tv The FBI and a Nazi Spy Ring CSPAN December 11, 2016 2:02pm-3:01pm EST
>> it's always such a pleasure. you are the nicest audience in the whole world and even though i meant ignorant, foreign visitor, you are so nice to me and i'm so great for the opportunity to speak with you at meet with you again. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> author peter duffy describes the story of an fbi double agent who helped expose a not cease firing in new york city just prior to the u.s. entry into world war ii. he talked about how the mission originated and how it pioneered the use of hidden cameras to gather evidence. this talk was part of a multi-day conference at the world war ii museum in new orleans. next present or is peered duffy. many of you are probably aware of peter's other world war ii book, the bielski brothers
featured in the recent film "the finance" about a group of jewish defiance that fought the nazis. but peter is your to talk about an american citizen who became a mole to expose nazi spies who infiltrated the united states. book, "double the hero of world war ii and how the fbi outwitted and "estroyed a nazi spy ring, please welcome me in -- join me in welcoming peter duffy. [applause] peter: thank you very much. this is quite annexed extra narrator facility with amazing equipment in front of us. i hope it holds while i'm up here. our b-17 issues that i will touch on in my story
, the german spies were interested, a famous piece from that great airplane. an interestingl and forgotten unknown figure, particularly the american story of world war ii, a quizzical and i will begin this like a real spy story, noting an early 1939 come up for the war , he was living in new avoided -- boarded a passenger liner on the left side peers of manhattan and sailed for nazi germany, which was preparing for war. he was carrying a single suitcase and a package. he left his wife kind in their east 84th street apartment and his plan was to visit his mother
ulcer surgeryom that he recently had. when he arrived at passport control, he was taken aside by nazi officials in plainclothes who questioned him about his life in the united states. after learning he had worked at the consolidated aircraft corporation of san diego, which airplanes, the man promised ominously that he would hear from them again. lived aat point, he had wayward existence. he was a mechanical draftsman apprentice as a teenager in germany and served from age 17 army in9 in the german world war i. of theoff by the unrest post world war years, he decided
to leave germany and became a junior engineer on an oil company vessel that landed in galveston, texas. het was the first stop and jumped ship. he worked for year and rural texas, including as a meal tender on a ranch before returning to germany to help his parents through hyperinflation. to thelater, he returned sea and this time he jumped ship in south america, where he spent two years working as a bartender and diesel engineer. he entered the united states illegally under the old quota system for german immigrants and over the next two years, he country ase basically a tramp, as he would later become named by the germans. he worked for various industrial
outlets in fairbanks, alaska, in probably, he was riding the rails like a lot of people were during that depression year. , he went straight to the german enclave of yorkville on the upper he side of manhattan. germanere traces of the community that once arrived there. and if you butcher shops, but driving, andit was after hitler's's ascension to many open933, supporters of the hitler's regime became known as the german-american bund who marched uniformh street in full with nazi flags and american
flags and they were a constant source of media fascination, a constant tabloid presence was the leader of the german-american bund. on february 10, 1936. citizene an american and pledged to abjure all allegiance and ability to any ornce, potentate, state sovereignty. he said i have nothing to do with hitler's anymore, i was an american citizen. sorry -- i'm not used to talking so much. ,hen he arrived at homburg after he arrived in germany, he was contracted by the ridge --
contacted by the regime as promised. he initially refuse the into the offer to go german initiative espionage service. go there, he told the man who approached him. when he refused, dr. gaster described the close he would be wearing when he was laid out in his casket. in fear for his life, he asked for the month of august, 1939 to think over the plan, as i'm sure you know, the most momentous in 20th century history. then the hitler's-stalin pact was announced which gave hitler's the opportunity to invade poland and on the same
day settler launched the lit seyboldgainst poland, decided to flee germany. he went to the american consulate in cologne, but it was , as you can imagine any consular clerks said run for the border. he flagged down to motorists with foreign license plates who refuse to help. fearful he was being followed by the gestapo, and he was certain they were following him, whether they were or not, who knows, and mindful he lacked proper papers to get past the checkpoint, he wrote to the doctor saying he accepted his proposal 100%. in time, the doctor introduced , one of theenken many aliases for nicholas adolph fritz ritter, an officer based
in homburg. looking for a man he could send to new york as a contact man for his small ring of spies there. andas nominated for the job nicholas ritter is a very interesting character. he became fluent in english and married an alabama school teacher, they had two children and at this point, he brought them to germany and is american family, had an affair with his secretary and began divorce or seatings with his alabama wife who has her own story and the spies daughter, the american-born daughter currently lives in virginia. a nazi spyughter of with a thick virginia accent.
she was a wonderful help for this book. she has an amazing war experience. i think there is a tv movie being made of it. steakas ritter's great that would lead to the downfall it -- occurred on the day he met his newest agent. under his orders, the u.s. genuine was stolen, a u.s. passport, likely so an agent who did not have the travel advantages could use it. gothen extracted seybold to to the u.s. consulate in cologne. it doesn't seem like a smart idea. the passport and reapplication process required him to revisit
the consulate several times, a time when the excitement for the early days of the war had subsided and he was eventually to the tell the story consul general himself. in a cable to washington, he informed his superiors he was being coerced into the german metservice and request tb upon his arrival in order to convey his story by word-of-mouth. so really, before he had even done anything for the german spy service, he had informed the united states government and suggested he would not be cooperating. germanswent back to the and underwent 10 days of training in preparation for going to new york.
he went to a spot populated with other trainee spies and was and anto use a radio key outfit like a camera to produce blueprints or documents. schooled in the cipher system based on the letter arrangements of a particular page that would all of this and heaven to -- which was made into a movie -- the book is unreadable. i could not get through two or three pages. the cipher system, which i explain was probably the hardest thing to figure out since it is not my specialty. many of you would probably pick it up easily.
it was provided with maildrop addresses in shanghai and portugal and was christened with " and wasame "tramp told to conduct business in new york as harry sawyer, who, my supposition was he was related to tom sawyer and mr. ritter had read mark twain when he lived in the united states. a thousand dollars in american cash, which was about $16,000 when adjusted. several microfilm documents were hidden in the gears of his watch. he took the train from homburg to munich, changed to milan and continued to genoa. the ss washington pushed off from the port bound for new york city. at quarantineet
in the narrows by a coast guard cutter carrying a state department officer and fbi special agent who spoke briefly with him and asked if he would be willing to come to the office and fully square for further discussion. he thought once i get to new york, this will be over quickly and i will give him everything i have. i won't be involved in any of this anymore. all of this will go away. after two days of telling his story, he was asked if he was willing to become the fbi's first counterspy. the phrase double agent was not yet common parlance when this case went to trial in 1941. all the tabloids did not use the phrase double agent. it was always counterspy and was introduced during opening arguments what they counterspy
was to the jury because it was such a foreign concept. be his handler was an fbi special agent named james c ellsworth, a mormon who had gained fluency in german as a missionary. be an inveterate diarist and letter writer. he, after the case closed, he began a diary describing the day any writer would give his left hand for something like that. , they met at ang hotel in new york and he says as i was coming out of the shower, he came in.
bigund him to be sin, owned, brown eyes and had brown hair. he spoke english broken leave that as time went on, he spoke very well. was not sure what this was all about, whether they could truly trust this character with this story. the idea the germans would send someone who's not entirely on board to be the center of such wondering.n had them he demanded a meeting with the special agent in charge of the new york office. he was not entirely comfortable with what he was being asked to do. percy sam foxworth was the head of the fbi at the new york office and he sent a memo to j
hear hoover and this is what -- how he described him. he has an honesty complex. in fact he's so honest that i'm afraid someday he will give himself away a cousin of his inability to act as part. he has a mania for doing what he thinks is right. he says of the german government really knew him, they would never have entrusted him with the assignment and he took the assignment knowing he would never go through it. he took it knowing he needed did do it to get out of germany alive. and he swore to be loyal in the united states at the time he was naturalized, he considered it a sacred oath and he renewed that ath at the time he was given pass code. he says if a man breaks faith, that man is not deserving of further consideration to him. it is therefore apparent that if
he feels the bureau would fail to carry out any part of what he thinks is his contract, he would blow up and probably ruin the case. can imagine what they felt as hey began trailing him conducted his way into this new york spy ring. he was given for names, for extraordinary characters in this spy ring that winds up having 33 members. is quite a rogues gallery. there was a monocle clad south african native who is now 62 years old and enjoyed and outlandish career as a adventurer and soldier of fortune. he left many at dinner parties spellbound with his stories of purported heroics during world war i and claimed to have been
responsible for the sinking of carried thet architect of written's war wouldgy in 1916, which have made him the greatest spy in history. certainly the greatest german spy. book written in 1932 called the man who killed kitchener. he was an experienced saboteur who had committed violent acts against the british and according to the fbi file, he lived without the benefit of clergy with a much younger girlfriend at 24 west 70 six st. a hoardinglish -- house owned by a polish woman. today, it's owned by silicon valley billionaire.
second, there was literally stein, a viennese jew living in east 54th street and assigned to seduce american and british officers of distinct and in order to win secrets. she reached the united states by way of a visa provided by the vice consul of the u.s. consul in the end with whom she was having an affair. she got a german passport furnished nazi spy masters eager to set up a manohar a operation in new york. she was described as a half jew even though both of her parents were jewish. during one of the early meetings, stein made a pass at her who rebuffed her dances. why are you american men always afraid of women, it said in the fbi file is full of these comments she would make.
there was ever it rode her, a bronx born cornell dropout working on weapons systems since 1916. he was an engineering genius and gun enthusiasts always showing off his weapons. according to the description in the fbi file, he was blind in his right eye which would give him a peculiar stare. i think we can see how hollywood would handle that. and there was hermann lang, ideological nazi from a bavarian mountain village living in queens who had already succeeded in giving the germans plans for america's greatest a war secret hovering above us, the norton bomb site. the scientific marvel produced
in manhattan and enabled the b-17 bomber to drop bombs with unprecedented accuracy. the legend was a pickle barrel. it did not work as well as we hoped but prewar and the early was our great war secret. he earned the trust of his spy contacts and slowly the circle widened. he began meeting with several naturalized germans working on the kitching and dining staff -- kitchen and dining staff of american passenger libelants -- american passenger liners.
included in this group was the chief butcher of the ss manhattan became one day in the spring of 1940. with a message from germany. letters in the butchers envelope -- [sirens] i will take a drink while that passes. one of the letters outlined the technical specifications necessary to make morse code contact with the homburg radio station. the spy station. using the funds, bureau agents obtained two receivers, a helicopter sky camera, a refrigerator size 100 watt transmitter, later used to power a 500 watt transmitter and various antennas, supports, and
felines which after failed tests were installed in a rented to onm cottage in a hilly area long island sound. madee last connection was in the blowtorch silence, it was noticed the time was a few seconds before 7:00. the next regular calling time of the german station. the receiver returned to the designated frequency and it warmed up. shortly, at first, they were copied as rao and to closely space and run together. the engineers soon separated aem into the desired call of or. when the control station stopped
sending, they began sending a series of dots and dashes in accordance with the instructions. the transmitter was stopped after five minutes and turned on. they returned with the next contact. the groundwork had been laid for the case to evolve. months, thet 11 moors code state -- station received 160 message seeking a aboutriday of information airplane production, weather forecasts, should the ling processes and innovation. must get news, news, news, went one message. an fbi special agent pretending to be sealed typed out 301 messages to homburg, first approved by government oversight
panel including j edgar hoover. often vaguely worded or outright fictitious. with this, the contacts through even wider. in november of 1940, the center for station received a message wondering if seybold could set up an account in a new york bank to which germany could wire funds to pay the spies. the fbi responded five days later -- since i have good connections, i recommend a small research office, with license name and since no difficulties as research offices need money. you can send me a large amount. yes. the response came -- we are in agreement. open office immediately, advise where you want it.
the paymaster of the aspiring had direct contact -- it wasn't necessary to rely on the slow passage of passenger liners. this thing was really opening up and they opened this office. an office where he would meet the spies. the gaudy part of america with french renaissance ornamentation and copper roof at the southeast corner of broadway and 42nd street. formerly, the knickerbocker hotel, which still stands, was now an office building known for its most prominent tenant, newsweek magazine.
dealing directly with the who said hener would replace the manager. cooperative, they rented 627 and two other offices, 628 and 629. setts created a stage seewald,by william diesel engineer. it was centered around a large desk expertly bugged and within a few feet of a silver coated to weigh all mayor behind which a bureau agent was operating a spring round -- spring well and motion picture camera. enough light to make a picture and it was necessary to slow the camera down and open the lens as wide open to get a picture.
within his line of sight were a clock encased in a wooden frame a calendar with numbers large enough to be readily viewable to future jurors. he had his back to me and sometimes had the side of his face turned to me. we were more interested in the other person. monitoredsations were by headphone wearing german agents who could take the stand hisyewitnesses to bolster testimony and record it on to lacquer aluminum discs by the turntables of the state of the art presto recording system. by early december, a camera had cardsnstalled, business printed up and $5,000 of nazi money wired into the account.
transfersof three totaling $16,500. from december 1940 until june 1941, the fbi recorded 81 meetings between various members of the spy ring including a japanese agent and irish member of a branch of the ring that net in a yorkville bar. particular helpful, they just came right in. a particularly helpful individual was a marine spy who specialized in collecting information on british merchant ships, leaving the harbor which he hopes to relate to u-boat who are then sinking them in great numbers. 500,000 tons of merchant shipping was sunk in april by u-boats.
that is what he was attempting to halt. to give you a sense of what it , he was introduced to the head chef of the ss america who produced the ship's blueprints and pointed out where the gun emplacements would be located when the liner was translated it to the navy has was soon expected. this would be a clip of bringing out the ships blueprints and would be shown frequently later on in fbi newsreels. on february 10, he wondered if seybold had ever heard of a career that allowed agencies to begin an investigation of a steward of the ss uruguay. 5, a nazi ideologue who
was a commander in the dav, a pro-not the front organization was identified. with ah 12th, he arrived vegetable cook on the ss argentina who sent messages through a mail drop in brazil. he also spoke of the owner of 8 -- inle casino are in a yorkville which turned out to be the rendezvous point for another spy. the last spy to visit the office was our south african born man who stayed for three hours on after thehree days german invasion of the soviet union. and sunday, june 28 june 29, 1940 one, some 250 fbi agents were devoid. they swooped in and arrested 300
not see spies. espionagelargest upper -- operation in the united states. there were three women and 40 men and they were feeling the heat was coming down. several of them were talking about fleeing the country. that's why the fbi chose this moment. there were 34 warrants. 33 were served. the one guy who got away was the irishman who is the only one who had a problem with the office. he convened a meeting with a couple of the germans. they had a stiff interrogation about what was going on. he fled before the fbi could get him in. trial, he six weeks was finally able to tell the truth.
the defendants and their lawyers portrayed him as a fearsome not see who convinced him to join the aspiring. one of the marines testified that he would never see his mother again if he did not support the cause. another said i was afraid of him. they were imprisoned on sketchy allegations of disloyalty during world war i and was seen as the embodiment of a new anti-german crusade. the highlight of the trial was the showing of these films. was an extraordinary novelty. during the following week in brooklyn, the nation was provided with a glimpse of advanced techniques already being void against the enemy. after the agents testified about his visit to the 42nd street office, the judge made the
following announcement. comem going to ask you to to the other side of the courtroom to occupy the seats on the side. it may not be possible for some of you to see from the chairs. if you don't see something, interrupt us and tell us. on to a is projected five foot screen behind the jury box. the american relationship with the hidden surveillance camera was born as 12 minutes were watched of friends to cain that, reaching into his sock and conversing animatedly. when the lights came up, reporters noted he had a broad grin on his face. all my life, i wanted to be in movies, and when i made it, what do i do? my ass andnd scratch pick my nose.
the "new york times" scoffed at resortedovernment had to the use of moving pictures in court. in the early afternoon of december 11, 1940 1, 4 days after pearl harbor, adolf hitler formally declares war against the united states and at midnight on the following day, a jury of nine men and three women, after eight hours of deliberation delivered guilty verdicts against all defendants in dismissing them from their duties, the judge saluted the jurors -- it would appear you substantiald a contribution to the welfare of the country which you and i hold dear. intod already disappeared an early version of the witness protection program. he was relocated to a small home in walnut creek, california, outside of san francisco, where
he had reason to fear for his life when the knotty sent eight saboteurs in 1942. one of their assignments was to exact revenge. i tell you, there's no stone big enough for him to hide under. foiled almostwas immediately. he worked as a night watchman in california. he raised chickens for a while man at theleanup club diablo. he worked part-time at the walnut creek post office but had as he becameime more and more depressed. the idea the germans were going to get him increased in his mind
and as he got older, he became very paranoid. life inly ending his the napa county hospital, where he psychiatric problems -- was suffering from manic-depression and when he died in 1970, no obituary appeared in any newspaper. there wasn't even a death notice. throughout his final years, the fbi -- and this was difficult for me to get out of the bureau, their personal file on him and thefinal years of his life, office in san francisco was constantly dealing with them and heto get him jobs even in hissized
most delusional moments that he was proud of what he did and he never sought anything but to honor his oath when he became a citizen. 1954, and fbi special agent went to see him and he was talking about he thought the germans were still following him. he thought he was certain to be a decade after the third reich had fallen and to end with a quote from the fbi special agent -- appeared we just wanted to talk to someone. he said he did what he did for the country rather than the fbi. he said following the trial, he did not take advantage of making money from the story or radio or movie because he felt he had done what he did for the good of the country. i'm happy to take any questions and thank you for your time. this has really been a pleasure.
[applause] >> if you raise your hand and weight for a microphone, we will come to you. tom to yourwith left. >> you mentioned it was difficult to obtain that file from the fbi, what kind of hoops to do have to jump through to get that information? >> freedom of information act requests and i had to bother them toward the end of the process. and pushing,ding but it takes a couple of years to get these files out of them. even though the case was 75 years old, they go through and read act names, even people who
are long dead and their children are long dead. it's a long, bureaucratic process. >> we're going to go all the way to the right in the front row. >> did his wife play any role in this? was she aware and if so, what was that? >> that is a good question. i will mention the family in germany. throughout the case and after he was extremely worried about reprisals when his name came out at the trial. particularly concerned about reprisals against his family. he had a mother who was still alive into brothers and a sister. happened, know what
from 1941 through 1945, he had no idea any of his family had suffered because of what he had done. brotherer survived, a died but it was in a car accident. he was relieved there wasn't any reprisals against his family. his wife was with him throughout the case and the fbi said don't tell her what you are doing. obviously, that did not last long. certain point, he lived with his fbi handler and they had their own apartment. she was there throughout the case and lived with him through the end of his life. didn't reveal much. she was not someone who was involved or who had been out there with him but was just waiting for him to come home each day. footage of her after the
case closed. he was taken to hide out and the fbi took footage and you can see his wife and she provided dinners to the fbi agent. rick your left, we have from florida. >> i've got a two-part question. can you tell us about the sentences for the germans who were convicted and the saboteurs who came with the mission to get seabolt? the sentences were very interesting. the stiffest sentences were 20 years. 20 years and they were all out
by the early 50's. either deported back to germany or remain in the united states. that wouldentences not be meted out at such a light level these days. because of this case, 33 german spies were wrapped up. and hitler'sbegan declared war on the united states, there was no germans have a tour or spy in the united states. there were two u-boats sent to the united states. one landed in long island and one in jacksonville, florida. and were quickly discovered all the saboteurs were quickly arrested. six of the eight were executed and the two who were not were
cooperating witnesses. one of them noted in his memoir that one of their missing -- one of their missions was to get seabolt. >> did you get a hold of any of the german records from their side on this case? >> yes. when these arrests occurred and he appeared in court, the germans went through the roof and so some of there were many demands from various agencies within the german government of how did this happen and why? was able to get pretty amazing who theseplaining people were and why they were important. the germans thought this seemed like an absolutely ludicrous
operation that was doomed from the start. how could it have happened? to gett of that file was to the bomb aiming sight that was put into these b-17s and the germans were very much interested in, there was a long discussion about the luftwaffe and their bombing capabilities and how bomb sites fit into them. but the luftwaffe says these men, particularly hermann lang were very important in providing howlligence and improving we could bomb from our medium bombers and with the bomb site that was used by the germans in the invasion of the soviet union incorporated intelligence
gleaned from these spies. but theyone aspect, were very keen to note the importance of several. >> a question to your left -- jeff from wisconsin. >> i had a real simple question. come upon therst story and what got you interested in telling it and how long did it take for you to research? you use so many different sources. i was doing research on fifth stumbled uponand the fact there were german spies here. americann spies and stories are not well known because the case was so successful. there are other spies and other
spy stories but nothing quite like this. when i looked at it and realize there was a single individual out of which this entire operation group, still the largest espionage case in history, i knew there was a story there. nobody knew who he was and nobody had seen his photo. to do is i was able get photos from his family and from records and publishes photo for the first time. when newspapers covered the trial, there is no photograph taken and i'm sure the -- i also insisted considered this part of a history lesson. german americans turning against the fatherland.
and question to the back right. >> thank you for your presentation. how were the saboteurs identified and by which agency? >> are you talking about the u-boats? i'm not an expert and don't have michaele top of my head dobbs has a very good book about this. theyong island side, screwed up from the get-go. they were leaving stuff behind. they messed it up from the beginning. i can repeat it. >> we will get it on the microphone. to point out before
agency landed in new york ran into a coast guard and to of the others ratted out the others, but my question is the fbi kind of look into these things. j edgar hoover says the fbi broke the case. ever do add an investigation where it tracked down people that did not walk in and surrender? [laughter] are other cases, but they are much more minor characters and what's his name's i'm blanking on the author -- it goes into the gimbal case. a lot of them were like this.
a lot of these guys were not bombing get far and factories in the united states was not going to work. a lot of them were clowns. >> not to step in but i think the audience would be interested to know what you are working on next because i was when you told me. a height of a volume three on nazi resistance tail. is an armed jewish resistance that saved 1200 jews from the nazis, really from the furnace. this one a little more distance before the war happens and a story of physical courage and really overcoming his own reluctance to perform this extraordinary feat for his adopted country. in one i'm working on now is the very early stages. it's about those voices that were warning and no one was
listening about the rise of heckler. it centered run a court case that happened in 1935. , anmpletely forgotten case inherent to win style court case where the potential evil of the german regime was put before the country and very few listened. but it was the germ of what would come. i will be here in a couple of years to tell you about all of that. >> we will hold you to that. any other questions, ladies and gentlemen? is this fory back the next speaker? that's how long it will take for me to get to you. >> the verdict came down about the time of pearl harbor which was on the cusp of the japanese internment. given the verdict established were active german
resistors and spies, was there ever a significant argument of german internment as opposed to the japanese internment where there was no evidence of such? >> yes. and i will pull that up so that i have it correctly. but the indeed was, japanese internment was a war department operation, not an fbi or justice department operation. had itsice department own german enemy alien targeting. total, 10,905 ethnic germans were incarcerated and seven internment camps in five states during the war. among the more lesser spies from
the decaying ring. so in each of these cases, the main difference was the japanese was a blanket internment. a case-by-case internment. each of the german nationals were brought before a hearing board. there are complaints about the due process, but it was certainly very different than the blanket internment and while the u.s. congress has apologize for the japanese interment, they've reviewed the german interment. there were 100,000 japanese interment. the u.s. congress decided it was
not equivalent to the japanese internment. >> i think the reason there were extensive fbi surveillance of the german-american bund activities, i think it was the fbiafter pearl harbor, the raided a major bund headquarters in st. louis. i think they probably in the ensuing hearings became aware because it was no great secret. at that time, the blonde was
flagrant in their espousal of i would imagine in the trials or in the hearings, there was abundant evidence that these were people who were not making a secret of their sympathies. question that would be most interesting to lawyers, first amendment lawyers are whether or of theirublic espousal sympathies for hitler's and the were within the protections of the first amendment? my guess is they found they were .ot and they did time i guess i'm curious about what happened. or they deported? they deported? >> yes.
some of them were deported, some of their citizenships were stripped, which was controversial. many of them did return -- hermann lang was deported to germany and lived out his life in bavaria. but you are right, after the war andted, after pearl harbor him are declared war on us, you look at the papers, every other day, there were raids in german and shortwave radios were seized and such. some of the evidence he brought forth, some of the individuals he identified were later arrested. being 43k it wound up people actually brought to justice by his acts, including later cases. >> thank you very much, peter.
[applause] >> author alex kirchoff talks about the jacksons, and american family that aided the resistant to not see-occupied harris. they lived were many not see and ss officers resided during the occupation. this is part of a multi-day conference at the conference ate national world war ii 2 museum in new orleans. >> i hope everyone had apple time to get your books and stretcher legs and have lunch. up next is one of the museum's most featured historians. alex kershaw. alex has shared a deeply personal stories of individuals who made it traumatic differences -- dramatic differences during this global conflict. he's made his it