Cordarone In Us

I see why John Toland won the Pulitzer. Captivating read. Living History http://www.poorwilliam.net/pix/toland-john.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                       What am I? I've been called everything from an extreme liberal to an ultra-conservative. Cordarone in us I am neither. Cordarone in us I have been labeled a "Nazi" because of my numerous interviews with Hitler's adjutants, cordarone in us secretaries, cordarone in us doctors, cordarone in us and military leaders, cordarone in us both SS and Wehrmacht. Cordarone in us I loved the remark the Soviets made in 1976 about me being "the leading Western running-dog, cordarone in us lacky historian." I would have put it on my stationery, cordarone in us if I bothered to have stationery. Cordarone in us On the other hand, cordarone in us the People's Republic of China has published five of my books. I fell for Communism when I was a young man, cordarone in us like so many others in those days who were idealistic and thought a lot about the world and people. Cordarone in us We were attracted by the humanitarianism in Communism, cordarone in us and we were innocent. Cordarone in us By being with those people, cordarone in us I learned more about Communism, cordarone in us and saw how they distorted the truth. Cordarone in us For example, cordarone in us when Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, cordarone in us we were called in and told that we were no longer the American peace mobilizers, cordarone in us but were now part of a united front against the peace campaign. Cordarone in us "The hell you say, cordarone in us" I replied. Cordarone in us "I'm still against the war." I was criticized for that, cordarone in us but after the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor, cordarone in us I changed. Cordarone in us I went down and enlisted in the air force. Well, cordarone in us what am I? God knows! I belong to no school of history. Cordarone in us I'm not a conventional historian, cordarone in us but primarily a teller of tales without thesis. Cordarone in us I deal with history's human side, cordarone in us portraying history through the experiences of participants of all ranks. Cordarone in us I write what I call li that you've been Japanized." I replied, cordarone in us "Yes, cordarone in us and it's about time." She then asked me why I was writing about Hitler, cordarone in us and I said:  "I think that he was the greatest mover and shaker of our century.  He changed all of our lives, cordarone in us and I'm going to try to tell the objective story of Hitler." She then said to me: "Toland, cordarone in us nobody is objective." And I replied, cordarone in us "Speak for yourself, cordarone in us Barbara." As a matter of fact, cordarone in us I liked her work, cordarone in us and I have never criticized her books. Cordarone in us I just couldn't understand why she thought I was a Nazi. Cordarone in us Was it just because important Nazis visited me at our home? One of them was Hitler's SS adjutant, cordarone in us Richard Schulze-Kossens. Cordarone in us I interviewed him in his home in Germany, cordarone in us and I got great stuff from him. Cordarone in us He visited our house three times on lengthy stays - he was always bringing me new information. Cordarone in us I would invite my friends over to meet these Nazis, cordarone in us whom they also found to be human beings. Cordarone in us Much of my information came from people who still believed in Hitler. Cordarone in us But why should I have relied only on Germans who were against Hitler? In fact, cordarone in us I just couldn't trust those Germans who said after the war, cordarone in us "I never liked Adolf Hitler!" As a playwright who has written twenty unproduced plays, cordarone in us I look upon each of my histories as a drama. Cordarone in us I strive to let the contestants on all sides act freely, cordarone in us uninhibited by my own conclusions. Cordarone in us I simply observe them and try to make some meaning out of the drama. Cordarone in us I take no sides and I treat all the actors equally, cordarone in us regardless of nationality. Cordarone in us I try to understand the motivations of those involved, cordarone in us regardless of rank or status. This is "living history." I tell it as it happens, cordarone in us without giving any hints or foreshadowings of how the drama will end. Cordarone in us To accomplish this, cordarone in us I must first spend many months reading other histories and accounts, cordarone in us and working in archives and libraries. Cordarone in us Then I start mass-interviewing. Cordarone in us I will go anywhere to get a good story, cordarone in us to get as close to the truth as possible. Cordarone in us I must go to the places where the battles were fought, cordarone in us where critical conferences were held. Cordarone in us I've got to learn what the characters were wearing, cordarone in us what the weather was, cordarone in us what they thought -- everything in order to gain insight. Cordarone in us And that is living history. My concept of living history had its beginnings when I was fourteen years old. Cordarone in us My father was a singer, cordarone in us a fine baritone, cordarone in us and my mother was an artist. Cordarone in us All our friends were writers, cordarone in us dramatists, cordarone in us artists, cordarone in us and so forth. Cordarone in us I had no idea what bankers or businessmen were like, cordarone in us and by the age of twelve I had decided to be a writer. When I was fourteen a man named Porter Emerson Browne came to live with us. Cordarone in us Porter had been a very successful playwright, cordarone in us but when his wife died he'd became an alcoholic. Cordarone in us (My father, cordarone in us like most Irish, cordarone in us was sure he could cure anything.) Within a week, cordarone in us Porter was my idol. Cordarone in us He was a little fat guy with false teeth, cordarone in us which he used to take out of his mouth and twirl as he talked to me. Cordarone in us He once taught me to cheat at cards while twirling his false teeth. Cordarone in us (He told me that if I was going to be a writer, cordarone in us I would have to know how to cheat, cordarone in us so that I wouldn't be cheated by others.) Porter's most famous play was The Bad Man , cordarone in us a very successful comedy. Cordarone in us It ran on Broadway for two years and was made into a motion picture with Wallace Beery. Cordarone in us It was about Pancho Villa. Cordarone in us But the Bad Man was not a "bad man" -- he was really a good man. I asked Porter why his play was such a success, cordarone in us and he replied: "I rode with Pancho Villa for two years. Cordarone in us I knew him. Cordarone in us I knew that he was a great patriot. Cordarone in us I wanted to write a play about him and I knew that if I wrote a serious play, cordarone in us no one would take it seriously. Cordarone in us So I decided to present him in this way so that for the first time the real truth about Pancho Villa could be understood by the average American, cordarone in us who was convinced that he was simply a criminal." Well, cordarone in us this touched me, cordarone in us and I wanted to do the same thing. Cordarone in us Porter Browne began to teach me about playwrighting. He stayed with us for two years. Cordarone in us And before he left, cordarone in us he told me: "John, cordarone in us there's one thing that I must imprint in your mind -- never forget, cordarone in us no matter what you write: don't tell it, cordarone in us show it." I've been showing it ever since. Cordarone in us In other words, cordarone in us most historians talk about and describe everything as if it were not even part of life. Cordarone in us I use my playwrighting experience to show it from an objective point of view, cordarone in us to bring it to life. Cordarone in us And because I interview so many people, cordarone in us I have sometimes been severely criticized. While I was doing research on the dirigible, cordarone in us Hindenburg, cordarone in us I interviewed ten people who had survived the disastrous fire and crash. Cordarone in us Do you think any of them will ever forget that day? Do you think that anyone who was in any of those great battles of World War II will ever forget what happened to them? Nowadays, cordarone in us of course, cordarone in us everybody goes around with a tape recorder and interviews people, cordarone in us but when I first began writing, cordarone in us they didn't realize this. When I graduated from high school I was in no shape to go to college. Cordarone in us So I worked in the Norwalk Tire Factory in order to go to Phillips Exeter Academy to learn how to study. Cordarone in us Best thing I ever did. Cordarone in us From there I went to Williams College, cordarone in us a wonderful school. Cordarone in us It was very conservative, cordarone in us but they had two or three left-wing professors so you could hear both sides of every issue. They also had a system whereby if you received a certain mark by your junior year, cordarone in us you could go into honors work, cordarone in us working with one teacher. Cordarone in us I strove to do my best, cordarone in us and as a result my marks were high enough that I had two honors work teachers. Cordarone in us One French, cordarone in us with whom I did French literature and drama, cordarone in us and the other was a delightful fellow in English who taught me playwrighting. While going to school, cordarone in us I managed, cordarone in us my senior year, cordarone in us the Williams Christian Association Book Store. Cordarone in us After finding out what books the professors would be assigning in their classes, cordarone in us I would send my spies to two competing book stores, cordarone in us where they would buy up all the books for a third of the price that I sold them for. Cordarone in us As a result, cordarone in us by graduation day in 1936 I had made more than $5, cordarone in us000 - which was big money in those days. That day a guy from Esso corporation [now Exxon] came up. Cordarone in us The man who owned Barnes & Noble (a Williams man) had told him about me. Cordarone in us So the man from Esso told me that he wanted me to begin as a junior executive with a very good starting salary. Cordarone in us My first assignment would be in the South Pacific. Cordarone in us I told him that I was honored by his offer, cordarone in us but that I would be going to the Yale Drama School because I was going to be a playwright. Cordarone in us He looked at me and said, cordarone in us "What a waste of talent!" He didn't realize that I made money so I could write -- it wasn't for the desire of making money. Cordarone in us Otherwise, cordarone in us I might have eventually become head of Exxon. Cordarone in us Wouldn't that be terrible? I didn't want to go back home, cordarone in us so I went to New York. Cordarone in us I packed a knapsack and went riding freight trains. Cordarone in us I loved it, cordarone in us and I had a marvelous time. Cordarone in us You meet a better class of people riding freight trains. Cordarone in us The first time I went to California I hitchhiked. Cordarone in us But hitchhikers are a low breed. Cordarone in us On the way I saw a freight train loaded with guys sitting on top, cordarone in us all waving to me to get on. Cordarone in us They ranged in age from about 12 to 16 years, cordarone in us all young farmers. Cordarone in us They were wonderful people, cordarone in us guys you could trust, cordarone in us and they taught me how to ride freight trains. Cordarone in us So for the next three years I had a wonderful time seeing the best part of America. Traveling like that, cordarone in us you take along water and newspapers, cordarone in us which you use as blankets. Cordarone in us You usually go with three guys. Cordarone in us The older fellow would guard our bindles. Cordarone in us (We were called bindlestiffs in those days.) Another guy would set off and hit all the bakeries for day-old bread and meat ends. Cordarone in us The third guy would be the star of the show. Cordarone in us He would hit up people for ten or fifteen cents, cordarone in us which would last us until the next stop. I was Phi Beta Kappa, cordarone in us and that became my job. Cordarone in us By studying how it was done, cordarone in us I became a terrific panhandler. Cordarone in us I didn't whine or anything like that. Cordarone in us But I knew how to pick 'em. Cordarone in us If a guy looks prosperous, cordarone in us leave him alone. Cordarone in us I'd stay away from neighborhoods where the lawns are cut clean and neat. Cordarone in us People there don't like panhandlers. Cordarone in us But where lawns are neglected, cordarone in us and there are dogs and children, cordarone in us they'll help you. Cordarone in us And if you're really desperate, cordarone in us go to the very poor. Cordarone in us They will always give you something to eat. All this taught me so much, cordarone in us and I wrote all about it. Cordarone in us The concept of seeing human beings observing them and seeing how they act and interact, cordarone in us not caring about their religion or rank or anything, cordarone in us but letting them act, cordarone in us instead of forcing them to do something they don't do I found this fascinating. By the time I was 41 I had written thirty-five plays none produced; hundreds of unsold short stories and four unpublished novels. Cordarone in us Two years later I had published a dozen factual articles and my book on dirigibles, cordarone in us Ships in the Sky. Cordarone in us Then I visited Washington to research a book on the depression. Cordarone in us The Army was wonderfully helpful -- they gave me so much material. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us that afternoon, cordarone in us I was called by Ted Clifton, cordarone in us who later became John Kennedy's right-hand man. Cordarone in us He told me that he had read my book on dirigibles, cordarone in us and liked the way I treated enlisted personnel. Cordarone in us He said that he wanted me to do the same for the GI. Cordarone in us He turned over to me all the materials about the Battle of the Bulge that the historians were working on, cordarone in us and he said that he would send me over to the Seventh Army in Germany with orders, cordarone in us and that it wouldn't cost me anything. Cordarone in us So I set off. Cordarone in us I didn't know I was going to be a historian. Cordarone in us I was just going to write a story. I hated all Germans! Naturally, cordarone in us a good American should. Cordarone in us And then I arrive in Germany, cordarone in us where General Bruce Clarke ordered people who had been in the Battle of the Bulge to meet and talk with me. Cordarone in us Some of these fellows told me about their experiences with the Germans. Cordarone in us Then, cordarone in us after a while, cordarone in us Bruce said, cordarone in us "Now I want you to really get to know the enemy." General Hasso von Manteuffel was one of the main commanders in the battle. Cordarone in us He was a famous German commander, cordarone in us and his grand uncle had been a Prussian field marshal. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us Clarke phoned him in Bonn where he represented the "lost" province of Prussia, cordarone in us and he said: "Manteuffel, cordarone in us Clarke here. Cordarone in us I'm going to send an American up to see you, cordarone in us and I'd appreciate it if you would see him for the next five days." So I went to the U.S. Cordarone in us Embassy, cordarone in us where we met. Cordarone in us Manteuffel was wearing civilian clothes, cordarone in us but he still looked like a soldier. Cordarone in us He was only five foot, cordarone in us two inches, cordarone in us but he was a great athlete. Cordarone in us I hated him. Cordarone in us He was the most Prussian of Prussians. Cordarone in us He looked at me, cordarone in us in my sloppy clothes, cordarone in us and so forth, cordarone in us and he hated me. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us then we started in. Cordarone in us As I went after him, cordarone in us I began to see that this man was honest. Cordarone in us He was telling me the truth about his relations with Hitler. Cordarone in us And he said to me, cordarone in us "Toland, cordarone in us you only want to know what happened!" And I said, cordarone in us "Yes." Well then he really opened up and told me everything. After we got to know each other better, cordarone in us he told me that he was planning to run for public office, cordarone in us and he asked me what I thouught about a campaign poster that showed him in uniform. Cordarone in us "Forget it, cordarone in us" I said. Cordarone in us "No one is going to vote for you now. Cordarone in us You ought to go down to southern Germany and live and enjoy youself." " But, cordarone in us" he said, cordarone in us "they tell me I'll win." "You won't, cordarone in us" I replied. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us he didn't. Cordarone in us Instead, cordarone in us he went south and enjoyed life, cordarone in us and we remained fast friends for the next twenty years. Cordarone in us He was also my conduit to former Wehrmacht people because, cordarone in us he said, cordarone in us I could be trusted. Then I heard from an American about a man named Otto Skorzeny, cordarone in us an Austrian who became famous by rescucing Mussolini in a commando operation. Cordarone in us This American had been a GI where the Malmedy massacre [during the Battle of the Bulge] took place. Cordarone in us He and a dozen other Americans were stuck during the battle in a hotel, cordarone in us and thought they were go to be killed. Cordarone in us Then one night this big face looked down at them and said, cordarone in us "You are now my prisoners." It was Skorzeny, cordarone in us who commanded a special regiment of German soldiers dressed as American GIs. Cordarone in us He took the Americans prisoner and thereby saved them. Cordarone in us The former GI said that Skorzeny now lives in Madrid, cordarone in us and he asked if I would like to talk to him. Cordarone in us I said, cordarone in us "You're talking about 'Scarface, cordarone in us' the guy that was going to kill Eisenhower, cordarone in us a criminal whom you say saved your lives?" In those days, cordarone in us everyone was trying to find Skorzeny, cordarone in us but this former GI was ready to direct me to him. So I went down to Spain and found him in two hours! I met this huge man, cordarone in us like a mountain, cordarone in us who had a big scar. Cordarone in us Wow! I had to tell him that I was John Toland, cordarone in us and that I was going to write a book about the Battle of the Bulge. Cordarone in us And he replied, cordarone in us "I've been waiting for you." Well, cordarone in us he took me home, cordarone in us cooked me dinner, cordarone in us and we had a marvelous time. Cordarone in us I could see what a marvelous, cordarone in us historical artifact I had found. Cordarone in us He loved Hitler! He wasn't like those other characters who talked about how terrible Hitler had been. Cordarone in us Skorzeny offered to put me in touch with former SS men living in South America and elsewhere, cordarone in us people like former Belgian SS commander Leon Degrelle. Cordarone in us "Fine, cordarone in us" I replied, cordarone in us I'll listen to anybody." And so he became my conduit to the SS. I had all these things going for me, cordarone in us and the book itself wasa success. Cordarone in us You know, cordarone in us we really screwed up in the Battle of the Bulge, cordarone in us but people love to see us screw up, cordarone in us because we always come out ahead in the last minute of play. After talking to people like Skorzeny, cordarone in us my perspective and thinking changed. Cordarone in us I saw that the Germans had a point, cordarone in us too, cordarone in us and I presented them as human beings. Cordarone in us Similarly, cordarone in us I never used pejorative adjectives. Cordarone in us You know, cordarone in us it worked! Fortunately, cordarone in us the people who loved my book, cordarone in us like the GIs who were there, cordarone in us and most of the army brass, cordarone in us wanted to know what the enemy was really like. Cordarone in us You see, cordarone in us when two peoples are fighting like this, cordarone in us do you know who the real enemy is? It's often behind them -- the guys who are pushing them to fight. Cordarone in us The poor birds who have to do the actual fighting have no concept of what is really going on. I had never been west of Los Angeles, cordarone in us and so I decided to visit the Far East. Cordarone in us With my new perspective on history, cordarone in us I decided to write about the first six months after the Pearl Harbor attack. Cordarone in us I visited Pearl Harbor, cordarone in us Wake Island, cordarone in us Saipan, cordarone in us and the Philippines, cordarone in us and I learned about the Filipinos. In the Philippines, cordarone in us I was seeing more Filipinos than Americans, cordarone in us because the Americans had stopped helping me. Cordarone in us I complained, cordarone in us and as a result the American officer (who was like the "ugly American" character in the novel and motion picture of the same name) asked me if I wanted to meet President Garcia. Cordarone in us After hearing my story, cordarone in us President Garcia told a young fellow, cordarone in us Major Ramos, cordarone in us " I want him taken all over the Philippines." Imagine that! Here I was, cordarone in us a nobody, cordarone in us and I didn't have to pay a cent. Cordarone in us I was taken all over. Cordarone in us For example, cordarone in us within an hour after landing at Cebu, cordarone in us a young man told me that former President Osmaña wanted to see me the next morning. Well, cordarone in us Osmaña was dying when I saw him, cordarone in us and he said to me: "I must tell you the secret that [former president Manuel] Quezon told us never to reveal about the so-called collaborationists." [That is, cordarone in us Filipino officials who cooperated with the Japanese occupation authorities during the war years]. Cordarone in us He told me: "Just before Quezon left to go to America, cordarone in us he called together the six most prominent men in the Philippines, cordarone in us and he ordered them to pretend to collaborate with the Japanese in order to save the country." They were never to tell the story, cordarone in us and it caused a great sensation when it came out. I got to meet the Aquinos, cordarone in us whom I've now known for years. Cordarone in us I knew Mrs. Cordarone in us Aquino [who is now the country's president] when she was a housewife. Cordarone in us I never imagined that she would be head of anything. Cordarone in us Her husband was the half-brother of my friend, cordarone in us Tony Aquino, cordarone in us who was a playboy. Cordarone in us Tony was a wonderful guy, cordarone in us but his life was for pleasure. Cordarone in us On the other hand, cordarone in us his younger brother was, cordarone in us at 26, cordarone in us governor of Pampanga. Cordarone in us I met all these people, cordarone in us had a wonderful time, cordarone in us before going on to Hong Kong, cordarone in us Taiwan and, cordarone in us finally, cordarone in us Japan I hated the Japanese, cordarone in us of course, cordarone in us but after arriving in the country, cordarone in us I thought that I'd been had. Cordarone in us While observing women clogging along the road with their kids, cordarone in us I thought to myself, cordarone in us "Are these the people I'm supposed to hate? I think I'm wrong." Although I was a virtual nobody -- I had written only two books - I arrived at the Sanyo Hotel for interviews with Japanese army and navy figures, cordarone in us the most important of whom was General Nara. Cordarone in us He had brought along a copy of my book, cordarone in us Battle: the Story of the Bulge. Cordarone in us He opened it to the biographical information about myself, cordarone in us and then his interpreter said that Nara wanted to tell me something that no officer should reveal, cordarone in us the general said: "You Williams, cordarone in us me Amherst. Cordarone in us Must tell secret of Bataan." I said, cordarone in us "Back in three days, cordarone in us same place, cordarone in us good interpreter." So, cordarone in us that evening I went to the press club and told my tale of woe to all the boys sitting around, cordarone in us and someone pointed to a very attractive young lady named Toshiko Matsumura, cordarone in us who was coming across the room to where we were. Cordarone in us They said that she was a very good interpreter. Cordarone in us After we met, cordarone in us she asked, cordarone in us "Mr. Cordarone in us Toland, cordarone in us are you writing factual book or fiction?" She later often reminded me of my answer, cordarone in us which was: "Only the facts, cordarone in us girl!" At any rate, cordarone in us she liked the idea and offered to help me evenings when she wasn't working. With her help I got a good story from General Nara. Cordarone in us He told me about how he had ordered a colonel to carry out an attack against the American lines, cordarone in us which were protected on one side by a mountain, cordarone in us and on the other by water. The colonel took his troops over the mountain to get them to the rear. Cordarone in us They had almost reached the top when they had to come back. Cordarone in us The colonel asked General Nara to try again, cordarone in us but Nara refused. Cordarone in us Nevertheless, cordarone in us they sneaked out and this time they made it. Cordarone in us They got behind the Americans, cordarone in us and that's how they cracked the American line. Cordarone in us I tell this story in honor of all those who were involved in this campaign. Toshiko and I then went to see Admiral Genda, cordarone in us who had been in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Cordarone in us He was now a general, cordarone in us and he headed the Japanese self defense forces. Cordarone in us I became excited as he told me about the attack, cordarone in us and I began to feel like a Japanese participant in the campaign, cordarone in us which was wonderful. After that, cordarone in us I talked with a flier who had taken part in the sinking of the Prince of Wales, cordarone in us a great British battleship. The Japanese felt so terrible about sinking such a beautiful ship that the next day they flew out and dropped flowers over it! During those days, cordarone in us as I listened to all these things, cordarone in us I thought to myself that these are not the Japanese I had heard so much about. Cordarone in us I told these stories in my book But Not in Shame, cordarone in us and I felt that I was beginning to get in touch. Cordarone in us And all the time I was thinking of Porter Emerson Browne. Another hero of mine was Edgar Snow, cordarone in us an editor of the Saturday Evening Post. Cordarone in us He had gone to Asia to get the real story about China, cordarone in us which he told in his book, cordarone in us Red Star Over China. Cordarone in us I was very glad to finally meet Snow in New York, cordarone in us through my Chinese friends. Cordarone in us His book inspired me, cordarone in us and I also wanted to uncover suppressed truth. Cordarone in us Instead of the usual bull that you get from the media, cordarone in us I wanted to find out what really happened. Cordarone in us I didn't realize it at the time, cordarone in us but I was forming "living history." The next book I wanted to write would be about the last one hundred days of the war in Europe. Cordarone in us To research it, cordarone in us Toshiko and I spent about eight or nine months driving around in Europe. We toured 21 countries, cordarone in us including five countries behind the Iron Curtain. We had incredible luck. Cordarone in us In Hungary, cordarone in us for example, cordarone in us we got to know that country's most prominent opera singer, cordarone in us who was in charge of foreign travelers. Cordarone in us He was a baritone like my father, cordarone in us and so we became friends right away. Cordarone in us He warned Toshiko, cordarone in us "Please, cordarone in us madam, cordarone in us don't take so many pictures because the Soviets get very upset if you do that." He introduced us to Hungarian historians, cordarone in us who told us inside stories about the Soviets. Cordarone in us After one such meeting, cordarone in us we found that our car had been broken into and that all of our photographs had been destroyed. Cordarone in us However, cordarone in us we continued on our journey. Cordarone in us Everywhere, cordarone in us we found people who helped us and provided useful information for my book. Cordarone in us In Poland, cordarone in us we were given assistance everywhere. Probably the most fantastic leg of our journey was in East Germany. Cordarone in us This was in 1963, cordarone in us when Americans were not permitted to travel there. Cordarone in us It said so in our passports. Cordarone in us While we were in West Berlin, cordarone in us I interviewed an American journalist who had been born in Germany. Cordarone in us He has been a young boy at the time of the bombing of Dresden in February 1945. During this interview he made a passing reference to Dresden that moved me to ask if he had been there recently. Cordarone in us He begged me not to tell anybody, cordarone in us and I promised that I would keep the secret only if he would tell me how I could also get into the country. Cordarone in us So he told me how, cordarone in us and he gave me a letter for a friend of his who was an official in the East German government. Cordarone in us We crossed over, cordarone in us met the woman, cordarone in us and gave her the letter. Cordarone in us I told her that I was working on a book about the final hundred days of the war from every side, cordarone in us and that we wanted to visit East Germany. Cordarone in us She told me to return in four days, cordarone in us but not to tell anybody that I was coming. Cordarone in us The night before we left, cordarone in us General Polk, cordarone in us the commanding general in West Berlin, cordarone in us had us over for dinner. Cordarone in us When he asked what we would be doing the next day, cordarone in us I told him that we would be returning to West Germany. Of course we crossed over the border instead, cordarone in us in our Volvo. Cordarone in us We met with a young man in the foreign tourist agency who was a devoted Communist, cordarone in us and who was very glad that we wanted to learn about the German Democratic Republic. Cordarone in us And so it was that we spent three of the most marvelous weeks of our lives going through East Germany, cordarone in us where we were given every possible help. The only ones who tried to stop us were the Soviets. Cordarone in us For example, cordarone in us Toshiko was always taking pictures of key bridges and buildings. Cordarone in us While she did, cordarone in us our young Communist friend would talk to guards to distract them. Cordarone in us On one occasion, cordarone in us we visited a location that I wanted to see in order to better tell the story of American prisoners of war. Cordarone in us As we were coming down from the hill, cordarone in us where I had noticed that the ground was all torn up, cordarone in us we heard the wail of quickly approaching police sirens. Cordarone in us Our young Communist friend told the police that he represented the government, cordarone in us that we were guests of the government, cordarone in us and so forth. Cordarone in us (And he told Toshiko, cordarone in us "For God's sake, cordarone in us hide your camera!") So we got away free from there. Cordarone in us When I later asked what the police had been so upset about, cordarone in us he told us that the location, cordarone in us of which Toshiko had taken many photos, cordarone in us was a military tank exercise ground. How did we get back into West Germany? We were waved through a seldom-used crossing point by the West German border police, cordarone in us who assumed that a couple like us -- one who looked like a Swede and the other Oriental _ driving a Volvo with West German license plates for foreigners must be okay. Cordarone in us We simply drove through, cordarone in us all the time smiling and waving. The first man we interviewed after returning was Gero von Gaevernitz, cordarone in us who had worked with American OSS official Alan Dulles. Cordarone in us He had told us the story of how SS General Wolff had turned over all of the German troops in a famous operation [the German surrender in Italy], cordarone in us without any loss of life. During our final meeting with von Gaevernitz, cordarone in us he said, cordarone in us "John, cordarone in us where did you come from? We got word from General Polk that you disappeared. Cordarone in us What happened?" We told him that we had been in East Germany. Cordarone in us He pretended that he wasn't in the CIA at that time, cordarone in us but we knew that he was. Cordarone in us And he said to us, cordarone in us "East Germany? You know, cordarone in us you're in real trouble. Cordarone in us You'll have to report to this office in the capital. Cordarone in us There's no name on it, cordarone in us just a number. Cordarone in us It's the CIA, cordarone in us and they'll handle this thing." Well, cordarone in us nothing ever happened to us. Cordarone in us But I'm not going to tell you how we got away with it. Cordarone in us You'll have to read our autobiography! Our history books portray SS GeneralKarl Wolff -- whom I've mentioned -- as a real swine. Cordarone in us Even though he had willingly worked with von Gaevernitz and the Americans in the surrender, cordarone in us he was held prisoner in Stadelheim prison, cordarone in us near Munich. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us I decided to meet with Wolff, cordarone in us even though no journalist had been permitted inside Stadelheim. Cordarone in us I met this commandant, cordarone in us who spoke English, cordarone in us and I told him, cordarone in us "Sir, cordarone in us I want to see General Wolff." He replied, cordarone in us "You have three minutes." Well, cordarone in us I knew that the commandant would be interested in my story, cordarone in us so I told him all about it. Cordarone in us As a result, cordarone in us I was there for almost three hours, cordarone in us and I got the whole story from Wolff, cordarone in us who explained why he had done what he did, cordarone in us for for which he never got any credit. Day after day, cordarone in us we had similar experiences in working on The Last Hundred Days , cordarone in us which became our first big bestseller. Cordarone in us After that I decided to rewrite my experiences about Japan. Cordarone in us I had only been there for six weeks, cordarone in us and I now felt that I knew nothing about the country. Cordarone in us I wanted to dig deeper, cordarone in us and so I said to Toshiko, cordarone in us "Let's spend five or six years doing a book." I went to my editor at Random House and I told him, cordarone in us "I've got a great idea. Cordarone in us I'm going to write a book called The Rising Sun. Cordarone in us " He replied, cordarone in us "About Japan? But no one is interested in Japan." I said, cordarone in us "I don't give a damn. Cordarone in us I'm going to write a book and if you want to publish it, cordarone in us all right." They reluctantly told me to go ahead. Cordarone in us So after much research in the United States, cordarone in us we went to Japan, cordarone in us Okinawa, cordarone in us Iwo Jima, cordarone in us Saipan and Thailand, cordarone in us where we spent a year and a half. Cordarone in us That was probably the most fruitful time of my life. Cordarone in us Moreover, cordarone in us I was finally getting to understand things and people. I learned that Toshiko's father knew many key officials in Japan. Cordarone in us The most important of these was Marquis Kido, cordarone in us the Privy Seal who had been the chief advisor to the emperor. Cordarone in us He had also kept the so-called Kido diaries. Cordarone in us Even though he had worked with the emperor for peace, cordarone in us he was sentenced to life imprisonment as a war criminal. Cordarone in us And because the Americans had taken his diary and had defectively translated it, cordarone in us and would not pay attention to his corrections, cordarone in us hated Americans. Cordarone in us I told my father-in-law that I had to see him. Cordarone in us So he phoned Kido who agreed to meet with me. He was a short fellow, cordarone in us about five feet tall, cordarone in us but he had tremendous authority. Cordarone in us For two days he seemed to look right through me as we talked. Cordarone in us And then suddenly he said to me, cordarone in us "You only want to know what happened!" I said, cordarone in us "Yes, cordarone in us I only want to know what happened!" He responded, cordarone in us "Why didn't you tell me?" He then opened up and during the course of my six or seven interviews, cordarone in us we got to the heart of this whole story. Whenever I interviewed someone, cordarone in us whether they were a president or a private, cordarone in us and regardless of nationality _ Itreated everyone the same -- I routinely sent the material back for checking. Cordarone in us Other authors I knew warned me that I was crazy to do this, cordarone in us and that I would lose every good story this way. Cordarone in us In fact, cordarone in us I never lost a good story. Cordarone in us In the case of Marquis Kido, cordarone in us for example, cordarone in us he sent us numerous pages. Cordarone in us For one thing, cordarone in us I had got his religion wrong, cordarone in us his name wrong, cordarone in us and about ten other things like that. Cordarone in us Most importantly, cordarone in us he explained that I had not understood what his special relationship with the emperor was. Cordarone in us He then explained this in great detail, cordarone in us and told me many things he had not previously related. The Germans were astounded by this practice of mine, cordarone in us which I followed in each case, cordarone in us no matter who the person was. Cordarone in us The person was able to see that I could be trusted. Cordarone in us The few things that people wanted removed were personal matters. It took me a week to persuade Hitler's youngest secretary, cordarone in us Traudl Junge, cordarone in us to really agree to an interview. Cordarone in us After several unproductive hours, cordarone in us her sister said to her in German, cordarone in us "Why don't you give it to him?" I wondered what she meant. Cordarone in us Finally with a pleading look, cordarone in us I told her I would send back everything and she could check it. Cordarone in us In her case, cordarone in us it came back as a thick manuscript about her personal relationship with Adolf Hitler -- a gold mine. Cordarone in us I had my interpreter make copies, cordarone in us and I returned her material before the time she had specified. In the book's section about her, cordarone in us I included a portion telling how Hitler liked to arrange romances in the office. Cordarone in us He'd had arranged a romance and a marriage with a young SS officer, cordarone in us for example. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us she blew her top and wrote me a scathing letter. Cordarone in us I replied by asking what she was kicking about. Cordarone in us I told her that if she didn't want it, cordarone in us I would cut it out. Cordarone in us So we cut that out. Cordarone in us However, cordarone in us she never cut anything about Hitler. I respect the right of whomever I interview, cordarone in us and I accurately relate what I'm told. Cordarone in us As a result, cordarone in us I was trusted by both Nazis and anti-Nazis -- they all knew that I knew everybody else. Cordarone in us It's crazy, cordarone in us but I don't know anybody else who does this, cordarone in us and I don't understand why. Well, cordarone in us I was very unhappy about what I'd written about Hitler in my two previous books. Cordarone in us I regarded it as two-dimensional, cordarone in us and not the real Hitler. Cordarone in us So I decided to write a book about him. Cordarone in us After talking to my wife about this project, cordarone in us I spent six years working on the book. Cordarone in us I returned to Germany, cordarone in us where I interviewed many people. Cordarone in us Manteuffel and Skorzeny were very helpful. Let me tell you about Otto Skorzeny. Cordarone in us While working on The Last Hundred Days , cordarone in us we met with him in Spain, cordarone in us where he told us the marvelous story about Hungarian leader Horthy's secret deal with the Soviets to switch sides. Cordarone in us Hitler found out about this and called in Skorzeny, cordarone in us who was his favorite troubleshooter. Cordarone in us He told him that he could have a regiment to take care of the situation in Hungary. Cordarone in us Skorzeny replied, cordarone in us "Sir, cordarone in us I want one tank and 25 men. Cordarone in us And I want a truck." So he went to Hungary and successfully carried out "Operation Mickey Mouse." (Horthy's son was called Miki.) Skorzeny had been inspired by reading George Bernard Shaw's play Caesar and Cleopatra, cordarone in us in which Cleopatra(as a young girl) is stolen away from a kind of lighthouse by wrapping her in a carpet. Cordarone in us So Skorzeny got a big rug and took it to young Horthy's apartment on Castle Hill, cordarone in us the huge government headquarters. Cordarone in us After saying to him "Miki, cordarone in us I've got a present for you, cordarone in us" he shot him in the arm, cordarone in us rolled him up in the rug, cordarone in us packed him in the truck, cordarone in us put him on a plane and sent him off to Hitler. Cordarone in us Skorzeny then phoned Horthy and told him, cordarone in us "Your son's about to be sent to the Fuhrer's headquarters. Cordarone in us What would you like me to do with him?" Horthy said, cordarone in us "I never wanted him to do this, cordarone in us tell me what you want me to do." Skorzeny told him that he wanted his cooperation in taking over Castle Hill. Cordarone in us And so with just one tank and 25 men, cordarone in us Skorzeny took over the entire citadel within an hour. Cordarone in us He was most proud of the fact that he had accomplished it without almost no deaths -- he killed four Hungarians and lost two of his own men. Cordarone in us Otto Skorzeny also told me about his great friend Hans-Ulrich Rudel, cordarone in us who was one of the Fuhrer's greatest heroes. Cordarone in us He was a Stuka pilot who had sunk a Soviet battleship and destroyed more than 500 Soviet tanks. Cordarone in us A superman. Cordarone in us Skorzeny told me the story of how Rudel had lost one leg during the last hundred days, cordarone in us was grounded and told that he would never fly again. Cordarone in us When Skorzeny heard that this great athlete had lost his leg, cordarone in us he was very unhappy and visited his friend. Cordarone in us When he arrived, cordarone in us he heard strange thumping noises coming from Rudel's room. Cordarone in us He opened the door and found Rudel banging his stump against the table. Cordarone in us Otto shouted, cordarone in us "Oh God, cordarone in us don't do that!" Rudel said, cordarone in us "Hi Otto, cordarone in us how are you doing?" and Otto responded, cordarone in us "What the hell are you doing?" Rudel answered, cordarone in us "Getting my leg tough so I can go back in my Stuka. Cordarone in us My mechanics are fixing it so that I can fly it with one leg." And do you know that this guy went back to his plane? Can you imagine the pull of diving like that, cordarone in us the pain? Hitler was furious when he heard, cordarone in us because he had ordered Rudel never to go up again. Cordarone in us He regarded him almost as a son. To get back to my story, cordarone in us Otto asked me if I had communicated with Rudel, cordarone in us who lived in Chile. Cordarone in us After I told him that he would not answer my letters, cordarone in us Otto picked up the phone, cordarone in us reached Rudel in Chile, cordarone in us and told him "Toland says you're afraid to see him." Skorzeny then looked at me and said, cordarone in us "He'll be here tomorrow." Otto told me more about his friend. Cordarone in us "Do you know Rudel has become a champion skier? With one leg? And not only that, cordarone in us did you know that last year he went on a climb of the highest mountain in Chile? He went up with ten people and was abandoned, cordarone in us with no skis and one leg, cordarone in us and after three weeks he came down again?" This was a superman; I was eager to talk with him. And that's how Otto, cordarone in us Toshiko and I found ourselves at the airport waiting for this man with one leg. Cordarone in us All of a sudden we saw this youngish man running as if he had three legs. Cordarone in us It was Rudel. Cordarone in us Otto served as our translator. Cordarone in us Even though he had a curious English that was entirely his own, cordarone in us we managed to get a terrific story from Rudel. I later became very friendly with Rudel. Cordarone in us You may know he was one of the leaders of the neo-Nazi group. Cordarone in us I visited him and his beautiful new wife and their two-year-old child at his new home on the border of Austria and Germany. Cordarone in us When he told us of all his ideas about changing Germany, cordarone in us I said, cordarone in us "Gee, cordarone in us why don't you just enjoy life." He simply said, cordarone in us "No. Cordarone in us What can I do for you?" I told him about Hitler's air force adjutant, cordarone in us a snob who was the only Hitler adjutant I was not able to meet. Cordarone in us So Rudel phoned this fellow and told him, cordarone in us "Rudel here. Cordarone in us Toland is here and he's going to tell our story. Cordarone in us You are going to see him." And that's how he got this air force snob to see me. Meeting a man such as Rudel was really something. Cordarone in us For example, cordarone in us as he told me, cordarone in us at the end of the war he refused to let the enemy capture him. Cordarone in us He flew directly to an American airfield in spite of their guns and so forth. Cordarone in us Later, cordarone in us British airmen treated him chivalrously and were glad to shake the hand of the great Rudel. Cordarone in us Doug Bader, cordarone in us a great British ace and his country's most popular airman, cordarone in us lost both legs during the war, cordarone in us but flew with artificial limbs. Cordarone in us He sent Rudel his first artificial leg. After completing my biography of Hitler, cordarone in us I was disgusted with this whole subject, cordarone in us and I wanted to get away from it. Cordarone in us What made Hitler do all these things? So I decided to look into the First World War, cordarone in us and I began to work on a book entitled No Man's Land. In response to my book The Rising Sun I received many letters -- mostly from naval officers -- who told me that I was mistaken in writing that Roosevelt did not know in advance that the Japanese task force was on its way to attack Pearl Harbor. Cordarone in us I received so many letters that I told Toshiko that I might have made a terrible mistake. Cordarone in us I decided to write another book and find out if I had been wrong. Cordarone in us Well, cordarone in us I went at it in my usual manner and within a year found out that I had been mistaken. Cordarone in us Franklin Roosevelt did know. Cordarone in us For example, cordarone in us after a two-year search I had located a certain Admiral Ranneft, cordarone in us a Dutchman. Cordarone in us In late 1941 he had been a captain, cordarone in us and was serving as the Dutch naval attaché in Washington. After we established contact, cordarone in us he wrote to me: "You might be interested in my story. Cordarone in us Did you know that I was the one who brought the plan for the Bofors anti-aircraft guns to the U.S. Cordarone in us Navy, cordarone in us and because of that they used to let me into the Navy secret intelligence office all the time? And on December 3, cordarone in us 1941, cordarone in us I went in there and they told me they had discovered two apparent carriers, cordarone in us obviously Japanese, cordarone in us heading towards the east. Cordarone in us When I returned there on the afternoon of December 6, cordarone in us I asked where the two carriers were now. Cordarone in us The commanding officer motioned to a man who went up to the board and pointed to an area two hundred miles from Pearl Harbor". "Wow! That's a great story, cordarone in us" I told Ranneft, cordarone in us "but I just can't just take your word for it. Cordarone in us What about some documentation?" It's in my war diary, cordarone in us" he replied. Cordarone in us "You know, cordarone in us some of it burned up here, cordarone in us but I sent the rest to The Hague. Cordarone in us Why don't you inquire there?" Two weeks later, cordarone in us I received the entire December 1941 portion of his diary. Cordarone in us Everything he told me was right there, cordarone in us proving that we knew that the Japanese were coming. Cordarone in us By the way, cordarone in us that evidence has been pooh-poohed by those who can't believe it. Another great lead: one evening a man phoned me to tell me that he had been the person who had located the Japanese force in the Pacific. Cordarone in us He was just a young navy enlisted man at the time, cordarone in us but he was a brilliant electronics specialist and eventually became a millionaire because of his inventions. Cordarone in us (For example, cordarone in us he invented the anchor that is used by all of our small craft. Cordarone in us Everyone who has a yacht uses one.) So after listening to what he had to say, cordarone in us I said, cordarone in us "Fine. Cordarone in us I'll come up to Maine and see you." After spending an entire day with him, cordarone in us I believed him. Cordarone in us But I told I him that I would come back the next day with my wife. Cordarone in us I returned with Toshiko, cordarone in us and after we spent another whole day with him, cordarone in us she said to me: "He's telling the truth." Well, cordarone in us about six months later, cordarone in us he called up in a jovial mood and said, cordarone in us "Oh, cordarone in us John, cordarone in us I'm getting married! You know, cordarone in us I'm marrying a woman who owns almost all of California and she doesn't like publicity. Cordarone in us Do you mind not using my name?" I said, cordarone in us "Okay, cordarone in us I'll call you Seaman Z." I then asked about the photographs he had given me of himself. Cordarone in us "Oh, cordarone in us use the pictures, cordarone in us" he said, cordarone in us because, cordarone in us you see, cordarone in us he really did want to be uncovered. Well, cordarone in us when my book Infamy was published, cordarone in us the Washington Post claimed that I had invented "Seaman Z." About a year later he came out in the open and publicly confirmed what I has written, cordarone in us but this was not mentioned in the media. The most important part of my book was my treatment of the various trials and investigations into the Pearl Harbor affair. Cordarone in us I was floundering because I had all this great stuff, cordarone in us butI was not able to put it all together. Cordarone in us I was trying to support Captain Safford, cordarone in us the naval genius who realized that all his information had been destroyed. Cordarone in us So he went to a Boston lawyer named Rugg, cordarone in us who was representing Admiral Kimmel, cordarone in us who was getting the blame for Pearl Harbor. I was saved by a man named Percy Greaves. Cordarone in us I had heard about this strange fellow up in Dobbs Ferry (New York), cordarone in us who had been collecting material about Pearl Harbor for years. Cordarone in us After talking to him by phone, cordarone in us I went to see him. Cordarone in us We got along well together, cordarone in us and I visited him dozens of times during the next six months. Cordarone in us He allowed me free access to his dank, cordarone in us dark cellar, cordarone in us where he fed his dog and where he kept all this precious material. Cordarone in us I owe a great deal of the quality of Infamy to Percy Greaves. [Editor's note: Until his death in 1984, cordarone in us Greaves was a frequent contributor to The Journal, cordarone in us served as an IHR editorial adviser, cordarone in us and addressed the Third IHR Conference (1981). Cordarone in us See the JHR issues of Fall 1982 (pp. Cordarone in us 319-340), cordarone in us Winter 1983-84(pp. Cordarone in us 388-474), cordarone in us and Winter 1984 (pp. Cordarone in us 444-445).] Finally, cordarone in us I would like to tell you about the book we've been working on for the last three years. Cordarone in us It's a history of the Korean War. Cordarone in us We've done a great deal of research on this in Korea, cordarone in us Taiwan and China. Cordarone in us Through our contacts, cordarone in us we were finally invited to China itself, cordarone in us and our visit there was one of the most important times of our lives. When we arrived in Beijing in late April 1989, cordarone in us the Chinese historians I had been in touch with were very excited because the students were organizing a revolt. Cordarone in us They were protesting against the corruption of the fat cats in power, cordarone in us and were receiving tremendous public support. Well, cordarone in us on the fourth of May, cordarone in us we were interviewing a young lieutenant colonel from the People's Liberation Army who had written a book about the Korean war. Cordarone in us Unfortunately, cordarone in us I got nothing from him because he would not let me tape him and he refused to answer any of my tough questions. Cordarone in us When we went out for lunch, cordarone in us we saw this great flood of students coming back from the first demonstration at Tienanmen Square. Cordarone in us It was most exciting. Cordarone in us When we returned to the young lieutenant colonel after lunch, cordarone in us he was very excited and said, cordarone in us "I'm going to bring my old professor to see you. Cordarone in us He was the first to write about the Korean War. Cordarone in us He was a top commissar there. Cordarone in us Maybe he will be willing to tell you about it." Two days later he introduced us to this large man. Cordarone in us Dressed in a dark Mao uniform, cordarone in us he looked like a bear. Cordarone in us When we sat down, cordarone in us I asked him if I could tape him, cordarone in us and he said, cordarone in us "Yes. Cordarone in us I'm not going to tell you about my book. Cordarone in us I'm going to tell you things I couldn't put in my book." He then began revealing all this marvelous information. Cordarone in us Toshiko asked him if she could take his picture, cordarone in us and he readily agreed. Cordarone in us He put a big arm around me for a picture that we could use for publicity if we wanted. Cordarone in us All this was a great breakthrough. The next day we were invited to lecture on living history at the Academy of Military Science. Cordarone in us It turned out that the entire staff had read my books, cordarone in us five of which have been published in China. Cordarone in us Our lecture was very well received. Cordarone in us Afterwards, cordarone in us the commanding general allowed us to take his picture. Cordarone in us And then they opened up this archival material to us, cordarone in us which told what the Korean War was like, cordarone in us what Mao was like, cordarone in us and so forth. The media horribly misrepresented the Chinese students' revolt. Cordarone in us This was only a limited revolt against corruption by the top officials, cordarone in us but the TV circus turned it into a demonstration for democracy, cordarone in us which they did not understand at all. Cordarone in us Their older professors told them "You have won. Cordarone in us Now leave Tienanmen Square." But no, cordarone in us they were told to put up a kind of statue of liberty, cordarone in us and the media turned the thing into a tragedy. Cordarone in us No one has written the truth about what really happened. Cordarone in us The young Chinese were doing something very Chinese. Cordarone in us It was not like we all saw on television, cordarone in us and turning it into a Western thing corrupted the spirit of the entire campaign. Fortunately, cordarone in us we managed to get out of China with all our material, cordarone in us and as soon as we got out, cordarone in us the doors closed again. After writing seven histories of war in the twentieth century, cordarone in us I've come to a number of conclusions. Cordarone in us It is human nature that repeats itself, cordarone in us not history. Cordarone in us In fact, cordarone in us we often learn more about the past from the present, cordarone in us than the reverse. Cordarone in us I have also discovered that a vile man can occasionally tell the truth, cordarone in us and a noble man can tell a lie. Cordarone in us And that men don't make history as often as history makes men. Cordarone in us That the course of history is not only unpredictable, cordarone in us but inevitable. Cordarone in us Finally, cordarone in us I've learned that the writing of history can never be definitive. I have tried to approach history as a non-partisan, cordarone in us ignoring nationality and ideology, cordarone in us and to portray the horrors of war through the sufferings of ordinary people as well as in the imaginations of the mighty. Cordarone in us Throughout it all, cordarone in us I have tried to present living history, cordarone in us human history, cordarone in us with subjective objectivity, cordarone in us in my obsessive search for reality.


John Toland (1912-2004) was an acclaimed and best-selling American historian. Cordarone in us This essay is from his address at the Tenth IHR Conference, cordarone in us October 1990, cordarone in us in Washington , cordarone in us DC . Cordarone in us It was published in The Journal of Historical Review, cordarone in us Spring 1991 (Vol. Cordarone in us 11, cordarone in us No. Cordarone in us 1), cordarone in us pages 5-24.