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WW2NewsLetterVol#2 No.12

WW2NewsLetterVol#2 No.12

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Published by: njww2bookclub on Jan 02, 2012
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01/02/2012

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 December 22, 2012, Volume 2,# 12
Next LectureTuesdayJanuary 17, 2012
On Tuesday, January17, 2012 at 7 PM SteveKarger, a history teacher in thepublic schools of Irvington willpresent a lecture on the book,
The
 
Devil's Doctor 
, written byJohn H Waller. The story isabout Dr. Felix Kersten, whotreated the notorious HeinrichHimmler. Himmler was chief of the German police, Minister of the Interior, and head of theGestapo during the Nazi reignof terror in Germany. From1939-1945, Himmler was oneof the most powerful men inNazi Germany and one of thepersons most directlyresponsible for the Holocaust.Steve Karger's lecturedraws on Waller's book andrelates the remarkable story of the relationship of Himmler,and his close advisor, Dr. FelixKersten, and how Kersten, atgreat risk to his own life andthat of his family, persuadedHimmler to free thousands of Jews from the ConcentrationCamps where they wereconsigned to death. Himmler,like many of the leaders of theNazis, profoundly sick in mindand soul, was wracked withphysical as well as mental andspiritual disorders. InHimmler's case he sufferedexcruciating stomach painswhich, if untreated, threatenedto end his career. Himmler heard of Dr. Kersten's "magichands" which could relieve hispain by their remarkablyeffective massages. Himmler forced Kersten into service ashis personal physician andmedical advisor andthroughout the entire war compelled Dr. Kersten to be athis side constantly to relievehis chronic pain. Kersten, whileadministering to Himmler wasable to convince Himmler toaid large numbers of Jews.What is in intriguing is theinteresting story of how our lecturer, Steve Karger, comesto be involved in this narrative.It appears that Karger's greatuncle Norbert Masur, aprominent official in the WorldJewish Congress, managed inthe early days of 1944 to makecontact with Dr. Kersten andpersuaded him to introducehim to Himmler. At enormousrisk he entered Germany tomeet with Himmler. The planwas twofold: [1] to giveHimmler, who was well awareof how the war was soon toend, a way to, perhaps, savehimself, and [2] moreimportantly, induce Himmler tosave the lives of countlessJews who would otherwisehave surely gone to their deathin one of the manyConcentration Camps. Theplan was remarkably effective,but little was known of it untilrecent years.In 2003 EmanuelAmara, a French film maker 
 
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decided to produce adocumentary about Dr.Kersten. Masur, of course,would play a prominent role inthe film. In the process of making the documentary,Amara learned that SteveKarger had been lecturingabout his famous great uncleat Brookdale College and wasrelated to Masur, and Masur invited Karger to Germany toparticipate in the documentary.Steve Karger possesses oneof the few copies of thedocumentary and it will beshown during the lecture.Don't miss this excitinglecture.
Future Programs
February 21: Carol Ventowill talk about her book
TheHidden Legacy of World War II: A Daughter's Journey 
. Shetells the story of her famousparatrooper father DutchSchultz, famously portrayed inthe movie "The Longest Day".March 20: AndrewNagorski, the first speaker atthe commencement of theBook Cub almost 3 years agowill give a lecture on his mostrecent book titled
Hitlerland, American Eyewitness to theNazi Rise to Power.
GeneralWedemeyer is among themany Americans he writesabout during this critical periodof the Nazi era.April 17: Leila Levinsonwill talk about her new book
Gated Grief 
, the story of her father, an army surgeon wholanded at Utah Beach on June6, 1944 along with the firstwave of American soldiers. Hetended to hundreds of wounded, but was notprepared for what heexperienced, when among thefirst group of Americans wholiberated Nordhausen, theinfamous Nazi ConcentrationCamp, he saw what hadhappened to tens of thousandsof Jewish prisoners who hadperished. Dr. Levinson, alongwith other army doctors,ministered to many of thesurvivors, and the experienceprofoundly affected his life.The memory was so terriblethat he largely suppressed it.His family knew little of thestory until Ms. Levinson, after her father's death, came upona trunk of her father'scontaining many photos andother documentation relating tothe horror. She knew she hadto tell the story. By speaking tomany other veterans who hadliberated Concentration Campsshe has constructed acompelling story of how theexperience affected the lives of those who liberated thesecamps. Most importantly shetells us that this is a story thatmust be told.The books by Carol Ventoand Leila Levinson bring tomind other books which focuson the impact of war onveterans and how it relates totheir life after their discharge.Anyone interested in thissubject is referred to two other recent books. The first is
What It Is Like To Go To War 
by CarlMarlantes. The second is
War 
by Sebastian Junger. Each of these books gives insight intothe real truths of combat: thefear, the honor, and the trust of the men which is the singlemost important ingredient inexplaining how these mensurvive the stress of combat.Most important is how thesetwo authors described thestress of re- entry into civilianlife after combat.Andrew Roberts, the author of 
Masters And Commanders
,a multiple award-winning bookhas just written a new andfascinating one volume historyof World War II,
The Storm of War 
, which has also receivedcritical reviews. Andrew hasagreed to come to the BookCub and discuss his new book,and we are working on a datesometime in the spring or fallof 2012. We will keep youposted on this event.
View PreviousLectures on theWeb
Paul Watkins
:http://vimeo.com/23160032
Ursula Pawel
:http://vimeo.com/24720446
John Satterfield:
 http://vimeo.com/29661112
Dr. Steven Lomazow:
 
http://vimeo.com/29888750
 
Dues for 2012
Membership dues for theyear 2012 are now payable.A Single membership is$25.00 and a familymembership is $30.00. Makechecks payable to World War II Book Club and mail to JohnMcLaughlin at address onthis News Letter.
Book Discussion
Unbroken
, the
New York Times B
est Seller will be thetopic of a Book Discussion atthe Millburn Public LibraryMonday February 6, 2012 at12:30. John McLaughlin will

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