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tv   Rebecca Frankel Into the Forest  CSPAN  October 17, 2021 3:30am-4:36am EDT

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his support of the policies of peace with honor for americans in vietnam in support of the policies with a strong national defense for this country which is so essential that we are to have peace in the world. and above all he is a man, with the responsibility of the great office that i hold to fall upon him as has been the case with eight vice presidents in our history, we can all say the leadership of america is in good hands. [applause] [cheering and clapping]. >> follows on social media, cspan history for more the state in history. >> welcome to all of you in person and those of you joining us online. i'm senior public programs producer the museum of jewish heritage and memorial to the
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holocaust is really a pleasure to welcome you to today's book launch for into the forest, holocaust story of survival triumph in love by rebecca frankel. we first met rebecca here in january of 2020 when she came to the museum to attend a reunion of the parsons family moved some of you may know from the film the finest and she told us at the time that she was working and researching a new project, family that survived the holocaust. the great honor to celebrate the product of that research now, a year and half later which is this release by saint martin's press on september 7 predict you may know rebecca as family friend or is the author of the new york times best-selling book for dogs, tales of canine heroism history and love and i'm sorry, yes in love and she was also the executive editor of foreign policy magazine in her
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work has appeared in the smithsonian magazine wall street journal national geographic and others and into the forest is a well researched and emotionally gripping love story but as a particular remarkable book because takes a backup of the holocaust and a little in chapter of holocaust history there were only now starting to fully understand the stories as an earth and told and helping fuel and understanding. in addition to rebecca frankel we are honored to be joined today by david, host of the deep state radio podcast and ceo of the roth group and david. [inaudible]. in australia and after david and rebecca's discussion today, copy of the book will be available for sale museum lobby and we hope you take advantage of this opportunity to buy the book and pictures book signed by the author. and you can go to the link in the lifestream chat as well and
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without further ado please join me in welcoming rebecca frankel and david - to the stage. [background sounds]. >> hello and thank you all for being here. >> hi, it's very nice of you to join us and they were going have a very interesting afternoon and hopefully at some point, about 40 minutes from now you will have the chance to join in and ask some questions and you may want to think about that as we go forward. it's a pleasure to be with you today. i remember the first time, i was the editor of foreign policy magazine and rebecca was i think the executive editor and
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managing editor at the new york times and i had an office and we would sit there and do our work and she would come in i was a very good. but at some point, in this by the way the curse of this, soon as you command facebook only they say are you going to write another book. and you did this with four dogs and now she's done this and he got very. >> yes pretty. >> so this is a good place to start. >> well and away i didn't actually come up on it, it was sort of always in the background of my buying up. the rabbi for my parents were at
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the synagogue, and this incredible story of having their past cross the children in the family and friend turned up missing in the ghetto in a small town in new orleans. in the rabbi's wife, her mother on the rabbi's behalf when he was an 11 -year-old boy and later, decades later after the families had gone their separate ways and survived the war, it was random encounter at a wedding in brooklyn. in the rabbi was there any met this woman in an ill family and was reconnected to the woman who had faced him in the holocaust and then went to see her in connecticut and met her and becoming older daughter and they started this sort of romance and from there, in the synagogue where the rabbi was the rabbi as well calling rabbi. the story is always sort of in
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the background in the rabbi story was a little bit better now and so romance was a part of it but i didn't really know bruce family story very well been so when i finally decided that another book might be something that i would want to do, i thought if i'm going to do another book, has to be a topic that they care about very much and has to be a great story and it has to be in on the subject in a fine sort of endlessly fascinating and interesting and certainly limits to that with the story. then i started to talk to both of them and they said sure, yes if you want to write a book okay but really just became about my conversation and i was introduced into her family and who the futures friend in this book, and i was introduced to her friend. not just how they survived the holocaust how they survived in
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the forest but really just to an incredible people they were and i think that that is another component to this book that i hope that people may get to know and getting to know what kind of people they work. >> i think that the great thing about the book is a human story but through the dealing with this human story, there are bigger issues in the nature of history and life on earth and i think that one of them just comes to me as we are talking here. the book begins with normal life. it ended in this with normal life. in the middle is this unthinkable reality.
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in this not just the lesson of the holocaust, it is a lesson of all times. that gives it a kind of a universe validity, does that strike you as you are grappling with this breed. >> it did on a lot of levels because really what happened is they were going about their lives. and it just didn't happen overnight, it happened over years and decades. and for most of the people that it happened two, is a totally unthinkable thing like even so this is taking places in small town. so is occupied by the soviets. and relatively fortunate for the jews living there because under
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the soviet occupation and same for control the lives, they were abusive and that was violence and people were taken away to siberia that they were taken away and killed. and there's testimony and records and people talk about how the refugees came in from the western part of poland the pollen that was occupied by germany and they came and they told stories about what was happening to the jewish people there. people cannot believe this could be true. and what struck me about that is not that there was a lack of being prepared are being willing to take the risk and run while there was still time but actually what it was the humanity of the that they couldn't possibly imagine that people could germans and who work or could do this to other people that it was truly unimaginable.
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so is being immersed in the testimonies and in the stories in these memoirs. it is hard to imagine even now that could happen again and yet of course, something terrible could happen again. in particular getting to know mariam and the way they dealt with what was happening to them. i think they were very unique in some ways, not just because you were really independent people or particularly courageous people just because and strong marriage and really a family with a lot of love and commitment to stay together no matter what. that made a big difference on their experience. >> well when i read it, i was
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struck with what seems like ordinary people in the beginning and they were leaving and for deleting ordinary lives but then when the events would intrude upon them, that id entered idea of ordinary and what happened and the book is called into the forest. and when they go into the forest, and maybe you could describe a little bit about the nature of that and how it was. >> sure, it's interesting to think about hit with what i know the whole story anybody agrees the book will know the whole story about what happened to them but when they went into the woods it was the only safe place for them to go so they were escaping these horrific conditions and escaping a ghetto and their neighbors and friends and family members that just
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been murdered. and as it was the only way or the only to go the family and they told me that they would say years later, if i had known for the woods would be like i would've never gone in. and so, the test that they were faced with was just about how to survive and morris wasn't in a position to do this because is normal life and his normal life he had been a lumber dealer greatest what that meant in a small rural town, and a knowledge of the forest which was important given what they were facing. he had very relationships with the christian farmers. so in these friendships to rely on any other people that escape, the ghetto knew him knew that morris had his good position and he and another family, they had
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when they were wealthy and so they had gold with them and they had belongings to trade for food or for information about where the were. and so they were in a position to do well under the circumstances there was a group of people who wanted to be with them no matter what and morris' position was always to be in a large group to be around a lot of other people. that put them in greater danger they just would not leave so it a certain point it at that point he accepted that these people were part of his response ability he became a reluctant leader of this group pretty and they migrated and had to leave certain places they became unsafe after they were discovered in this happened of course of the period of two yeat what is interesting to me is interviewing one of the grandsons of the rabbi in grayson now his family in philadelphia in the rabbi family and the recite, they both went
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through this holocaust. he had two grandfathers that survive, rabbi his father joseph and ruth's father morris and he said, in a conversation that we had which was very interesting to me to learn this about them. he said that his grandfather morris what happened to him made him the man he was and that he gave him, it's a test that you mentioned. he found something within him any kind of of became reporting away however left for me that it wasn't his father and grandfather just was that he said that experience broke him that the many was before the war, he could never really recover from it and of course he went on and survive the woods also in different circumstances rabbi's father thought that he was never the same and he could never relate or redefine who he
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was risk happiness release as how i interpreted it when he told me about it in that conversation so whatever it was in one of his family went through, and the relationship survived. you know what happens to them in the woods and their love only continued to blossom over time which is pretty amazing pretty. >> it is amazing one of the things i hope that all be watching this and take away from this is while this is a real story and real people, and reads with the drama of a novel. a place in your head like a movie. in one of the things that strikes me, i want to give it away the substance of the book is something which is a
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paraphrase and since wally no thing survives and i think you should talk about that a bit. >> will is interesting it, a version of this of course for me as a writer came with my relationship to ruthven to rabbi as as of the first people they interviewed for this book were ruth and rabbi and her younger sister toby and of course in the book, and i'm sorry to say this earlier but in the book ruth, the name she was given in the book was different. and i knew them as ruth and toby now. in interviewing them, many years later, it was incredible of how much of these memories were still with them and they were deeply rooted in emotion and of course deeply tied to the family
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members and what happens to her parents and in the woods and is also colored by, will protected and love they were and not just because they were young children, it was because they had adults who had survived and taking care of them and who were protecting them because what happened in the woods, was really terrible and it was still be the younger, as he said, was not as horrific as it happened in the concentration camps but it was awful they would wake up to people died from hypothermia are starved to death. but they also had happy memories from the woods which after i became familiar with other people as monies and people who had survived in the same journey and are alive, and talk about there was actually no room for happy memories. there was one woman to her testimony really stayed with me
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because it was so hard to listen to she escape the ghetto at the age of 12 with another girlfriend of hers and they fled to the woods. and there were people around them who she knew from going up who are friends of her parents and she went to them to help her and they did so initially begrudgingly and then with a used to do us let them sleep in their tents or these underground bunkers they would build in the woods but to keep warm in the winter. they would not let her sleep in there with them so she would sleep outside on the ground. and metal of the night they would they camp and they would leave her behind because she was just another mouth to feed and they didn't want her, she wasn't a very particularly big girl so she was not very strong and you know there was nothing she could really do. to participate or contribute so she was constantly left behind.
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and to compare the two experiences of the two girls relatively the same age, it doesn't feel right to say lucky but you know i was constantly reminding myself referring back to the memories of toby and family and comparing them of course to get a bigger perspective of what the overall experience in the woods truly was. and people help each other, there are certainly examples of it but after a certain point, being cold and down and starting, the self-preservation becomes kind of the only thing or at least it did for many people and their people talk about their experiences they were turned away but they would ask them for help and they would
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say no they would say well i don't blame them and i'm not upset with them rated so there was a lot of that pretty. >> i think of i confess to you in the audience, i was an english major which shows a real lack of character pretty. >> i was also an english major. [laughter] >> adjustment on my part but i think that if this were a novel, people would say, very clever rebecca. leading this very civilized life in england the woods and is becomes about surviving and they sort of return to nature, it is not about the value that you got in your daily life is not about goodness and mothers muffling their children. and not heard and sometimes the
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child doesn't survive then read and that is the horror of this. one of the things that struck me about this universal think pretty it didn't just happen once in history. the fact that all of the times. the slogan associated with this like never again. but that's a lie, it will happen again because it always happens in human history. and this is about how people keep going. >> so there are these three men which is how i refer to them after my years of research. i came across.
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[inaudible]. from the time that i first started until the time i did my last edit. there are titles given to miller brothers in one of them was afraid they had allstate friends and i think the video lures recorded by one of their sons in the '90s and they are sitting together on the couch in the choking the laughing and the friend is a very good job of interviewing devotees brothers, and there being in this rl - was his family name and they are talking about what they went through and two of the men were had joined joined the woods and they had been fighting actually they escape the ghetto and in one of his testimonies because
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he did many over time, and there was one attack in the woods early on so probably in the early fall of 1942, just after the jews had fled most of these ghettos after the ended mostly by were a lot of them mostly happened in the summer. it was just brutal. most of the jews there were killed and a lot of the early iterations of the units form at that time had been killed and he said i don't know why or how but we were supposed to have killed ourselves or committed suicide but instead we picked up whatever tools we could find and dug into the absolutely frozen ground and they started again and i think that sometimes it's inexplicable why some people for what reasons they had to keep going and what reasons they had not because but they encountered
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was for reasons not to keep going and reasons to keep going but in this family story they had each other. and they just made all the difference in the world on a day-to-day basis. almost exactly two years to the day of being in the woods. >> again, it is one of the core things here is that the reason that people survive in this goes, you don't have to go through the holocaust to discover is each other, the family and the connective mess. and it's forage of it. and that is why think that the revolution underscores that.
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you talk a little bit about that predict. >> yeah, when i first started the book, doing the book proposal which is like writing in some ways him i really wanted to make sure that all of the most incredible things about the story were presented at the beginning because that's really the way just get people interested to know there's this love story to know because we would be impossible to argue that one holocaust survival story has more value than another, they don't they're all important. they should know as many as they can but when you are trying to get people to read will get to tell them why the stories interesting or different. lessor started with the love story that bruce and family and surviving children and how they encounter each other because of this pretty miraculous and on
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people's if it wasn't a true story would not believe that it happened. the other love story courses morrison miriam. and funny that was really look at the book console on the story because they don't just have an incredible story, they were incredible people in the way they think lives is an example i think we can all use now one of the things i think about a lot myself is what was it that prompted marianne in the midst of literally a massacre to take an 11 -year-old boy who had no one who came up during this massacre and state these pretend i'm your son in a minute she said yes it is very dangerous thing to do printed to take in a strange boy who had no favors and no connection to and she didn't know him at all and she was separated from her husband
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at this point force had been pushed away the crowd and she had her two younger daughters with her. that really in that moment, among others of course, i think for the family generations that would come later, the morrison miriam eventually the one that rabbi and ruth would have later on. it is like it legacy moment the family and i know this family and their surviving family members of this moment in miriam section is something to think about all of the time read she decided to do this thing when it would've been easier to say no and many people turn this young boy away and said no to him. she didn't and i think that one of the reviews they say the righteousness and i think yes there was for the family and the deeds in their approach to life
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and having are helping other people, there was a reward in that moment literally, secure the future generations of miriam's family in a way. i think so. >> one of the things that struck me that strikes me as i'm talking to you is trying to get real in this conversation. is that if you jewish and you read the story, you probably know somebody or other relatives who has a similar experience. and a lot of poland and that lived. they had escape the and my dad fled the and i had a cousin who walked across europe as a nine
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-year-old girl sort of sleeping in haystacks and one from austria and a way of escaping so we all have those stories. >> certainly, is a part of the tree we should all know and this is an easy answer to that question. it's interesting, i do think about this a lot because growing up jewish and growing up as school where the rabbi and his wife are holocaust survivors, is very much the dna of our community in history to talk about it. and so engaging in the history and doing the research and encountering is truly horrific parts of this within the did to the houston be one of them. i was something that i was sort
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of already prepared to encounter and whether or not this is your family, or that you learned about in school, this is what you learn. but the thing that i found absolutely horrifying. his listening to the survivors talk about what happened in their communities. and then people who they were friends with who they were close to come the neighbors and their teachers. there was a breakdown in these communities. ... ... that does approach this with kindness and humanity and how they can survive and what
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happens where people don't do that. i think we are at a moment where it's important to hear about these things and to talk about them, and it doesn't it doesn't necessarily be about the holocaust. i think maybe this is a little bit about what you were saying but that communities are going to be tested and there will be breakdowns in the norms and how we are meant to treat each other and if this can be a lesson for us to be kinder, then it doesn't necessarily have to be -- >> when i went to berlin the first time and i guess i was in my 20s or something, i went there and had this kind of strange feeling as i was walking down the street and seeing these people i would look at them and think these were the children of the people who did these
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terrible things and i thought they don't look terrible, they look like people i've known in my life and that is the point that there's this finality to this that everybody is capable of tolerating really bad things. in particular if they don't think that it affects them directly. the other people in these communities -- >> it certainly came to a point where not just tolerating it but the norms and the laws and rules and restrictions. the penalty was death or
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something not far off in terms of how terrible it was. and i think a lot about the people in the communities and these poor farmers who were nearby or adjacent to the woods and some of them chose to reach out to the jews that they knew were hiding and let them know when the nazis were getting close so they could change the location and hired and then the some of them and formed those they knew were hiding there and turned them in. sometimes it was the reward for doing this. i came across some documentation and it was for the equivalent of a cup of sugar or a bag of flour so for me with that made me think is this is how terrible the circumstances were as well that they would make a decision to send innocent people to their death because this is how desperate they were for
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something to eat. i certainly think that's part of it. >> it's a beautiful story. it's very specific and about particular people going through a particular experience. but as with all stories like that there is a universal reality that pertains to it. but the fact that there's a sort of systematic destruction of societies is also with us all the time. i remember she wants to did something and i remember you put
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together a great little essay about afghanistan and we had destroyed it and you could see operating tables. 170,000 people died, maybe six or 800,000 people died in iraq, 56 million people died in the central african republic. we can go -- there's these long, long lists of these things. but it seems to me that all this is pictures in this but it seems
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it is along with us. >> we used to talk about this in the foreign policy. we would have editorial meetings and talked about the best way to tell the story and what they were referring to was the hospital bombing where there was an alleged report that there were taliban members hiding out in this area and the u.s. went in and destroyed and ended up killing a lot of innocent civilians. but you know, i think the idea was how do we tell this story, where do we find the people and point of the lens in a way that it's not just so remote and we
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found out the identity of one of the people that had been killed and we did a three-part story on what happened to him that day and we learned about his circumstances. i think that is so much a part because speaking to what you were saying about this being universal that is the way to make the connections. it's going to be the stories of people and the closer we can get to their voices and experiences and the better we get to know them i think the better we will connect with them and the better we understand. >> on twitter i saw a tweet and he said, he is still in couple
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and said he went to his favorite barber and a barber told him that the taliban had come in and said you are no longer allowed to cut beards. and it just kind of rustic needed to me again with all this. this photo was taken in their backyard in 1938 or 1939 so this is before their lives were disturbed. i used to dress them in matching clothes and they would tell me about this photo and said she loves the shoes she had. they were red buckle and they were her favorite. this has an interesting story to
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it so you see a young ruth and toby and a friend of there there's and owned -- the reason this is creased and has a little tear is because after the war, when they were trying to get to israel and it was illegal for the refugees at the time to come to israel and of course so many jews wanted to go to palestine. it would be this safe haven they could go and be free so they couldn't travel as polls they had to travel as greeks to pass the borders illegally.
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all the families were told they couldn't bring anything with them that would identify them as being from poland or as jews for that matter they couldn't abandon these photos and so they got rid of the polish advertisement in the shop so that he could take it with them. and this is one of the photos that morris brought with him and this is a photo of the kindergarten class and the last time she was in school before the war. she's in the second row and one of the first times i was at their house she showed me this photo and when she was putting
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it down she said she's the only person that managed to survive so all these young children and they were all killed. this is the first photo of the family taken after they came out of the woods so we have miriam in the middle and then her two daughters and then there's another but they were not able to identify but as you can see their clothes are very ill fitted and they didn't have very much when they came out of the woods. so it is a happy photo because of course they survived, but they don't quite look like themselves. this is one of the first photos taken when they finally made it
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to a fishing village with a quick jumping off point to make their way over to palestine. then on the right they are wearing dresses they made before the war and they left these with a polish farmer and kept the dresses for them and other belongings through the war and made it out of the woods and went back and they were still there to claim. then this is a wonderful photo because you see how wonderful and bright-eyed they are. it's much later they say it is
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the place they became children again. they were with the jewish refugees and even though there were a lot of joy and happiness and having survived and again just happy photos from italy. they were happy to find community. so they will not be much different from here on.
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they stayed quite a while and eventually that option wasn't available to them so they came to the united states. >> we will go to some questions from the audience. this is a story with a happy ending but it's very dark at its center. the toll that it took on these people must have left scars thae with them still to this day. what do they look like to you? >> it's interesting because my research with ruth and toby that
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are still with us and our part of this coming out into the world and that is a particularly wonderful thing for me personally and i know for a lot of people who care about them they were far enough away from these experiences that there wasn't a tremendous amount. they both give testimony in the mid-90s and startling to me to watch them because both when they cried profusely it was very difficult for them to resurface these memories and i didn't encounter that much with them. although what would happen occasionally in one instance i had found someone they met in italy a young girl that had survived by where her parents had given her when she was a baby a catholic polish woman and
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this woman managed to hide her with the family and this woman that survived the war and i initially asked he was a very interesting little girl who believed she was grown up catholic and i said i'm going to see if i can find her. maybe she's still alive and i can interview her. she called me a couple of days later and said i don't know why i couldn't tell you but it's very tragic and i was upset with myself and i should have told you but i couldn't bring myself
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to say it. i knew that a lot of this was difficult for them and in fact there's a man by the name of ted limestone who is now in his 90s in memphis tennessee. he had been in the woods with the family. i went to interview him and they had long conversations for hours at a time and wrapping up the last conversation his memory was absolutely astounding. he remembers dates, numbers, the distance to speak with him and he said the memories disturbed him and he told me afterwards he hadn't slept for a long time.
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he knew that it would be upsetting. after all this time it doesn't get easier to share it. >> that's why it's important to have books like this. my father escaped at 36 members couldn't and he never talked about it. his mother didn't talk about it. we didn't get to know about these things. towards the end of his life he would start sending us little bits of memory. short stories or notes about who
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died and when. we are getting to the point that many of them are going to be passed on and if we don't turn to them, we are not going to have those stories and that's why it's so important that a sensitive gifted journalists like becky can go to them and draw this out because otherwise it would be lost. i think we have time for some questions. is that correct? >> we are going to turn to audience questions. we are accepting them both in person and online. those of us here in person just
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raise your hand. the first question if you could explain a little bit about your research to understand the background of the story i started with the people i was writing about and realized i had a lot of education to find out for myself in order to be able to orient what happened to them and not just the timeline of the greater war and holocaust but also of the town that happened in the woods and in the ghetto and the camps. to do this i knew that it wouldn't be fair to rely on the memory of those that were such young children when they experienced this then in the 1990s to interview as many people as i could to document
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them with these some of them are very long, ten hours of tape of interviewing people and so i found as many people as i could and found their testimonies of people who were there at the time. i watched them many times and in part it's too identify if you have an account you have to check it and make sure that it's an account with multiple sources and so the story has as much grounds to stand on as possible and that was difficult because there are not many survivors available or alive to speak to me and that was the best way that i could do it. in this way it opened up a whole community of people. there were times i was so deeply immersed in this i had to remind myself they were no longer
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alive. but they felt so alive to me and it provided an understanding of where they lived and not just what happened in their family camp but in the forests and the experience ranged quite a bit and gave not only an education on the events that transpired but had a better perspective of what made this experience unique or different or sort of universal at least what was happening in the woods and then of course the holocaust is an extremely well researched history so i read about these subject matter experts. >> my name is elizabeth and i think it is fabulous what you are doing.
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they talked about him because they didn't want us to forget and they were interviewed by the show were. for my sisters and i it changed us as people and our perception of other people and how we feel about guilt and food and everything. and i remember asking doctor dennis years ago, the psychiatrist at mount sinai how big my parents survived? my father lost his wife and kids, how did they survive. they flourished.
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and she said they had the resiliency. you've inherited the resiliency. everybody has a resilience. we celebrated the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and how people move on. >> thank you for sharing that. they all have a little bit and asked what would marion do at that moment is something that moves on and in addition to they managed to flourish and that's part of it. >> we have a question from jerome who asks what was it like
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researching this book and how are the two processes different? >> it brought me outside of my head and writing office and spend more time in the military bases which is a little bit unnerving. from the point of view interviewing and working with soldiers. but the trauma isn't completely different. what they experienced lives on in the same way. but also their memories stay over time and certain things are
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closer to others. it's more immediate or needs to be pulled back out of them and those are difficult conversations to have. i think also it is just a much bigger topic and i had a longer period of time to do it. that is one of the things that's interesting. you might ask the same questions over and over but you're not going to have the same conversation and i'm fortunate that i had that time.
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we would have a conversation in three days later she called and said i can't believe that i remembered of this thing were this person's name. so it's interesting and valuable and meaningful to me personally. how do you combine the story and decide you're going to write this and. this is a story that i had grown up with because when i was young ever since the time i was 5-years-old, my parents remembered where philip was a rabbi and ruth was asking was
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his wife and at least for my family, it was a familial community and we were with them a lot. the story was always there finally answering the question what did i want to do next, i knew i wanted it to be a story that i cared about. so i thought this could be a wonderful thing to write about. one of my favorite moments. ruth, for anyone who knows very well, she is just a joyful,
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happy, vibrant vibration vivacious person. they want to live and celebrate and ruth was remembering, i was asking her what was it like to be a jewish refugee or somebody that had just come to the united states in school with american kids and it was tough on them both. i don't think that they were very warmly accepted and she was a little bit less affected. she made friends with other kids. and she's saying half in english and half in italian i said we can find the music to that. very amazed at my google skills, she thought it was incredible.
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them saying the whole thing and that was something i was very grateful to have experienced with her. i think the thing to teach is to show their lives before and to talk about what happened a lot holocaust and how they recovered. i think they kept their marriage intact and their family intact and humanity and appetite for joy and happiness intact. it was a pretty hard thing to do, but they did it and i think that's a really important
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lesson. it's not so much about numbers although the numbers are important. we want to know what happened but i think we want to know the people and that's more important thank you for being with us today. >> really proud to join the celebration of the well researched and well written book. we hope you found the conversation interesting today and will purchase a copy of "into the forest a holocaust story of survival, triumph and love" and then get assigned by the author. those on the live stream can order the book with the link in the chat. i hope you also take the lesson of the conversations out as we navigate this world.
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the oldest person to ever travel into space was originally a part of the mercury 13 astronauts from the early 1960s. a group of women that underwent training but were never selected to go into space. recently on american history tvs oral history series, recalling the earliest days of the space program. here is a portion of that interview. >> as you came out of the first phase of testing, what were some of those and did you ever stop and think what am i doing?
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they could do anything with me they wanted to do and i didn't know that it would take a whole day and every single tooth and bones, but they wanted perfect specimens at the time. let's go back to the men. there were 159 selectively armed services to go through the tests. how many were selected? twenty-five women were selected. and how many past? thirteen. so do we have a little bit of information here on how well do women do things and come across on the mayflower? how well do they go across the
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prairies and settle in the covered wagons? great big families, didn't think anything about it. to think that we can't do things, sorry, folks. we can. eileen has tried extra hard to do her best because nobody wants to fail. and failure is not a part of my makeup.
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and we never slowed down. schools and businesses went to virtual and we powered a new reality because at media, we are built to keep you ahead now on american history tv, dave provides a history of the merchant marines during world war ii. thank you all of you that have taken the time to be with us today and by the way, i want to send a very special thanks to ali who is the executive director of the world war ii

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