Sunday, August 10, 2014

Barbara Boyer to Speak at September Meeting

Barbara Boyer's topic for the September 16 meeting is the little known but  profoundly disturbing book by Peter Williams and David Wallace, Unit 731: Japan's Secret Biological Warfare in World War II.

During World War II Japanese scientists, with full knowledge and approval of their superiors,  secretly carried on a series of cruel and painful  medical experiments on prisoners of war, such as  injecting them with deadly bacteria, subjecting them to oxygen deprivation, submersing them in freezing water,  operating on them without anesthesia and much more, all in an effort to determine the outside limits of human endurance.   Thousands died from these callous experiments, yet the persons responsible were never punished after the war. Barbara will tell of of the secret agreement made between those responsible for these inhuman acts of torture and the Allies, and the reasons for the suppression of this story of man's inhumanity to man, and its legacy.

Ms. Boyer is currently a teacher at South Plainfield High School. A summa cum laude graduate of Rider University,  she holds a Master's Degree in Spanish Linguistics from Penn State and a second Masters Degree from Kean University.  Barbara has a keen interest in Asian history and in the summer of 2012 she traveled to China on a scholarship to study Chinese history, specifically focusing on China and Japan during World War II.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Breitman Video Available

Richard Breitman on FDR and the Jews
Richard Breitman 
The video recording of Richard Breitman's May lecture is now available on Youtube, thanks to Jasen Aziz and Ryan Sullivan, Sophomores at Millburn High School, who filmed and edited the lecture.  
Proceed to the video »

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Next Meeting of the Book Club is on a Monday

The next lecture will be Monday, June 23, 7 p.m. at the Millburn Library.

Please note that the meeting is on MONDAY, instead of our usual Tuesday meeting, due to a scheduling conflict.

Be sure not to miss this lecture by Susan Butler, who will discuss her award winning book, My Dear Mr. Stalin - the first and only complete collection of correspondence between President Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin.  The book will be available for purchase and signing.

This lecture will be the last of this season and the Book Club will reconvene on Tuesday, September 15, when Barbara Boyer will discuss Unit 731, the book about the infamous medical unit of the Japanese.  During World War II, Unit 731 performed countless medical experiments on prisoners of war and as well as many civilians.

Please remember to come early, as the Glen Avenue bridge is still under repair and traffic in the area can be very heavy, particularly during the early evening hours.

Request for Contributions

In order for the Book Club to be able to attract top notch speakers, it must be able to cover the basic expenses of travel, hotel and meals, incurred by our speakers.  In the past, a number of members have made generous contributions to do just that.  Please reach out to Dr. John McLaughlin if you are able to make an additional contribution to the Book Club so that we can continue to attract the top notch speakers we have enjoyed in the past.

Friday, May 16, 2014

FDR and the Jews Author to Speak at Next Meeting

The next lecture will be Tuesday May 20, 2014, as usual, 7 p.m.,  Millburn Library. Be sure not to miss this lecture by Richard Breitman who will discuss his award winning book, FDR and the Jews. The book will be available for purchase and signing for $20.

We expect an overflow crowd so please come early, and remember that the Glen Avenue Bridge is still not repaired. Consequently, traffic in the area is very heavy during the early evening hours.

Request for Contributions
In the past, a number of members have made generous contributions to help defray the expenses of travel, hotel, meals and other expenses of our speakers. For this we are grateful. We are not able to attract top notch speakers without the ability to cover expenses. We would be grateful if any our members would make an additional contribution for this purpose.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

May Meeting Features Richard Breitman

The next meeting of The World War II Book Club will feature a lecture bRichard Breitman, noted author, historian, and currently Distinguished Professor in History at American University.

Mr. Breitman, co-author of FDR and the Jews, will discuss his highly acclaimed book on Tuesday May 20, 2014 at 7PM, as usual at the Millburn Library, 200 Glen Avenue.

President Roosevelt's response, or lack of response,  to the Nazis treatment of the Jews has been a subject of sharp debate, disagreement,  and criticism by historians, Jewish organizations, and commentators  commencing in the late 1930's during Hitler's rise to power, and the issue continues to generate immense interest. The most dramatic accusations against FDR, his unwillingness to admit to American soil the Jewish refugees aboard the SS St. Louis in 1939 and to order the bombing of gas chambers and crematoria at Auschwitz are carefully examined and evaluated. Was FDR's seeming reluctance to take the initiative and initiate measures to ameliorate the persecution of the Jews a pragmatic, political decision to placate domestic opposition, or a sound strategic military determination grounded on the belief that the rescue of the Jews, even if practical, was ultimately subordinate to the overriding priorities of total war and unconditional surrender of the enemy? Mr. Breitman carefully evaluates FDR's  difficult decisions and presents the case in a scholarly and evenhanded manner while presenting arguments on both sides of the issue.

Richard Breitman received his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is author or co-author of ten books and many articles in German history, U.S. history, and the Holocaust.  He is best known for The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution (Knopf 1991) and Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew (Hill and Wang, 1998).  He served as director of historical research for the Nazi War Criminal Records and Imperial Japanese Records Interagency Working Group, which helped to bring about declassification of more than eight million pages of U.S. government records under a 1998 law.  He is editor of the scholarly journal Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  FDR and the Jews, co-authored with Allan J. Lichtman, won a National Jewish Book Award in American Jewish Studies and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in History.

For additional information contact Dr. John J. McLaughlin, Director and Moderator of the Book Club. Dr. McLaughlin can be reached at tel: 973-467-3313 or e-mail

Friday, April 4, 2014

David L. Roll Video Now Available

Youtube Logo
A video of David L. Roll's presentation of  The Hopkins Touch, from the March 18, 2014 meeting is now available for viewing on YouTube.  Click here to view the video »

Mark Your Calendar - Future Programs

  • May 20: Richard Breitman - FDR and The Jews
  • June 23 (Monday): Susan Butler - My Dear Mr. Stalin
  • September 16: Barbara Boyer - Unit 731
  • October 21: Bruce Tucker - Operation Storm: The Secret Japanese Submarine

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Dr. John McLaughlin Discusses China at WWII History Round Table

Dr. John McLaughlin was invited to participate in a panel discussion of China in World War II at the Dr. Harold C. Deutsch World War II History Round Table in Minneapolis on March 27. The other members of the panel were Wayne G. "Whitey" Johnson, author of Whitey - Farm Kid to Flying Tiger, and one of the last two survivors of the famous Flying Tigers of the China Burma India Theater; Curt Hort, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, and later prisoner of the Japanese in China; and Dr. John J. McLaughlin who spoke about General Wedemeyer in China.  Alan K. Lathrop, Professor Emeritus of the University of Minnesota moderated the panel discussion and lectured about China in World War II.

The Round Table has been in existence for about 20 years and is "committed to preserving the factual history of World War II." The latest panel discussion with Dr. McLaughlin was videotaped and will be available on You Tube shortly.  As soon as it is available, a link will be provided from this website.