UM, Hitler, Boston discussed on Mornings on Maine Street


We're talking with and Boston this morning and and thank you so much for getting up with us. First and foremost and thank you for the book that you've written. It's called ensnared in the Wolf Slayer. And I think some folks are familiar with Operation Valkyrie, which was an attempt Tonto to assassinate Hitler. But I don't think we're familiar with what happened afterwards. So first and foremost Welcome. Thanks for being with us and kind of fill in the gaps here. Hitler took his revenge. And I don't know that anybody really is aware of it. Well, thank you for having me Bill, And that was the part of the story That surprised me, too. I had I'm general knowledge of the attempt to kill Hitler in July of 1944, but didn't really understand the complexity of the plot and certainly had not realized the kind of revenge that followed not just for the conspirators themselves, but from members of their families. Now the conspiracy. I understand they were they were hanged. Is that correct? Correct most of them somewhere shot, But most were hanged. And beyond that, there were the families. Now there are cultures in which, if you do wrong against me, I'm going to do wrong against you and your family effort one or two generations. That's sort of what Hitler did talk about. Those Gestapo is knocking on the doors of those families. Who? Right? So, um as the At first, the thought was that just a few people had been involved in this conspiracy. But as the Gestapo and other Nazi, um, investigators began digging, they realized that many more um families had been involved, and with each discovery they would arrive at the doorstep and Collect the wives, the older Children, older teens, parents, aunts, uncles and take them into custody, putting them in prison, interrogating them in many cases and essentially using them as as ransom trying to, um, leverage that Um, that imprisonment. Um it took to extract information from the conspirators themselves in an effort to figure out who else had been involved. One of what in the term is you saying the title But let me get folks of the full title here and snared in the wolf layer. Inside the 1944 plot to kill Hitler and the ghost Children of his revenge. And that's the part of the story that I find extremely fascinating. The ghost Children define that. What are we talking about here? So the ghost Children is a term that came to be applied to the youngest offspring of these families, the ones who were initially left behind in the care of relatives, or, um or, you know staff members in in homes that had had staff in their employ or even nurses that were brought in from the Nazi government to take care of them. But eventually those Children were also taken away. Usually, while there are always while their other relatives were gone, so any relatives who were released from prison would come home and discover that their Children were gone. Which would have been horrifying shock and the Children were spirited away to, um, a secret. Encampment in central Germany and held there for weeks or months, some of them until after the end of the war before they were finally reunited with their families. I guess this morning in Boston who's written a book and snared in the Wall Slayer. Talk Lou about the research you did for this because you really dug deeply into this and had some rather interesting materials to draw from. Yeah, I made two separate trips to Europe to research this book during the first one. I went to the vault shot. So the Wolf's lair which is in, um um, you know, the isolated northern Northeastern part of Poland on would have been on the um, Eastern front during World War two. And I went there in the middle of winter just to see this military complex where the assassination attempt occurred, and when I went back to to Europe Second trip. I focused in on these the so called ghost Children and was able to interview two of them in Germany later on interviewed other eye witnesses who had immigrated to the United States and began to to gather their eyewitness recollections of their own experiences. Were they aware of each other? I mean, it seems to me that would be possible. They'll be a generation of Children who are related because of this incident, but are not aware that they are Um not. Some of them were too young to have any memories at all. They were, You know, newborns, right? Um, And so they know of this as part of their history but have no memories of it. Others. I'm were so terrorized by this experience of being separated from from their families and homes that they have few memories of it. But their overtime there began to be mean Reunion reunion Sounds too cheerful, but gatherings of these survivors And so they They're fairly familiar with one another. They have met with some frequency at commemorations for the coup attempt, which is is, um, a point of national commemoration. Um, Ato, least in in Berlin. Um, every year and so there There. Ah, you know, unfortunate club, I guess and have formed friendships that have lasted into adulthood in some cases, And what's interesting here is the other interesting thing. I mentioned this off the air when we were getting you on this morning. What else I find interesting about this. You've written this for younger readers, but I'm telling you, moms, dads, adults It is well worth your time to read. It's very various accessible. You just get pulled straight into it when you start reading it, But why? Why choosing to write for a younger audience? Well, that's been the focus of most of my writing for the past 20 years, but I tend to have a lot of adult readers as well because my topics are often these under told stories of history. That we all find interesting. It doesn't matter what your age is. So I I like to try to give younger people the kinds of stories that will draw them into the historical narrative in a way that maybe their textbooks don't Ah, and I think the way to do that is to define stories that They remind them of their own experiences or may inspire them to think of it events that they might want to influence themselves someday. And this way, I think this should be on the reading list for for for youngsters who are taking history classes that include World War two. I just I just think it's that well done, and it's it's a glimpse into what Life in that third Reich was like in a way that you're not gonna get anywhere else. So I just highly recommended, but instead of the Wolf Slayer is the name of the author and Boston with us. This is from that Geo. National Geographic. How do we get it? I guess that website or where can we go to.

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