Friday, June 12, 2015

In Memoriam: Ursula Pawel

Ursula Pawel, whose presentation of her book, My Child Is Back, in May, 2011 was one of the Book Club's most well attended and received meetings, passed away on May 30, 2015 at the age of 89. In her 80s when she spoke to the Book Club, Ms. Pawel captivated the audience with her personal story of surviving World War II - through selection points at Auschwitz and close encounters with certain death, to finally being reunited with her mother after the war's end.

The New Jersey World War II Book Club was honored to have Ms. Pawel speak and her lively presence, her witness to history, will be deeply missed.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tucker Lecture Available on Youtube

Bruce Tucker's lecture  on the Japanese Super Submarine (I-400 class) is now available on Youtube, with thanks to Millburn Camera for its assistance in taping the lecture and Richard Schonberg who edited the video. View the video »

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Schuber to Speak on Operation Anthropoid

William "Pat" Shuber
Our next lecture will be on Tuesday, June 23 at 7 p.m. at the Millburn Library. William "Pat" Schuber will speak about "Operation Anthropoid - The Assassination of of Reinhard Heydrich." Mr. Schuber is a lawyer and teaches history at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also a Civil War historian and has visited every one of the Civil War battle sites.

Operation Anthropoid was the assassination of top Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich, the Chief of Reich Main Security Office, the "Protector of Bohemia and Moravia" and the chief planner of the Final Solution. He was involved in most of Hitler's intrigues and a valued political ally, advisor and friend of the dictator. Due to his abilities and power he was feared by almost all the Nazi generals. Heydrich was nicknamed The Butcher of Prague, the Blond Beast or the Hangman.

The exiled government of Czechoslovakia under President Edvard Benes was under pressure from British intelligence, as there had been very little visible resistance in the Czech lands since the German occupation began in 1939. Resistance was brutally destroyed by Heydrich. The decision to assassinate Heydrich was designed to give inspiration to the Czech people and show the world that the Czechs were allies. Heydrich was one of the most important men in Nazi Germany and his death would be a huge loss and a profound psychological victory.

 The carefully planned effort to kill Heydrich has been thoroughly researched by Pat Schuber, who has visited the site of the assassination and read extensively about the event. His lecture will include many slides, including images of the completely destroyed village of Lidice, which was leveled to the ground on personal orders from Hitler in retaliation for the assassination.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Japanese Submarines Are May Meeting Topic

The next meeting of the New Jersey World War II Book Club will be on Tuesday, May 19,  at the Millburn Library, at 7 p.m.

Our speaker will be Bruce Tucker who will present a lecture, slides and some video on the Japanese Super Submarine (I-400 class) and Japan’s plan to use these submarines to alter the course of World War II. While there were a number of significant secret weapons developed during World War II such as jet aircraft like the ME-262 and missiles like the V-1 and V-2, one of the most secret and potentially most terrorizing of them all was a gigantic 400 foot long submarine that could travel 1 and 1/2 times around the world undetected and then surface briefly off the coast of a major US city like NY or Washington and launch a surprise attack. Although these monster Japanese submarines were never actually used as they were intended, and all traces of them disappeared shortly after the end of the war, they did manage to inspire the post war/cold war navy’s of the world with some of their astounding technologies. Two of their submerged wrecks, I-400 and I-401 were only recently discovered by divers in 2005 and 2013 off the coast of Hawaii. They now help to tell the rest of their story and why they were quickly disposed of by the US Navy in 1946.

 Bruce Tucker has taught history at Rutgers University School of Continuing Education Osher Life Long Learning Program and was recently awarded the 2015 Marlene M. Pomper OLLI-RU Teaching Award. Bruce also lectures and presents living history at various libraries, senior centers, community centers and public schools in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York City. He is a graduate of the City University of New York and The Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken. He lectured to us back in November, 2013 on Operation Catapult, the destruction of the French Navy during the fall of France in the summer of 1940, and was warmly received.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kaiser Lecture Available on Youtube

Youtube Logo
David Kaiser's April lecture on his book, No End Save Victory, is now available on Youtube, with thanks to Richard Schonberg who taped and edited the lecture and Millburn Camera for the use of its equipment.  View the video »

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hedtke Lecture Available on Youtube

Youtube Logo

Professor Hedtke's March lecture on the Freckleton, England air disaster is now available on Youtube, with thanks to Richard Schonberg who taped and edited the lecture and Millburn Camera for the use of its equipment.  View the video »

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

David Kaiser to Speak at April Meeting

The next meeting of the World War II Book Club will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, as usual at the Millburn Library, 200 Glen Avenue Millburn, NJ.

David Kaiser - No End Save VictoryOur speaker will be David Kaiser who will lecture on his new book No End Save Victory - How FDR Led The Nation Into War. While Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first hundred days may be the most celebrated period of his presidency, the months before the attack on Pearl Harbor proved the most critical. Roosevelt skillfully navigated a host of challenges - a reluctant population, an unprepared military, and disagreements within his cabinet - to prepare the country for its inevitable confrontation with the Axis. In No End Save Victory, esteemed historian David Kaiser draws on extensive archival research to reveal the critical preparations that enabled the United States to win the Second World War. David Kaiser has taught history at Harvard, Carnegie Mellon, the Naval War College and Williams College. He is the author of seven books.

Dr. McLaughlin heard this lecture at the FDR Library and immediately booked Mr. Kaiser for the World War II Book Club. He is traveling from Watertown, Massachusetts to deliver this lecture. This is a lecture everyone will enjoy.

Read the New York Times review by Michael Beschloss »