast. it was painted gun metal gray. this uses a photo untruth floating naval barracks and then two things happened.
first up for a 1942 the word takes a turn for the worse. on the western front, hitler had planned operation sea lion to bomb and invade the british isles and of course squadrons of the german air force tried up on england, but a few pilots beat them back. winston churchill immortalized the event in east beach and in the southern front, north africa, the great desert fox was driven out of north africa. the eastern front in russia to encode entire divisions of soldiers. 42 was the beginning of the end. katherine is a panic in a meeting with joseph globals. they need something to turn the tide of the war. hitler assigned the task to come up with something so diabolical creosote evil, something so
alarming that it's going to turn the tide of the war. what was that? they didn't know, but they were working on it. hitler and globals loved movies and hollywood movies have not read their inspiration for their diabolical plot. even though hollywood films for illegal in germany, they would have their agents confiscate them. it was not uncommon to set up all night watching movie after movie with translators and interpreters in her ears. it would be for hours for movies. they considered themselves connoisseurs of film. they watched all sorts of films. the films i found to watch the most for king kong, seven dorks, snow white and the seven doors. believe it or not. i can't make this stuff up. gone with the wind was another one they watched. i sat and cried, can you believe
it? the movie they hated was casablanca because less than a propaganda film wrapped up in a good drama with good screenplay good at. they hated it because people didn't realize they were watching propaganda. judge sues, the eternal, these were the propaganda films and they were so ridiculously ham-fisted and juvenile. almost everyone in this propaganda movies movies have the same plot. as an idea that german village until a jewish guy in the end he certified dracula. it's always dark within the said in the music is ominous and foreboding. lest you miss the obvious message. the people rise up with pitchforks, torches and just a jewish guy out of town and everybody lives happily ever after. that is when they have their
idea. globals is going to make the greatest propaganda film, the most diabolical film either. so powerful it will turn the world opinion against the allies and for the germans. they are watching a movie that tips him off and after the movie that is debating, they said and watch the credits roll. something dawns and the director, the act or his comment cinematographers are all jewish and he kicks over all the chairs in the room and that is when they come up with the idea. ..
notches. the film was filled with anti-nazi subliminal messages. it's basically a film about a fanatical capital drives a shipping and subject to the death. the captain being a metaphor for hitler. the ship being a metaphor for nazi. the film was destroyed. fortunately, a few pirated copies survived. you can watch a debate with english subtitles. fast-forward to the end of the war. in the winter of 1944, 1945, liquidation to create. all evidence of the holocaust, buildings, paperwork, prisoners be killed, wiped out. but himmler enters her story. similar issues because of what issues they agree. he tells concentration camp commandant they'll kill everyone. don't let the allies get them. he wants to march tens of thousands of holocaust prisoners north to homburg we can't in
north-central germany. from there they will go to the baltic. why does he want to save concentration camp prisoners? he wants to put that on a ship, sell them to me with eisenhower or montgomery or truman or churchill, and he wants to change them for his own life. so tens of thousands of holocaust prisoners are sent by trained, by barge and by foot to the baltic. they need a ship to get everybodeverybody on. but shifted to? the nazi titanic, of course. a couple of things happen. while they are marching, hitler learns of himmler's plan. hitler sends two assassins to kill himmler. himmler changes his identity and goes on the run. hitler then kills himself in the bunker and his new wife kills herself. hitler even tells his favorite dog. joseph goebel kills his wife, six kids in itself. which of his tens of thousands
of concentration camp prisoners at the baltic and on board the ship, the nazi titanic. they are out of food and water. the war is indian. we are in a race for time. what happens? in the final chapter is absent any nazi commander, there are two not to officials at the coast. count george, ahead of gestapo official and a guy named kaufman. is basically a mayor, governor of homburg. they come up with a plan to let's put everyone at the port on board the ship and we will sink the ship. therefore, we will liquidate, destroy all evidence of the holocaust, take all the pressures down with us and we will deny the allies from getting our fuhrer's beloved nazi titanic. so many people will die in this tragedy that the world will forget about the titanic and always remember the nazi titanic. but we were not just kind of sink the ship we will sink it at the last second right when the
-- right when you surrender agreement occurs. right when they're ready to do that, the british provide that the coast. the six commander, special forces unit, and then the quick work of the nazis. as the british along with scottish and a tank regiment or at the coast making quick work of the notches, some concentration camp prisoners a you have to give the folks off that ship. yothey had been on the ship for days without food or water. they're taking dozens and hundreds of dead bodies off per day. right before the british go to the ship to hear deafening roar in the sky and six squadrons of royal air force bombers fly in and about the nazi to get out of the water. the nazis had filled with gasoline. it's a magnificent explosion of. unimaginable but it knocks people over three kilometers away. this explosion thousands died instantly. as the ship starts to lurch and rollover. the airplanes that blew it up were called-bombers.
not large like a lancaster or the usb 74 b20 four but not a small fighter like a spitfire or a mustang. they are carrying 20-millimeter cameras, big machine guns to after dropping everything they had, they swing around any survivors in the water they shoot them with their machine guns. killing countless. didn't think it the port. a guide named alan whose records i read, one of the pilots were shooting bullets the size of a tube of toothpaste. he said they were sawing people and have. on the porch or in a pretty bombers flew back. the toll was unimaginable. unimaginable. shockingly some people made out of it. there was a fellow named bogdan, polish, he survived auschwitz, multiple camps. he was blown off the deck of the ship. a german minesweeper, a small craft is in the baltic, it's
42 degrees fahrenheit inmate in the baltic in the final moments of the war. most folks on board the ship who survived the holocaust, a death march and days without food and water, they couldn't swim. they suffered hypothermia or drown instantly. semites who comes by counties picked up they realize he's a concentration camp prisoner, not a german silver they then went back into the baltic. he and others ministers with three kilometers to the shore. and they arrive at the sure there's a group of concentration camp prisoners freezing and naked lying on the beach. they see a group of young hitler youth run out of the woods nearby and machine gun everyone. bogdan swims back into the water. comes back to shore and i see about 15 and are getting out naked, freezing and trying to stand the figure the words, bandits, and so. they turn around and visiting your hitler youth with a machine gun. as he's ready to kill all of
them the british and scottish arrive and kille kill the kid. they are sent. he makes it to england. becomes a famous art dealer and lived a long, long life. there were two brothers, barrick and joseph, from poland also survived auschwitz. also survived the death march. they were trapped in one of the holes below deck. baric said they've been under there for days without water, food or toiletries. ever living in a half a foot deep of your and human feces. the only way one could say that are supposed to sleep on the bed. they were trapped. the ship was blown up. it is filling with fire and water. right when he thought they were going to die some of the prisoners rather than escape from the holocaust prisoners below deck to say the brothers. they opened up the hatch and lifted the two brothers out. most people couldn't stand. they go running down the hallway. reminds me of a scene from the poseidon adventure. they get to the end, there's a wall of flames.
the other hallway there's water coming in. right as they're ready to die they seem every bit the brothers lift themselves up. as they reached down, a wall of flame shoots down the hallway and kills their rescuers. they make it to the deck. the nazi titanic is a big it's rolling over. it's bigger than the baltic is deep where it is. so it never truly sing spectacles most of the way over, like a beached whale, have exposed. the brothers shimmy across the deck to the bottom. the fire is raging inside. the bottom of the steel deck is now breaking people alive. baruch assess ongoing in the water. joseph says i'll take my chances. together brotherly hugs and goodbyes. barrett goes down, swims. joseph states on board. anarchistic up b by a german fishermen there is bigger by a german fishermen would never give in history because he is afraid of the nazis. he takes them ashore into a
bakery. there's no food but he wraps up and a burlap sack and lights the fire of the of an iraqi and it's the warmth of the fight to keep them alive in the morning the door is kicked open and he thought he was going to die. it's the british. he's rescued. they taken to hospital and he puts on german soldiers uniforms. he goes to the hospital and it is easy? his brother. his brother survived on the bottom of the ship by sitting on top of all the other dead folks who break. the british were not late that night and became a. the two brothers changed their name to jacobs and moved to boston. they lived a long life in the city. overestimate an enormous amount of money. dying just a decade or so ago, and baruch jacob's wife still lives in the city. francis was a great hungarian violinist, a virtuoso. a leading violinist for the
great buddha pashtun sympathy. he was on the ship and survived. he moved to chicago and became the principal violinist first chair of the chicago symphony for years. retiring as concertmaster. frances just passed away in december in his 90s. in summary, conclusion, just when you think you've heard all the stories, who would have thought it, right? go figure. the incident i just described constitutes history's worst example of friendly fire. it was the british who killed everyone. it constitutes arguably one of the most tragic maritime disasters in history. it is the single bloodiest hour the entire holocaust and its the final tragedy of the war happening as this winter was being worked out. and with that i think for the words of the holocaust, never forget, never again. for those words, we need to tell
every story, the story of those who passed, those who survived and most important tell the stories to the next generation. and with that i thank you for your time. [applause] >> all right, questions? we are on time. questions? >> yes. what was the name of the german liner that was loaded with german refugees was sunk by russian submarine? >> there is another german ship called the wilhelm. is also a great german liner equivalent to our ship, the equivalent to the titanic. the final weeks of the war, there was an operation that the german navy put together, operation hannibal it was colder it constitutes the largest marine if not evacuation period
in world history. the red army, the russians are coming in from the east and the killing every man and woman, child, farm animal. it's positively medieval. it scares the you know what out of the germans. and not to try to evacuate the whole eastern front. they march everybody to the baltic and the wilhelm and the nazi titanic are shuttling people to copenhagen, shuttling people to safety. the wilhelm is filled with over 9000 people. it was sunk by a soviet sub. with over 9000 people gone. as usual this as the world's worst maritime disaster. we don't have an exact number on the nazi titanic. in the book i go through what records exist and offer i think i'm ridiculous estimate, guesstimate. into this case anew there were at least 4500 people on the nazi titanic when it went down. if you consider there were three other ships next to it that went down, you consider all the people at the port that died
that day, if you consider the whole larger event surrounding it, the death toll could have been 20,000. what makes i think unbelievably tragic is they were innocent. they were holocaust prisoners who died by friendly fire. interested in the same sub we believe the soviet sub that hundred the wilhelm also hundred and nazi titanic but this ship was so fast. acip couldn't get you. it was hit by torpedoes and it among the it just blew across the baltic unstoppable. unfortunately, the dust off didn't make it. who else has a question or comment? anyone? if not i will bring this to a close with the following. why did the british do this? didn't they know? you and i could tell the difference between a battleship and an ocean liner. however there were a couple of factors. number one, the british had lost so many pilots that by the final
hours of the war they were getting 19, 20, two in one year old boys, giving them an expedited course in how to fly a plane and sittin saving them ine cockpit. most of the files that struck the ship that they were 19 to 21. johny boldin was fully committed and i think he was 22. most of them had very little training. next, the worst ending, i'm sure these young boys were scared to death. they went in firing not want to be the last casualty of the war. there was a frenchman named pierre klosterman who was with the free french forces. it was flying with the royal air force and it offers us insight into how they could do this. about two days earlier they were flying a mission to seize the big port city just off the coast. he says the nazis were still dug in and fighting the he says the
airplane his buddy to his left anand a buddy to his right on hs wings were blown out of the sky by the nazis. he said he took so much shrapnel that day that the plane he was flying that if the nazi titanic had a hole large enough to kick we would see a soccer ball to the city football, through it. some reason when i came in that day i did not give a darn. i was going to kill everything in the baltic. i guess i can understand. a bomber like like to get from h altitude to avoid antiaircraft the it was so cloudy and rainy that day. these men had to drop below 2000 feet, below 2000 the. that means they were vulnerable, vulnerable to antiaircraft. there's also another factor. there had been a theory, a concern that the nazis would try to escape to norway, to dig in for a last, make one last in the they would use the geographic
isolation, a mountainous terrain, the cold weather to begin. we being the allies had photographed and observed u-boats, submarines, nazi u-boat taking into norway. window into norway was ultimately liberated. account over 100 u-boats. what a lot of us thought that is the nazis will try to flee like they did in that operation hannibal from the russians. if you're going to fully you need a big issue imaginable, a fast powerful ship. do not detect any. so some of the files that when i read the records which been sealed for decades, and they said that they wanted the war to end of the did what the nazis to have a single ship available to evacuate. who can blame them? having said all that, i think i will close with this. i think there are some lessons. the were a couple of people who risked their lives and showed such heroism to save a few of the folks from the ship and from
the water. one of the things i want to do with the book is, there's a list of folks are among the righteous the people who risked their lives to save jews and holocaust. these folks did not appear in the lessons. i don't think we knew their stories so i wanted to pursue the. i believe not an apology because it was a war but i think a formal acknowledgment by the british would probably go a long way to the survivors and the families of this horrible incident. i've been traveling around and will continue to do so and i'm providing as much data and information, letters, photos as i can to rabbis, to jewish community centers, the holocaust museums, the world war ii museums, to scholars to we can begin to tell this story. and without i will be available to sign books, or if you want to continue the conversation i will bring up for a little while. again thanks to the harvard
bookstore, for the invitation. thank you, everybody. [applause] >> and. copies of the book are available in the next room. we will be signing the books right at this table and again the line will form down the middle. again, thank you so much for coming. >> thank you. >> conservative activist phyllis schlafly passed away last week at the age of 92. the founder of the eagle forum, she also authored over 25 books. on topics that range from america's nuclear strategy during the cold war, and the heart of the feminist movement, to child care and education, the supreme court, abortion, and religious freedom. her final book published last week and co-authored with ed martin lays out the conservative
case were donald trump as president. phyllis schlafly has been a booktv several times to talk about her books. here she is in 2003 on our in depth program discussing the release of her first book, a choice, not an echo spirit remember kennedy was assassinated in late november of 63 and i was a time the president of an illinois federation of republican women and to have a whole series of republican speeches scheduled beginning in december. and it just seemed inappropriate to give the standard at the democratic price speech. so i worked up a new speech called how political conventions are stolen, starting the first week in the summer of 1963. and then i gave that speech all january and february. and it totally story of how the rockefeller establishment had outmaneuvered the conservatives,
and given the domination. by march i realized i could put in the book and influence the convention. so was a whirlwind year. i wrote it on my royal standard typewriter at night at home. and then, of course, i self-published it. if you go to a publisher it will take two years to get their act together come and we did it in 64. the little publisher i set up to produce this book. i sent it off to the printer in march and 25,000 copies arrived in my garage on april, and i typed up a one page letter that said do friends, please read this book today and then buy enough copies to send to your
delegates to the 1964 republican national convention. i typed it on my typewriter. i had a mimeograph machine in a basement that went down in the basement and put the stencil on the round thing and i said 100 letters of the that the only advertising i ever did. one of those letters was red by a friend in the california who called up and said i read it, i'm going to a convention this weekend, united republicans of california, air freight me out 5000 copies. so i loaded them onto my station wagon, took them down to the airport, sent them out and that we can win statewide this division in california. the california primary was the first week in june and we saw -- sold over a half-million copies between the first of may and the first of june in california.
>> host: where did the title come from transferred barry goldwater used the time and the minute i heard i knew that was it. >> watch this and other programs that featured phyllis schlafly at booktv.org. >> we are living in the moment when a man who is in the white house right now is a constitutional lawyer by trade and training, who won the nobel peace prize, who was portrayed as a transformative figure in american politics, and is presiding over a global assassination program. is presiding over the most intense, presiding over the most intense persecution and prosecution of whistleblowers in u.s. history, has used the espionage act more during his two terms in office than all of the presidencies in u.s. history
combined since the act was signed into law in the early 1900s. this president, obama, is viewed as this great liberal leader who had incredible support. and yet dick cheney, i imagine him flyfishing somewhere in wyoming having a good chuckle over how great this period has been for their agenda, for the agenda that john mccain would have never been able to implement, for the agenda that mitt romney would've never been able to implement. barack obama has used his credibility, has used his credibility as a democrat in a constitutional lawyer to seek to legitimize what amounts to a global assassination program. you know, that every president since gerald ford has upheld an executive order that says that
the united states does not assassinate people. and yet the u.s. congress has not only avoided legislating that issue, defined the term assassination, but has actively refuse to do so. and the reason is because if congress actually defying assassination, if congress i said okay, that's an executive order and we're not going to translate that into law, it would mean that you would have 500 plus lawmakers who would be also responsible for this policy. so instead of assassination, what we're told is we are engaged in targeted killings. we are engaged in a high-value targeting campaign. no, no, no, what we are engaged in is a global hit squad program where we are the embodiment of what richard clarke who was the counterterrorism czar under clinton and, came over into the bush era, he told congress in a secret hearing shortly after 9/11 that the reason that
clinton did not want to do all of the kinds of things that we are seeing right now is they did want to give the perception of running an israeli style assassination program. you fast-forward to the present time and we have a popular liberal democratic president who has basically said that it is legitimate for the united states to have a parallel judicial system whereby people are sentenced to death a committee that meets on terror tuesday and put people's terror statistics put him with a baseball cards and goes up the chain of command and that the top of that is the president who acts in the spirit of an emperor and to decide to live and die on any given day because he says so. i want to know with all the liberals have supported this policy at one point it was 70% of self described lippo said they supported drone strikes
abroad. i want to know how many of those people, when they hear the phrase president donald trump kill list are going to sue believe in the principle. because i'll tell you something, there is no such thing as a democratic or republican cruise missile. there's no such thing as a democratic or republican drone strikes. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. >> here's a look at some books that are being published this week. i
i promise. everyone here? >> everyone ready? does everyone have a chair?it's. i don't think it's on. do we have microphones? sound? do we have seats? all right.i am goodw welcome everyone. on chris goodwin with thef mississippi department of archives and history. we're going to begin the finaldu panel in the old supreme courth. chamber. we thank the state legislature for letting us use once again this beautiful state capital for this book