An American widow encountered Hitler and Mussolini during a world-wide art tour in the years before war broke out.
“Hitler looked cold and ordinary and Mussolini warm and expansive,” Mrs. Gifford later recalled.
Disconsolate and recently widowed, Marguerite Gifford penned a poem in 1937, summing up: “My thrill in life, has ceased to be... my husband will not come to me.”
Welsh designer Patrick Mulder created a haunting image of Vladimir Putin with Hitler's moustache.
The campaign to revise Hitler’s reputation has gone on for 50 years, but there’s another strategy now. Some of it is built on the work of the head of the Gestapo—who may have enjoyed a comfortable retirement in America.
RECENTLY, ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS, the American public has been made aware of evidence of plagiarism practiced, alas, by celebrated American historians. This is regrettable, but nothing new. All kinds of writers have borrowed and, worse, stolen from others through the ages.
Our government called the terror attacks on our country an act of war and replied with a declaration of war on terrorism. What can history teach us about our prospects in such a war?
Generals are always prepared to fight the last war, as the durable and scornful proverb goes. But preparing to fight the last war is not necessarily a foolish thing to do.
It took a long time for the truth about Nazi Germany to sink in. And when it did, she learned the wrong lesson.
The only complaint Martha Dodd had about her father as she grew up was that sometimes he’d start going on to the family about the Bible and history and economics, politics, and social problems. Too boring.
In 1933–34 I was a junior at Smith College taking a year to study German literature and medieval art at the University of Munich. I lived with the Count and Countess von Armansperg and their son and daughter.
For a century and a half Germans have been deeply ambivalent about the United States, and their contradictory feelings say much about their future in Europe and the world
In 1989 the Berlin wall came down. A year later the unimaginable had become a reality: Germany, divided in 1945, was reunified, and it was beginning to raise a major voice not only in Europe but also in world politics.
THE GREAT STRUGGLES of our century have all been followed by tides of revulsion: Americans decided we were mad to have entered World War I; Russia should have been our enemy in World War II; the United States started the Cold War. Now another such tide has risen in Europe, and it may be on its way here.
HISTORY IS REVISIONISM. IT IS THE FREQUENT —nay, the ceaseless—reviewing and revising and rethinking of the past.
Justice served nearly fifty years ago in a wrecked German city still casts its eight and shadow over much of the world
A SENSATION OF PARALLEL TIME. of one eye fixed on the present and the other focused on the past, of one ear hearing the moment and the other distant echoes, was there from the beginning of the project. Nuremberg 1945, San Miguel de Allende 1991.
In 1941 the President understood better than many Americans the man who was running Germany, and Hitler understood Roosevelt and his country better than we knew
In the summer of 1940 the fate of the world depended on the duel between two men: Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill. It was a duel of nerves, and of wills. Churchill carried it off, because Hitler finally chose not to invade Britain.
He wanted only what every journalist of the time did: an exclusive interview with the Duke of Windsor. What he got was an astonishing proposition that sent him on an urgent top-secret visit to the White House and a once-in-a-lifetime story that was too hot to print—until now.
It was, said one of the few people who knew about it, “the greatest news story on earth.” It belonged exclusively to my father, a prolific writer, but he knew it could not be published.
What the past tells of America’s role in the current crisis is sometimes contradictory—but always worth listening to
Men and women achieve historical perspective by making analogies.
An American soldier would never forget encountering the German with an icy smile. He would later discover that the blood of innocent millions dripped from Eichman's manicured hands
It was the second of May, 1945, six days before the end of the war in Europe.
So big was the leak that it might have caused us to lose World War II. So mysterious is the identity of the leaker that we can’t be sure to this day who it was…or at least not entirely sure.
Blazoned in huge black letters across page one of the December 4, 1941, issue of the Chicago Tribune was the headline: F.D.R.’S WAR PLANS! The Times Herald, the
For a few weeks Hitler came close to winning World War II. Then came a train of events that doomed him. An eloquent historian reminds us that however unsatisfactory our world may be today, it almost was unimaginably worse.
In the summer of 1940 Adolf Hitler could have won the Second World War. He came close to that. Had he won, we would be living in a world so different as to be hardly imaginable. So let us contemplate that dangerous summer.
In a conflict that saw saturation bombing, Auschwitz, and the atom bomb, poison gas was never used in the field. What prevented it?
Forty years ago, on August 6 and 9, 1945, American B-29s dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, killing at least 110,000 and possibly 250,000 Japanese and speeding that nation’s surrender.
Forty years ago, a tangle of chaotic events led to the death of Hitler, the surrender of the Nazis, and the end of World War II in Europe
The last time Grand Adm. Karl Doenitz saw his Führer was on April 20, 1945, Adolf Hitler’s fifty-sixth birthday.
HISTORIANS GOT THEIR instructions early.
In 1938 the European correspondent for CBS was in Austria when the Nazis marched in. He wanted to tell the world about it—but first he had to help invent a whole new kind of broadcasting.
I FIRST MET ED MURROW at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin on Friday, August 27, 1937. He had sent me a telegram three days earlier inviting me to dinner. I was not in the best of moods.
Forty years ago it was Nazis, not communists, we wanted to keep out of Latin America. A veteran of that propaganda war recalls our efforts to bring American values to a bewildered Ecuador.
BECAUSE THE Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, I found myself soon after flying down with a technical mission to the province of El Oro in Ecuador, a province I had never before heard of, in a land of which I knew nothing, except that it straddle
One of the most ingenious and least known rescue missions of World War II was engineered by a young American dandy, Varian Fry, who shepherded to safety hundreds of European intellectuals wanted by the Nazis
ALL WARS , great and small, can be counted on to produce four things: misery, death, destruction, and refugees. As far as the first three are concerned, the Second World War differed from its predecessors only in scale.
The victors divided the Germans into three groups: black (Nazi), white (innocent), and gray—that vast, vast area in between
I was one of these moralists in khaki.
In a new book, the political journalist and columnist Richard Reeves retraces Alexis de Tocqueville’s remarkable 1831-32 journey through America. Reeves's conclusion: Tocqueville not only deserves his reputation as the greatest observer of our democracy—he is an incomparable guide to what is happening in our country now.
When AMERICAN HERITAGE heard that Richard Reeves had undertaken to follow the route, one hundred and fifty years later, of a classic exploration of America’s people, places, and institutions, we as
One man measures his life-span against the length of recorded history and finds tidings of comfort and hope
At the risk of being sneered at as a NeoVictorian, I hereby admit to a nineteenth-century belief that, allowing for daily relapses Land hourly alarms, the world of man is improving.
The most influential economist in the United States talks about prudence, productivity, and the pursuit of liquidity in the light of the past
TWENTY YEARS AGO , the American economy hummed like a well-oiled machine. We actually exported automobiles and oil.
An insider’s account of a startling— and still controversial—investigation of the Allied bombing of Germany
An infantryman remembers how it was
Victory in Europe seemed sure and near for the Western Allies in late summer, 1944, as their armies broke out of a shallow beachhead on the Channel coast of France and rolled, seemingly unstoppable, across Normandy, Brittany, Flanders, on to Paris, and up to the borders of Germ
An American Success Story
A dreadful prospect opened up for mankind when Napoleon’s Grande Armée won the battle of Austerlitz and swept on to conquer all of Europe.
FOR SEVEN DECADES OUR EBULLIENT COUSIN INSTRUCTED US ON EVERYTHING: THE BOERS, PROHIBITION, HITLER, CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S FEET, AND THE COMMON CAUSE OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES
As our image of Winston Churchill slides back into history—his hundredth birthday comes next November 30—the fine lines of his portrait begin to fade, and he is remembered by a new generation mainly as the wartime leader who intoned of blood, toil, tears, and sweat and prodded
In modern war, the true exercise of maritime power depends nearly as much upon the exertions of land and air forces as it does upon naval.” But it is still sea power.
The task of the military historian is beginning to look a trifle odd because the world is moving out from under him. Statesmen who have at their disposal intercontinental missiles with atomic warheads are not apt to find much nourishment in studies of conventional strategy.