Skip to main content

tv   Inga  CSPAN  July 1, 2017 12:12pm-12:30pm EDT

12:12 pm
on tour there will abe be many authors and in the audience as well listening to that person. so i think it's been a nurturing relationship. >> up next, author scott faris studies inga arvid. >> inga arvad was one of the most alluring women to walk the earth. a very beautiful woman, miss denmark of 1931. but even as pretty as she appears in these photographs people who knew her said no photograph ever did he justice. you had to see her in person. she apparently had extraordinary charisma and she had a way about her that she would take over a room when she would walk into it, turn heads and that why she
12:13 pm
was such an interesting pairing with kennedy who was good looking man with a lot of charisma. but it wasn't just her looks. she was as a very accomplished person, very bright, she poke four languages like native, english, danish, french, and german, but especially fluent in listening. a marv -- marvelous ability to draw people out and talk about themselves. inning gays mentioned in almost all the kennedy buying a grandfathers since the -- biographs, when they dated at the beginning of world war ii met in october 1941. inga was still married to her second husband. that was the reason for them to be discreet about their relationship. then inga was a suspected nazi spy and came under the surveillance of the fbi. so, they did their best to keep their relationship a secret and wasn't until j.ed gar hoover
12:14 pm
died and people learned more about this relationship that was very pivotal in john f. kennedy's life. and so she has been -- appears in almost all the biographs of kent as an important -- of kennedy as an important figure but nobody has devoted a back to her own life. i argue that inga arvad was the great love of john f. kennedy's life and that includes his relationship with jackie kennedy, his wife. that's not to say he didn't love jackie kennedy but before that the woman he carried about the most, most wanted to marry, was inga arvad and there are variety of reasons for that. she was beautiful, obviously so she would attract men and she was his equal in terms of sophistication. kennedy had traveled the world, his dad was ambassador to great britain and john kennedy was very well-traveled, very interested in public affairs and world events and so wassing inga. so the developed -- so was inga. she was just a different kind of
12:15 pm
woman than anybody else he dadeed. he dated either school girls when he was in school, or he dated stewardesses and cocktail relationships but inga is somebody he was smitten with metally and talked about marriage. but inga had been married once before but was still married to their second husband and was a suspected nazi spy, and the kennedys, of course, were america's preeminent catholic family to have been involved with a divorcee would have caused a considerable scandal. but he just found her very attractive. they were introduced by his sister, kathleen. called kick. she worked at the washington herald and gaining was a columnist there. she interviewed top people in walk who came to participate any war effort which as j. edgar hoover point its out was a great
12:16 pm
cover if she was a nazi spy. she was fascinating, beautiful, by his own admission also quite, how do i phrase that's delicately -- virgil in the bedroom and he wanted to mary her but cooperate happen. >> wife why did the romance draw attention from the fbi? >> 1943, ick good had been married and divorced once and tried her hand at film acting, falling in love with a film director. the odd thing is inga plugs in so many different part's therefore world. it's very wild story. but she -- didn't turn out to be a great actress. decided to do something different and always enjoyed writing and so she had a great deal of charge so went to a couple of danish newspapers and said would you give me press credentials to i can become a foreign correspondent in nazi germany because that's where all
12:17 pm
the world's attention was focused. a greats' in what hitler was doing. germany was on its knees after world war i, and four-figure inflation and hitler turned everything around. inga became a foreign correspondent in germany for a couple are danish newspapers and because of her considerable charge, immediately became accepted in the higher echelons of nazi society and got an interview of history her. she was doing human profiles, which is hard to knowledge, but nobody knew about the holocaust. that was years in advance. so the wrote these profiles about hitler as a vegetarian and all those things things and gott deal of attention, and hitler, like a lot of men, developed a
12:18 pm
small crush on her. he had a private dinner her honor, gave her a picture of himself and then he insisted she be his private guest in this private box at the olympics. he was the greatest interview in the world. quite a coup for a young reporter, she was in her early 20s. when she came to the united states she bragged bit it and got into the columbia school of journalism even though she didn't have a high school degree, let alone a college degree, she said i know all these nazi, here's my clippings, interviewed hitler and everybody. that raises she eyebrows and people began to wonder if she was a nazi spy and after thes brought to the attention of the fbi, the fbi became convinced that only might might she be a nazi spy but might be a key to the entire nazi espionage ring
12:19 pm
in the united states which was ridiculous. hoover took personal charge of the investigation of inga. it wasn't handled at the lowest level. and not only hoover but president room. had -- president roosevelt has taken a personal interest. and he suggested they end the fbi surveillance of inga. president room. himself personally sent hoover a note and said, keen her under severance i. want to know what she is doing. when johnends was nominated for president in 1960, the director hoover called bobby kennedy, jack's brother and his campaign manager, and said he just was calling to assure the kennedys that even though the file existed at the fbi on jack and inga arvad, they could rest assured that j.ed gar here would make sure the file was terribly taken care of wouldn't see the light of day. the kennedys got he the message and the first phone call that jack kennedy made, the first
12:20 pm
phone call after he was elect president, the day after the election, was to call j. edgar hoover and ask him to stay on as leader of the fbi. hoover used jack kennedy's relationship with inga arvad to ensure his own continued performance as director of the fbi. >> whats the importance of the inga and jfk story? >> i didn't believe that john kennedy would have been president of the united states without having known inga arvad because of three different things. first, inga arvad gave him the confidence to pursue a political career. he always cared about world affairs and wanted to go into politics but understood that number -- always being compared unfavorably within the family to his older brother. kathleen kennedy saids was heresy to suggest that jack was better than joe junior at anything. inga said that's nonsense. i can tell you as somebody who has been on the world stage you have everything it takes to be
12:21 pm
president of the united states ever that it whatow wants to do put a fire to that ambition and go to the white house. she encouraged jack to confront his father and tell him what his aspirations were, and we can actually almost date it precisely. in late january of 1942 with inga's encouragement jack went to palm beach florida z florida to the kennedy compounds and had a very frank discussion with his father ask said, dad, i'd like a political clear just like joe. from that moment on joe kennedy, sr. propoeted both his sons are tears. win a week he called the president of innocent and said i want to buy some radio stations in massachusetts because i'm going to be promoting the political careers of both my oldest sons once the war is over. thaws is one thing. the second thug is that hard to imagine john kennedy being president if he wasn't a war howard. he was viewed as the son of a richman, give him a congress seat but nothing else. after his affair was exposed, the navy panicked. they were going to court-martial
12:22 pm
him. though thought that would just make the scandal worse and he was given a dull job to the navy. he started to pester his father to be transferred into combat he was given command of a tt boat and ships to the south pacific and given command of the the pt 1-09. >> he was the skipper, kennedy, john f. it was black night, august 1, '43. the place, black straight in the solomons them duty, patrol and intercept enemy shipping without the help of radar. >> of course if you know anything about kennedy history. the japanese sunk his ship and kennedy was missing for a week but through some tremendous efforted on his own behalf was able to rescue the surviving
12:23 pm
members members of his crew. that's the second way she helped her. he won't have gone into combat and become a war hero. and when he first disappeared there twos news story because he was the son of the form are ambassador but no detail what happened. when kennedy came home in january of 1944, he didn't go visit his mom and dad, didn't visit friends or siblings. he went to visit inga arvad who by this time was very powerful and influential gossip columnist with 20 million readers, and he went in to see her and trying rekindle their romance but she had move on but he was -- many people still debatable where the accident was kennedy's fault, a lack of good seamanship but no doubt that in the aftermath of that he performed heroically and allowed his crew to survey.
12:24 pm
she said this is an amazing story and wrote it up that appeared in newspapers around the country, including front badge of "the boston globe," and it became the template for the story of john kent and the pt-109 going forward and the story was read by writer, an assistant -- casual acquaintance of the kennedys, and the told kennedy he read the story. can die a longer version for the new yorker. and kennedy gave him more and the story became famous. this was the primary campaign material that john kennedy handed out every election he participated in. that was due inga arvad. i might never have become -- kennedy didn't like to talk about immigrant. felt if not partially, fully responsibility for the incident and didn't want to be seen as a hero. didn't want to brag about it because it opened up questions.
12:25 pm
those are the three ways help him. gave him the confidence to tell his family about his as operations, their affair send him into combat, and she publicized his heroics. >> what happened to inga. >> the pressure on their relationship was extraordinary. they both knew they were under surveillance bill the fbi. their family was trying very hard to break up the relationship, as was inga's second husband. and so finally he pressure was too much and jack kennedy said they would have to end the relationship and inga was heartbroken. a week later jack kennedy calls up and says, maybe we can get together this weekend. she said, wait a minute. you have already made clear we have no future and if marriage is not an option, love you, always care about you but we're done. and so jack kennedy wasn't a guy to take no for an answer so periodically over the next several years he would try to rekindle the relationship.
12:26 pm
try to get the romance going and inga was glad to see him but said, no, time to move on. they had one sort of final get-together after he was elected in congress in 1946. he was just elect stead congress and she was in an odd place in her life and they'd had one more romantic interlude and never saw each other. inga married for a third time and so their lives juster kind of die verballed. they thought about each other great deep. there's a lot of clues in kennedy's behavior in his relationships, post 1946, that show that inga was always on his mind, and inga always followed his career, when he was a nominated for president, she sent him a congress -- conga lat torry tell gam and when he was shot in dallas she went to her program for several days and cried. it was a great romantic story. a little bit of a tragedy but generally it was something that
12:27 pm
they knew and felt that way. they enenriched -- enriched each other's life and they had a perfect love except she was married to another man and was under suspicion as a nazi spy. >> what is the big takeaway from your book. >> one of the rains wrote the book in addition to just explaining this wonderful woman who was just fascinating some everyone would like to get to know, honestly. everyone would say what a life, what a person. i wish i could have a cup of coffee or something stronger and hear her life story. kennedy has gone up and down. when has way first assassinated he was saint. you can't say anything negative about the kennedy. then there was this terrible reaction the other would and revisionist history in which kennedy was a terrible president. we wouldn't have had the bay of pigs or the cuban missile crisis and a philanderer and liar and
12:28 pm
the kennedy family is corrupt, this dogpiling on the kennedy clan simple think one of the thing about the book it provides a more balanced, nuanced pour trait of jack kennedy. you look at him very closely at a certain age in life, when he is emerging as a real personality, sort of trying to find himself in the world, and you find him through inga's eyes this very appealing young man who is very bright, a great ambition, loves loved. ennew then then this mortality wasn't going to be as long mees people. he knew he had ailments and so he was anxious to get things done but for the right reasons and he did have a lot of charisma, and did bring people -- draw people to him and had a big matter many ways, and -- a big heart in many ways. he had his faults and i don't think the book glosses over those could have treated inga better but he was full human being, flesh and blood. not a saint and wasn't a devil. something in between and very complicated but very appealing
12:29 pm
in and that's why he remains one of our most popular presidents. he is leader because you want to follow him and i think he remain this temp plat -- template what every democrat would like to be, vital, vibrant guy who can inspire people to do great things. that's a big takeaway but i don't want inga to get lost because she was a fascinating woman with the kind of life you couldn't dream up. >> with the help of tower cable partner comcast,book tv's visit to portland, oregon, continues. next up, form irstate senator avel gordly describes her personal and professional journey. >> avel gordly is a portland born treasure. she grew up in a family of

261 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on