tv American Resistance in Nazi Germany CSPAN December 28, 2016 10:05pm-11:06pm EST
changed presidential election forever. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on cspan's q÷ú andym a. then lived on avenue bosh, a street where ss officers resided during thezv altercation. this hour-long talk is part of a multi day conference at the national world war ii museum in rleans. up next is one of the museum's most featured historians.ym alex has been a guest speaker over the years sharing deeply personal stories of individuals who made dramatic differences
during this global conflict.v: he's made his impact with book launches and conference appearances here in new orleans. but also by being one of our our european tours, including normandy and the battle of the bulge. he's here to talk about his÷ú latest book, avenue of spy, which was the basis for alex just got back from last night where we took peoplefrom normandy following the bedford boys and then to paris with a remarkable story we're about to hear unfolded during theht nazi occupation. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming alex ÷ú kershoff. [ applause ]÷ú
>> can you hear me over herezv i walk around. can you hear me, good? it's great to have you here. fantastic÷ú audience. i'm going to be very politically incorrect now. i'm going to say something that i probably shouldn't say. i'm going to thank someone from the museum who, there's a -- is the reason why i'm standing here right now. please jeremy, can you standvua and put your hand up wherever you are, sir, where is jeremy? [ applause ] >> please forgive me for this, is because jeremy first invited me to go on a tour at the museum several years ago. we spent three weeks together and he's been a big÷ú supporter for me over the years, and it was on a trip to europe that i
came across the idea, avenue. this is a÷ú famous color photograph when world war ii is pretty rare on the left, you'll see, over here, second nazi flag here, it's just outside the hotel, which is the headquarters pags of the city of light. it was while we were walking, not staggering, i shall ÷úsay, while we were walking along here a few times late at night, i decided that i have to try and work out a convincing plan to getzv a new york position. to give me less money to go and get drunk several times in paris, which, unbelievely, i managed to do. so any way, i went out to get on
with the story. i'll try÷ú and whip through som images. first of all, i wanted to read you, i'm not really a great believer in reading from any book÷ú i've written because peoe tend to fall asleep. i notice that there's no wine on the table, which is a good thing because you definitely would be following asleep if you had some. this is a very brave frenchman and there were many during world war ii, including, i will say, this is what he said about belonging to the abm6 of the night, the secret army, the french men and women who gave everything to see it enough and isn't in÷ú terror for over 15 hyundais and nights. we lived in the shadows as soldiers of the night. but our livesp were not dark an
marshall. there were arrests, torture and death, which are many of our friends and comrades. and tragedy awaited all of us just around the corner. but we did not live in all this tragedy. we were exhilarat" by the challenge and the rightness of our cause. it was in my ways the worst of times and in just aszv many way but that's the time. and the best is what you remember today. ñ i think that that quote is power frlful and because it remines us which i think÷ú millions here today feel about world war ii and the veterans here and he'll choose to remember about world war ii, we don't want to focusv on, too often, the terror and the darkness and the death.
we want to rememberht heroing a human spirit and the sacrifice and humanity at its very ÷ú brightest. on the left over here from the jackson, he's in uniform. it would be under statement top say that it was born pour, going backwards, and established part-time÷ú laborer, he left school at 14 to go and work in a quarry and by is the 17 i had my own institute. plus -- this is of america at its u!finest. he volunteered to serve for the british on the song in the first q doctor, obviously.
this is him on his way to front in 1917. he met his wife french nurse in the operatingscenter. he should be head of the table furthest from me. his future wife is rightzv on t immediate life. this is unique for hospital true to the americanym soldiers and other ally troops during the the war inym paris. i fell in love with, their son -- someone told me pthis, couldn't relay the message, they would kiss each other and very often, but this is taken in the early 1920s.
some decided to stay and he gave up his career and family to be on the side. had had to retrain as a doctor. they didn't want jus from eastern europbú to come in and replace their doctors in france. they would come to france and requalify the doctor andht somef jacksons spending another five years. when's been u.s. in the france requalify lg as a doctor,÷ú but some told me it was worth it. generations of champion. she beat the great champion in many zvtimes. born in late 1922, he's alive today, almostp 90.
the family photos. some are very powerful. the chain smokers are very thick and powerful man that spent most of his use before me, heavy labor. this is then÷ú the jackson, his mom and dad in the late÷ú 1930s. it's where thescanadians on june 6, 1944. and the order, the gentleman on the choppy waters in the swing sound. to swing in the
english channel, i assume he was able to survive lateru! on. >> they addicted the day that "fáhe they were fofrsed to sur lender and that it would be an honestly, if 20 years.ym in fact marshall run it by me a couple of weeks. the second war broke out almost broke out the day it was 4-eu$e most exclusive address i paris on june 14th, concord paris, concord the right word. . choes÷ú the nicest place to liv in paris and the avenue flush, on the army winner. was the most attracted÷ú addres
for theym senior they chose anyplace they want to live and took it over. >> i was there. where the jacksons live. >> this gentleman here, one of earliest spies was taken in by and protected by jacksonzv who s working -- some of the jackson work and found his way to the american hospital. he had been working as÷ú voluntr and ambulance. in fact, that was a front he wally american earlier spy. you didn't have a foreign
i highlighted some of the buildings most active number 11 is shown there. if you go along the avenue and youko have good eyesight, i dou that you'll see several of the build --buildings have been taken over by hands keeper of powerful figures and occupyv: a he eventually became the head in paris. and therefore by 1944. in here, he was 36 years old when he arrived in paris on the 14th of june, 1940. had a phd an academic became a
almostym 1943 the ss was slifh rifrled to dominate in paris anv also france. moving on i could get this to ko work. but because of the connection, he was allowed to he told me that he÷ú loves this photograph because it shows him and his father together and because some were so busy and also shows that they're happy. he loves to use his hands. he loves the car. he loves to be outdoors and beca=eó9 reminder of the lifestyle of the up bringing that he left behind.
and he was inspiration and to +q#t over here, we have carl and his also arriving for the first time in paris. he'll be placed -- he'll become the head. he'll run it in france and france will become the state, racially pure place and get the most se mat cal followers to make sure they want to get ymdo, done. they'll destroy the main position which was the front ÷ú position. over ton the right over here, nothing -- the french today would argue and they are right, i believe, that the two ofym th are responsible overu! 150 fren. around about 80,000, french
civilians who decided to÷ú defy them. a guy of the b 17 waste gunner who shot down in zvparis. made when he got back to england.÷ú one of the most incredible feets that any american manage in i. get to spain and then get back to england. in fact, back to the same pub where he drunk before his crew before the mission was shutdown.
for two weeks he was interrogated very severely and he resented it for the rest of his life. when he got back to england they spentko two weeks they quarantid and interviewed him because they thought he could be a civil agent. he may have been turned and then came back to become a spy. in this report that he made, he mentioned a doctor. he made his way to an escape line where he met and then in this report he said some took him back at his home at÷ú 11 avenue in july of 1943. helped severalmy other down to spain.
this is the only actually visual that documented evidence i could find,sone of them. it was part of the line that helped many others get to÷ú spa. in is the 43, the war against and it's up. and they know that the major aid from france itself for any allied invasion÷ hu)s& come fro the french. they also know that invasion isn't going to come at somep point. maybe even in the fall of 1943, certainly in some point÷ú 1944 allies invade france. they'll determine to prevent the french resistance from helping. theyht went to war and they destroyed anybody that was
involved the distance and they use all kind of techniques to do so. he had numberle 4. by the late÷ú summer 1943, from '72 and 74. but then by '84 here you have also senior ss officer and he becomes one of the mostv: suc s successful many of them trained, that one of the mists that the british madesdecent spies.
englishman arriving. of walking into a cattle. and amateurs, many of them. it's not to under mine÷ú of the british during world war ii to pick on france you have to say it was the deduction. it was an absolute deduction. it was ahe guy that was the chi blood hound, the guy that tracked down mostu! of our best agent was a former policeman in germany for a good collea[ñ and it was in 1984 that some of our finest agents were tortured before they were sent to concentration camps.ym the driver, for example, was tortured you see the filmzv -- e was very charming aggressive
young british working class and parachutet)into france and she was interrogated at length at number 84. which was by some of 1943 and it was caused avenue bosh because there were so many german that is lived there. moving on now, it'szv been goodv . it got taken in three years ago. in 96 years old today.÷ú incredibly, he incredibly,'s part of the french time that climbed. and we -- the british managed t! summoned everest. before -- the highest mountain that they climb and this guy was probably the frenchnb team.
he knocked on the front door number 11 and he told her i belonged to÷ú french. i have something to ask you. in a meeting place and drop box of myb resistance group. he told me that do it by this time, it's 54 years old, how do8 you say the second. he gave you -- at the meeting place for me, it's just a second. the decision to jnyn the resistance auz very serious one, 0 fbly, s -- obviouslyáç she had a 15-year-old son. as a place and intelligence was dropped and not only her life she was still prepared to÷ú do .
1944, this was a photograph taken in '72.ym headquartered taken by the great french developer and the founding members. in paris, in 1944, he wasu! liberated by french taking on the division and/or the american let's not forget that, on the 25th of august 1944. wellsecond tanks rolled and went into one of the offices of this one here and he took shocked atzv the polish ss official and it shows the papers being discarded. the haste with which it÷ú left paris after 15 hyundais of occupation -- days and light of occupation. and in late may of 1944, eventually a couple of weeks
before d day. there's a knock on the front door. the knock finally came and the belief, the passion, pair military force of the regime, at least arrived and arrestymhted. unusual photograph -- actually that was a part of group of french resistancezv. he only wore some addresses. and among and the only one on
the 16th of august 1944 from paris. this year on the 29th of april 1945. and she's been rescued by the swedish red cross at the ÷ú11th hour. i'll read you quickly, the 29 o april. she got off a boat that's come across and she's got proofym of other women who have been saved from ravens book. she writes to her sister in paris. my sister,zv i know nothing abo you since we saw each other at grown, 18. do you have any news, nickname she had for her husband, or pete, the name she used for philip, her &-9ññ
if my handwriting seems to tremble, it's because i have open wounds on three fingers . d i also have arthritis. and my ears rung. i can't hear on one side. my feet are swollen, and i have terrible ÷údissentry. >> it is a miracle i am not dead and to think that i will see you soon, no time. kisses, your sister. it took jackson's ÷úsurprise. she didn't know if her were deported to the third rank, around the same v:time, it may have survived. mrs. phillips from the summer of 1945, he didn't know that his
askym st. >> one of 200 people over 2,000 and his father drowned. he was liberated by thezv briti and for the summer of 1945, he worked with the commissions and french and÷ú this is a photogra that was taken of him in the summer of 1945. and. >> where are you, please come back to paris. he told me it was÷ú)eptember 195 when he came on the metro in paris and across paris. and he got out, this is after 3 and he walked along it and he walked back to his house and his mother was recently at the front door. he said i went back into myy-d
bedroom, which i left a year and a half before and everything was the same. my mother had not moved he was 17 years old. thank god, he told me for me, everything had changed. i spent a year in a concentration camp. my father had been killed. i've missed my entire adolescence. i went from being a child, a boy,zv to being a man. in 1946, he testified in a war crime's trial against thezv senr ss. when he was able to point to 9 ss officersym and all of the 9 were executed by the british. and he told me when i interviewed him.nb that was the people he hadsseen
we insisted on trying to sentence him to death, war crimes. for political reasons they're both able to survive. this gentleman here on the right, if you go and google his name you'll see an american academic )nñ having lunch with him in germany. not became successful after the world. and nothing sits there and silver name to fall back on. in 2023, he dies at age 93. he says, you know, i was never a criminal,i was never a genocide, i was never a mass murder, i was serving my country. the÷ú great challenge di of lye which did i organize the deportatio deportations. yes, i did signko the orders to send them away. but i didn't know what was dpoipg to happen to them when
they got offp the train, they ended up back here. no one ever told me. fantastic fabulous to the end. and so this is philip in 2014. it's a big part -- taken by a friend of mine because it shows you the things that were made on $eh it was the most militant place by american soldiers in paris and world war ii. it was the tomb of na polian. and kophilip, today. >> select few, of the elite few of the resistance that was
allowed -- huge emotional andym extraordinary firm, anybody else being confirmed, that's the rcreme de la creme are at the end of their ym lives. that will take 25 people from museum to trip to france and the last minute i was able to surprise all of them and they were able to work into the main resechgs earlier and we were ablerrz shake this man's hands. very powerful -- the order must stick from her doing thatp the very last time. it's÷ú very emotional. -- it was powerful thing to do.
>> i'm looking at myself and the time. and that was taken on the patio, which is a place very close on, really, without being too much of a booster, i'm shameless, i know, but that's where the groups from the museum, where we had dinner after we met philip this afternoon. just one last thing before i bunch of your time here, listening to wonderful stories, it's a power of five. indulge me, differently, i know
she madeu! a decision. as she was deported on august 15, is the this 4. the women were naked, most of them, it was a very hot day. and it felt like soreness inside. religious bodies said these together because they were # >> if you look, they were looking with dropped to other women's nights.zv jacqueline was one of them. she was taken out in february 1945 one morning two other british women, especially ák spies. and she was shocked in the back of the head and mer.
i was never until thep demonstration, but then we got on apple jus. >> but before she arrived in france before she gave her life, she became an agent for the british. andzv leo who reason her. and she needed practice hotel. they'll decode and code and decode and code tozv practice. . the life that i have at all, is all that i have. and the life that i haveu! is yours. the love that i have of the life that i have. it's your feed andzv yours. and yours.
i think i should have arrests i shall have. if death will be in thezv boh;'ñ for the peace. thank you very much. [ applause ]b÷ú >> if you have questions, please raise your÷ú hands so they can gotten to. >> i didn't want you to run away. i've not yet been deported, just finished your book a couple of months ago. i think it's theb fifth or sixt. i'll take it. it's just a question, what led
to the arrest of the jackson.ym was it just talking about it. they belong to a greek pool, don't let forget. in fact, i mchked to come across the document kwh is in the archives -- the document which is in the archives which is in paris which name the members who were deportd with the jacksons and on may 22nd,ym 1944, it was rated, they ranked closely together and they found a list of namesu! it's nothing that
happened toym paris, which is wt happened to same organization. >> you talked ability the soe being penetrated. i don't know if you can elaborate on this. there was"a certain department that had terribly pen traded in their communications on the ground after departmentzv h or that was a knee, could you also excel, expel, the net worth that's most famous for beingu!
penetrated, which keefr rolled up pretty quickly and that's the one youzv had to file excitemen with agencies in your car and others that were involved in that across the network. did it very carefully and ÷ú cleverly. when you arrive, if you're one of the agents who prosper, you're in a -- i take people t% the national entry and going to be '84, nothing has changed, you went under÷ú ground and you wer taken us to the second floor after the 1814 brush. if you would push and most of the guys were push and÷ú most o the women were very interesting
because they had married and spent part of their lives in europe because÷ú now they can extend it. >> you've taken to the second life and what happened is,ko he would be there with biscuits and pea and sandwiches. i don't know if they had the crust, cut it÷ú off. but it was finished the case, it's sitting down and you'll get the points, talk about, have a up of tea., talk about, have a there's no one wasting this. and if we don't, we'll talk about this in human÷ú arteries. so prosper, there's quite a long story about --÷ú it's a couple the agents, so the classic example 0 f how you can start with it so easily under mine and
captured british intelligence and actually i red. my husband÷ú helped you to remember that it's not here. if a few people should have important name asb well, if you google my name i'm listed. i fix÷úed÷ú that's why i went t college, a few people who did work. any way i'm not mis alternative. they were kind were and inspired by church hill. he wanted to restore that.
he set europe aflame, he said. professional intelligence has -- am i six years. and am i six watched and some people believe that the they were very useful decoys. so mi6 got on with the real business, and others paid the price. some believe there were betrayed by mi6 operatives. the germans would swallow a false story that when we were going to invade france on d-day. they said it was going to be the fall of 1943, not june of 1944. we wanted the germans to buy that. prosper is the example of how easy it was. knochen interrogated some of the
soe, members of the prosper network in france. >> alex, to your right. >> a comment first and then a question. i notice that april 29 of 1945 was also the same day that felix sparks liberated dachau. it is interesting how that plays out for the protagonist in another story. could you comment on the overall effectiveness of the resistance movement in france? and also, i get a sense from what i read, that the french look to back on the second world war -- here is a country with the largest army in the world that one point, gets rolled over by the germans in nothing flat. and now a matter of shame in many respects. somehow, the resistance movement seemed to kind of bolster the
french and how they look upon that period. >> if the french ambassador is here, please leave the building now. maybe not, given what just happened recently. i think you raise very important points. a wonderful question. i will try to be brief. and i will do it by -- i went to see philip -- the third time i went to see philip, i was rolling him in his wheelchair to get quite drunk at his favorite restaurant. we were on the third floor and a woman was in a wheelchair right beside us, and got into the lift. she was slumped in the wheelchair and she must have been in her mid-90s. and she was drooling. i looked at her and i looked at philip and we went to lunch and the french know how to treat their veterans, especially their
resistance veterans. it's a big deal for them. we each sat, nine of us, everybody in their late 80s, early 90s, nine members of the french resistance were in a separate room at the restaurant. each table had a white linen tablecloth and we had a half bottle of burgundy every one for lunch. this is how they treated their veterans. and i said to philip, who is that in the lift? and he said, oh, she was in the resistance. you know, i haven't been able to sleep. she's been screaming every night. well over 70 years after the second world war, this woman wakes up in the middle of the night screaming. because when she was caught by the gestapo, they were clever. they were clever a lot of the time. instead of killing her and torturing her, they made her parents kneel down in front of her and shot her parents in the
back of the head. and they said to her, you can go free. just remember to tell everybody else that is what is going to happen to them, too. so when you go to france and you go to normandy -- i was there weeks ago -- when you talk to the french about de gaulle, about what happened in the second world war, you will have different reactions. some frenchmen i talk to are very angry about the accusations that somehow they lacked spine, that they give up too easily, that they were so quickly defeated. hitler said in may of 1940 in six weeks, i will be in paris. and he was right. six weeks almost to the day, he was wandering around the highlights of paris. it was a terrible, moral, emotional, physical shock to be defeated that quickly as a proud nation. but let's not forget, us brits, we were also defeated. we had dunkirk, the so-called
miracle. if we had not had the 21 miles of the english channel, they would have had scotland. they may not have fallen as quickly as the brits. the wall would have been built, some kind of wall anyway. but the english channel saved us. no one was immune. blitzkrieg was fantastic. it worked. it was the most effective form of warfare anybody had seen. so, yes, the french were defeated. now, in 1941, when sumner jackson became involved helping downed allied airmen, when he became a resistant, though he didn't join the resistance,
even in 1944, on the eve of d-day, there was a very small percentage of french people who were in the resistance. after the war, the mythology, the popular stories are that everybody i knew was in the resistance. it's not true. it's absolutely not true. there is a very large grey area that people occupied during occupation. they did not want to actively support the nazis, especially when things were going in the germans' way at the beginning of the war. but even in the eve of liberation, there were still very few frenchmen and women involved in the resistance. when they were, they were violent and effective to some extent. but they had no weapons. the reason why they had no
weapons is, we made damn sure that they had no weapons. the communists were the ones who would walk up behind you, who were german on the metro, take a single pistol and shoot you. you are a communist if you did that. you are ideologically motivated. we didn't want those guys running france. in fact, when i went to paris, people couldn't believe it when i said, you know, can you imagine normandy, 50,000 american casualties, 9,387 americans buried in omaha beach. imagine that sacrifice for nothing. imagine breaking out on normandy
in finding out that the french resistance had taken over paris and lyon and bordeaux and nice. and they're communists. what was the point? what would have been the point of liberation? there would have been no liberation. i hope i've tried to answer your question. i think that the french resistance, finally, to sum up, i think if we had armed them, it would have been the stupid thing to do because we would not have been able to have a democracy in france after the war. the communists heavily armed would have run the country. the reason why we put de gaulle in paris in 1944, even though we hated him, everyone hated him, was because he was a figurehead. we needed someone the french would believe and support and follow. we didn't want a communist. that's why we ended up with de gaulle. >> we've got time for a quick
question to you right, alex. >> the prevailing view i think is that torture is not only barbaric, but ineffective. is that also true with the gestapo experience with torture? >> whose prevailing view is it that it's not effective? it would work on me. i would be having a cup of tea and saying where is the next sandwich? i don't think it worked on the right kind of agent. if you were vetted properly and had the kind of steel that people wanted, if you are violette zarbo, toquette jackson, the kind of spirit, no, it didn't work. it did not work on people who were superhuman in a way.
that couldn't be broken. but on many people, it did. i don't think you can have a kind of binary view, successful or not successful. i'd say in general, it doesn't work. i don't think it's a humane policy. hiroshima was not particularly humane either. when we talk about war, we have to -- certainly in the second world war, we have to talk about how we won it. because it was important to win it. any method in the end, 1945 certainly, when we look at world war ii, we have to be honest. we have to say it was mass industrial slaughter. so torture becomes a rather arcane moral argument when one night in tokyo, 121,000 people died from their homes being burned around them. we have to put it in that context. yes, i think torture is wrong.
we should never use it. but then, mass industrial slaughter is also something we should question. but what isn't questionable is that it had to be done. we had to do anything we could, anything we could do to end that war and be victorious. the consequences of not doing that are still, i think everybody would agree, too horrific to even start to process or imagine. >> i want to take the opportunity before we thank alex, we have a special guest with us, a world war ii veteran who himself had his own french-american relation during world war ii. even though his language was outlawed, the church and the culture allowed for the french
language to be allowed in acadiana. in north africa, he worked with the french military, but also the civilian colonialists. and then he participated in the invasion of southern france. i just wanted to recognize a special veteran, a special hero. thank you. [ applause ] >> and thank you, alex. >> thank you. [ applause ] while congress is on break
this week, we're taking the opportunity to show you american history tv programs, normally seen only on the weekends. we continue thursday night with a look at what happened at the end of world war ii. starting at 8:00 p.m. with the fate of nazi and japanese war criminals after the war. following by how the war changed the u.s. and the rest of the world. american history tv primetime, all this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern. sunday, indepth will feature a live discussion on the presidency of barack obama. we're taking calls, e-mails, and tweets. april ryan, author of the presidency in black and white. eddie glaude, author of democracy in black.
and david maraniss, author of barack obama: the story. watch from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on sunday on book tv on c-span 2. ♪ the presidential inauguration of donald trump is friday, january 20th. c-span will have live coverage. watch live on c-span, and listen live on the free c-span radio app. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, it was created as a
public service by america's cable television companies, and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. in june of 1942, president roosevelt established the office of strategic services, or oss, to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines during world war ii. next, a conversation with major general john singlaub as he recalls his missions in europe and asia. following world war ii, he was a founding member of the cia. this program is part of a multi-day conference at the national world war ii museum in new orleans. it is about one hour, 20 minutes. >> i will leave the introduction of general singlaub to our interviewer, but it is my pleasure to introduce my new