tv David Nasaw The Last Million CSPAN December 23, 2020 12:49pm-1:48pm EST
>> actor tranfour founded the easter seals disability film challenge in response to sing disabilities underrepresented in front of and behind the camera. sunday night on q&a he will talk about this year's entries in winning films. nic novicki at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a. >> listen to c-span's podcasts the weekly. we are talking to purdue university political scientist robert browning who directs the c-span archives about congress is increasing use of lame-duck sessions to tackle big-ticket legislation. find c-span the weekly where you get your podcast. >> good afternoon. welcome to our carnegie council talk with david nasaw, author of the new book "the last million: europe's displaced persons from world war to cold war." i am joel rosenthal, president
of carnegie council for ethics and international affairs. those of us in the carnegie family of institutions have special affection for david. his biography of andrew carnegie published in 2006 was a life-changing event for us. through david's work, we have come to know andrew carnegie and all of his humanity and complexity, and there's one lesson from the book that really stayed with me and as animated my work at the carnegie council, and that is, as david would put it, carnegie is cockeyed optimism was not entirely misplaced. for all the madness we see in the world, progress based on reason and a can-do spirit is indeed possible. that i dickies me going and this occasion gives me the opportunity to say thank you, david. in addition to the carnegie biography, david's previous
books include prize-winning biographies of joseph p. kennedy and william randolph hearst. today we turn to david's latest book a portrait of not one person that of the over 1 million displaced persons who emerged alive on v-e day april 1945. the last million is an epic story that takes us right into the heart of europe during and after world war ii. it describes the movements millions of people among shifting borders and general chaos, the chaos of that war and its aftermath. it describes life at the street level and politics in the highest reaches of government. millions of people were displaced by world war ii. most know where those sent to concentration camps, yet there were also migrant laborers, forced laborers, collaborators,
lyrical parishioners and pows. when the war ended many if not most displaced persons return home. yet as the title suggests, a million did not. this book tells the story of their search for a new home. david, thanks for joining us. to kick it off i just have a simple question, which is how did you come to the story? how did you see "the last million" as a singular story to be told? >> i think it had a lot to do with tony just extraordinary book postwar period i had learned not to take the commonsense view of historical events as necessarily truthful. sometimes only partially truthful. went i read tony's book it
became clear to me much clearer than it been before the wars don't and with peace treaties, the cessation of austin was competing with soldiers going home. the suffering for civilians who have been displaced by war continues unabated in the case of "the last million" for three to five years they remained in germany, in camps, many behind barbed wire for three to five years let me emphasize after v-e day. >> let's talk about the million who remain. you talk about the 1 million into germany. can you give us a little bit of information about who these people were and who went willingly and who didn't? >> there were three different streams into germany during the
war. the largest was the stream from eastern europe, mostly poling and the ukraine. these were in large part adolescence, young men and women who were trapped from their homes, forced onto trucks and trains into germany. hitler and the third reich leadership knew from the very beginning that the only possible way to send millions of soldiers to the eastern front was to replace them with millions of more forced enslaved laborers from the east. so that was the first group, and they begin arriving in 1940 1941 and continued to arrive through the end of the war. the second stream that made up the last million came in 1944-
1944-1945 from latvia, lithuania, estonia, and parts of ukraine. and these were men, women and their children. the men and women who had in one way or another collaborated with the nazi authorities. sometimes that collaboration meant simply working in a post-office that was overseen by a nazi official. in other cases it meant serving in the auxiliary police, rounding up jews pick . in some cases it meant joining the ss division. when he became clear that the red army was on its march and would soon arrive in the baltic states, and in the ukraine, thousands upon thousands of citizens who had collaborated in some way, and citizens who could not abide the thought of living under soviet domination, made
their way into germany here the third group were the jewish survivors as the war came to an end, hitler and the german officials realize that they didn't want the fact of the death camps to be discovered by the russians in the world, number one. number two, they needed more labor at home than they were getting from the forced laborers and slave laborers. and the decision was made to relocate those who had survived the death camps and the labor camps in poland and in the balkans to relocate them to death march them into germany where they would be, not gassed, but worked to death. most of them in underground mines, minerals, armament
factories -- mills. these are the three groups that make up the last million. their journeys into germany are different so, too, would be their experiences in germany. >> so it is v-e day or a little bit after we're in europe 1945. can you give us a little bit of a feel for what it's like in these camps and what comes to life, and in what sort of futures or choices are these people looking at? >> there is no way to comprehend the devastation in germany that the displaced persons found when they left their workplaces or their concentration camps or their pow camps. they were rounded up by the allies, put on trucks, gotten out of the way, ship to assembly centers and then sorted out by nationality and put into camps
behind barbed wire often. camps that were run by unhra, united nations relief and rehabilitation administration, but supplied by the armies, the armies supplied them with medical supplies, shelter. they built facilities and then unhra took care of them. what happened was that in germany in the years following v-e day, in these camps there were little ukraine's, little latvia, little jewish settlements. in the beginning under a and allies decided that they were going to separate out the last name by nationality. they did not recognize that there was such a thing as a jew lithuanian jews were sequestered
with lithuanians polish jews with non-jewish poles. in many instances the jewish survivors found themselves in the same camps as those who had been their there guards in the concentration and labor camps. that ended in july and august when the jews were put into their own camps. the sense in all of these camps, this was transitional, , that ty would soon be allowed to go home. the latvians, , the estonia is believed that world war iii was coming rapidly, and the americans in the british were going to liberate the ukraine, latvia, estonia, that from the soviets and displaced persons could go home again. the same with the polls. the jews knew that they could never go home again, that they had no place in europe.
in the very beginning the soviets and the allies in eastern europe, the soviet dominated eastern europe they demanded every displaced person except for the jews and those who have been displaced by franco years before. every displaced person should go home but whether they wanted to or not they had to go home. the allies said no. the americans and british said no. people have the right to choose their own citizenship whether they wanted to gohome or not . the soviets were convinced and there was a paranoia that as some basis in reality that after the great world war in world war i the allies tried to overthrow the bolshevik regime and some of his
compatriots believed that was a real possibility after world war ii and what allies were doing with the british and the americans were doing was creating an army of anti-soviet, anti-communist dissidents that would be available to spread anti-soviet propaganda and or begin world war iii. >> i talk a little bit about you mentioned in passing the is talisman of the international institutions to deal with this problem so first we have the united nations relief and rehabilitation authority and then we later have the ir oh. the international refugee organization and there's a amazing passage in your book, for those who will look at it it's on page 258. i'm not going to read it beginning chapter 17 where you talk a little bit about how these organizations and
their names, they sort of at a mission of being humane institutions meant to provide literally relief for this immediate human suffering and yet they turn into something else. right? they turn into these utilitarian employment agencies if youwill. can you talk about those institutions and how they are set up and where they eventually go ? >> franklin roosevelt is in this book and in others something of a hero. he understands in 1943 that there will be an enormous refugee problem not only in europe but in asia aswell when the war is over and the only way to solve the refugee
problem is through international cooperation. he is instrumental , again this is in 1943. in setting up the united nations rehabilitation administrationand he gets the nations of the world including the soviet union to join . the understanding is that it will be an agency that repatriate's that, takes care of the immediate needs of refugees and then provides passage home to them. so that doesn't happen and although the soviets demand that they be sent home or made to survive on their own in germany, the americans and british continue to support these people in camps. for a year, yearand a half until it becomes clear that they're not going home . the americans and the british spearhead the establishment of a new organization.
on new organization without the soviets. the soviets won't join in and its task is not to repatriate but to resettle the last million.and beginning in late 1946, 1947 there is this extraordinary, bizarre meat market set up in as one of the unroofed employees calls it. a meat market set up in the displaced persons camps. and all the members of the international refugee organization, the aro , dozens of latin american nations, canada, australia, south africa, they send delegations. recruiters into the camps to find workers to take jobs
that they can't find anybody else to take. it begins with the british. the british have a severe labor shortage. and they can't get anybody to work in the tuberculosis center. or in the hospitals. so what do they do? they go into the camps and they recruit thousands of women in the beginning and then they decide this has worked so well we need help in the minds. where going to bring in latin men and when the latvians run out, they go to lithuanians and estonians and ukrainians polls. the french need minors, the belgians need minors, the canadians need their railroad workers and people who work in forestry . and so the international refugee organization becomes
a labor recruitment organization. it tries to look after the welfare of those abroad but the shots are being called by the governments that are doing the recruiting, not the international organizations. >> so there is sort of a hierarchy in terms of desirability in the resettlement process and some of that based on race and on perception. or maybe it's just more utilitarian function or some combination. >> it's a combination. the latvians are always the first. the australian prime minister makes it clear there's a recruiting team going out, get to latvia. why?
because the latvians are white, the latvians are protestant, the latvians are reliably anti-communist and the latvians had only arrived unlike the polls and the jews , they had only arrived in germany at the end of the war and they were relatively healthy. they had suffered the ravages of the war. the jewish dividers of the polish forced labor's. and it was felt that they were hard workers. no country on earth one of the jews. and they didn't want the jews again for a variety ofreasons . they weren't reasons, a variety of myths, misconceptions . they regarded the jews as unwilling to do hard manual labor. as scoundrels, as rogues, as thieves and worse yet, as bolshevik sympathizers or operatives. so from 1947 to 1948 as the
latvians and estonians were resettled outside of the camps, the jews were left. the only way for the jews to get out of those camps was through illegal immigration. to palestine. the british tried to stop the ships that left from marseille and from italian ports, hungarian ports bound for israel but they couldn't do it. and 20, 30,000 displaced jews made their way to israel. once they arrived at the high five, the british grabbed them and put them on a second series of ships to cypress and put them behind barbed wire. in displaced persons camps but for the jews getting out of germany even to go into another set of displaced
persons camps was far preferable thanremaining in the land of their murderers . >> so many questions about the stories of the jewish displacement but i wanted to ask you about truman as it relates to this story. so the way i'm reading it in the narrative is he's willing to confront the british, to say you need to open up palestine and it's a painful process but he eventually confronts the british and gets there or in that direction. he's not willing to confront the us calmly. so let's opening of the united states, is that fair? >> truman believes in the very beginning with this nacve optimism, the state department says don't go there. but truman says i'm going there. and he confronts at pop stem, he confronts churchill and then adlai immediately and
says you've got to open up palestine to the jewish displaced persons. and he hints that if you want the loans thatyou need to rebuild your nation , you've got to help me out here. i've got lots of jewish floaters and i need their support and its the humanitarian thing to do and then he lets this further argument which is just tragic . he says to the british he says you don't have to worry the way you did before the war. he said 6 million jews were killed and their dead. so the european jews aren't going tooverwhelm palestine . where not talking about millions here. we're talking about a couple hundred thousand. the british would not budge. they say to truman look, you care this much about european jews, take them into the
united states . he actually knows, he's much smarter about domestic politics than british politics and international politics. truman knows he can't do that . that's not possible. that the hostility, that the european jews misunderstanding of what has happened is such that congress is never going to allow this into the country. >> on truman to there was a question i had. there was a sort of theme in the book or you seem strong together. this goes back to the camps themselves and word gets back to truman that the situation is really dire. these camps are really, people are suffering and he talks to eisenhower and basically tells him to clean it up . and you know, eisenhower goes back and goes through the camp and particularly the
jewish camps and makes it a point that these are under united states authority, united states and we're going to clean it up and did i read that right?was that an act of humanity or was i romanticizing truman and eisenhower a little bit in light of more recent events where we see the treatment of displaced people under united states authority. >> truman and eisenhower come out as the heroes in this book. i mean, flawed heroes but heroes nonetheless. truman recognizes from the very beginning the plight of the displaced persons in the jewish displaced persons. and you know, there are those who say clark, his advisor says it's because he had read the bible from early on and he knows the jews belong in israel. i don't know whether that's true but in the beginning,
you've got to realize what a mess europewas right after the war. nobody knew how many jews had survived . we knew that millions had been killed but no one knew what their condition was or how many made it out of the camps. and there was this sense, the state department had this sense and the britishhad this sense. the jews have suffered but so has everybody else in this war and we can't single out the jews . the jewish organization in the united states and in britain said the jews have suffered more than any other group. and they need special treatment. the american state department , the united nations in the beginning said number the british said absolutely not. the jews will be treated like everyone else. the jews were treated like everyone else. and the suffering was
intense. and finally in july 2 months after the war was over in july truman sends a fact-finding mission led by dean harrison. the earl harrison at the university of pennsylvania and he sends harrison who was not a jew, sentence him to visit the camps. and there is an comes back with a report and he says we are treating the jews just as bad as the germans did. except we're not exterminating them. and truman reads this report and writes his letter to immediately to eisenhower. and assist eisenhower, you've got to take care of this. this is inhumane, this is impossible, this is un-american. and eisenhower goes to work. >> you mentioned before, i want to move to the cold war
aspect of this. and could you say a little bit more about the sort of soviet interest in this whole situation. how does it look from moscow. as they're lookingat this problem and how does it drift into the beginning stages of the cold war from the east ? >> the soviets know that large numbers of collaborators have escaped from the east, have escaped from the baltic nations. belarus, from the ukraine. and made their way into germany. and you know, in the book i tell many stories of war criminals and collaborators who throw away their uniforms and all the papers that they have and find their way into
the displaced persons camps. once in the displaced persons camps they then passed, they had been farmers, they had been factory workers. the soviets know and the polls know and the yugoslavs know that there are these war criminals there and they want them to go to justice. number one. number two, they know that there is a cauldron of anti-communist in these camps and it's going to affect the future direction of europe and the world. having these dedicated, anti-communist and high soviets loose in the world, i
mean it's going to cause them hardship and then third and maybe the most important reason is the soviets and polls and yugoslavs have an extraordinary task of rebuilding their nations and they need every laborer they can including, including the members of the last million who are idle in germany rather than returning to poland. to rebuild the devastated country. >> i want to turn out to the united states. it takes a while and i don't remember when it happened but we do, there is a bill passed in the united states congress signed by president truman for resettlement of refugees in the united states a couple years later . but this is the big question and i'm sure everybody will feel this when they're reading the book. why doesn't the united states
, you talk about the other countries but also the united states, do more to sort of sort out the war criminals, the collaborators, the nazis and others as they begin to issue visas for resettlement in the united states. >> for a long time it was felt that the americans and british and canadians and australians didn't keep the war criminals and their collaborators out because they didn't know how to do it . and doing my research i discovered that wasn't the case. in every displaced persons camp there was a historical commission in poland, the surviving jews immediately established a historical commission. in austria, the most famous of the jewish or the nazi
hunters, simon wiesenthal sets up a commission. they take testimony from the displaced persons . they have lists, long lists. they know in the camps of the displaced persons, among the displaced persons or were criminals and collaborators who should be tried. no one gives a damn. and one of the reasons for this is that the memories of world war are obliterated by the fears of cold war. hitler has been defeated, so the sentiment is in the united states the fascists, the nazis have been defeated. they're not coming back. the danger moving forward is from the cold war and this notion that there issuch a thing called totalitarianism . and that stalin is a latter-day hitler. the soviets are the same as
the germans and we've got to turn from fighting one war to fighting the other almost immediately and so what if some of these displaced persons were nazi collaborators or were anti-soviet, fought against the red army? so what if they join? they are anti-communists and we need them now. let'sforget the past and let's move forward . and this happens everywhere. there's a story i tell which just stays with me. a group of minors in england, the miners are left-wing but it doesn't really matter, they discover that the latvians, displaced persons were working with them in the minds had ss tattoos and they
threatened to go on strike . when this goes back to the government, a labor government, the labor government says well, what will do is the waffen ss soldiers will keep them out of the minds and we will put them injobs where they don't have to take off their shirts and no one will see their tattoos in 1915, 1951 . the americans changed their regulation to let in former members of the waffen ss. it's not a pretty picture. and it's because this country , but congress is beset by this cold war hysteria. >> i understand that in the context of the times, the 1940s but it does seem to be
toward the end of the book a wave in the 1980s or it's maybe as time goes by 30 years later, maybe simon wiesenthal becomes more well-known. there is a sort of wave of this famous cases, ivan the terrible and all these things that pop up. i think of it during the reagan years. is that just a function of time in a way, i'm just curious how you read that. where it kind of bubbles up. >> it bubbles up in theunited states . 50 percent of the time he's wrong, he chooses people who he shouldn't accused but 50 percent of the time he's right . and he has this residue of nazi hunters who nobody listens to for 30 years. in the beginning of the 70s, reporters and journalists who
some of them not jewish, look again at what is going on 30 years before. and they begin to be leaks from ins. the ins leaks to reporters and to congresswoman elizabeth holtzman the news that there is in the records of immigration and naturalization service lists of nazi collaborators. and because of the crusade of the journalists and of liz holtzman and a couple of other congressmen the question is reopened in the united states and once the
united states begins to look again at what happened 30 years before, howdid these people get into the united states, how many are still here and what can we do about it ? the canadians, the australians and the brits begin to start the same process. regrettably, it's too late. it's too late. even those who are brought to justice have had a good 30 years inthe united states . their crimes code unpunished. >> i want to alert the audience, i have a couple more questions for david but i want to encourage those who are watching if you have a question or a comment to submit them by the chat function and we will try to get to those towards the end of the hour. so david, i can't resist asking this question. i'm sure a lot of people are thinking it and i do want to avoid civil or fast while comparisons but we are living
in a world now where i looked this up, there are this last year 80 million displaced people in the world. this is a issue in a different way. but i have to ask, having spent all this time on this story and tellingthis story , what does it leave you with now as you look at the world today? lessons learned or thoughts that you couldconnect to the situation we find ourselves in ? >> one of the tragedies in the present-day situation, let me start with the most obvious. to me at least. in 1943, roosevelt establishes an international organization because he understands this is an international problemthat requires international cooperation . until the present
administration, the united states believed in international cooperation about the refugees. now having said that, the obligation of the united nations and its participating nations has been not to repatriate or resettle the refugees but to shelter and feed and supply them with minimal medical assistance in the camps. in the 70 years, since the end of the displaced persons camps ingermany , the sense has been that the limits of
the world's responsibility is to make sure none of these people starve . not to allow them to leave or leave meaningful lives. through repatriation or through resettlement. and this is a tragedy that is only going to get worse. in my book, at the end the only place for the displaced jews to resettle is in independent israel. and i make the argument that truman supports the establishment and the independence of israel because he knows that in order to establish an independent west germany which the west needs as the bowl wart of an anti-communist coalition, he's got to get the jews out of germany.
there can't be a west germany with 250,000 use in camps. and the only place you can get them out, you can't get them into the united states is israel. so he supports an independent israel. but where do those jews go? where did the european jews go? they are settled in rural communities. agricultural settlements, in houses and in apartments. that have been cleared of palestinians by the israeli army. or in the case of those who had left voluntarily, the israelis refused to let the palestinians return. so the displaced, the problem of the displaced jews is solved by the displacement of
palestinians. and while i do not want to diminish the suffering of the jews who end up in israel, they are displaced in less than five years. displacement of the palestinians is now into its third generation . with no signs of there ever being repatriated and resettled. >> my last question and i'm going to then move it over to alex woodson who's going to sort of tea it up and maybe he can t it up with this first question but i did want to make note of the theme of aftermath. of the way that you include the book, the sort of code onto the book it's titled aftermath and to me that sort of suggests some idea of regeneration or some growth.
i don't know. i mean, i guess it's the tragedy then leads to some redemption some way, i don't know or maybe it just spins off another one but before i let you go and go over to the questions, do you have a sense of redemption here or do youjust feel like the cycle , the way you left it there just kind of rebukes itself. >> let me tell two stories quickly. one peter binder told me and there's a new book about the holocaust and it tells about two displaced persons who when they arrived in israel are sent to an apartment in haifa and when they move in they see the apartment is fully furnished and they realize it's there because it's been, because the palestinians have left and
they look at it and they think about their suffering and they turn around and they leave. the second story is about a man named yitzhak glassman and his wife lola, who i talk about. i met i think he was 98, his wife was much younger, she was 96.and they had met in, they've known each other in poland, they had met in dachau. then got married. and the two of them had lost their entire families. had suffered immensely in camp after camp after camp. and through the kindness of cousins, their only remaining relatives in the united states, they were resettled , relocated into the, as a
locksmith. they found a home for their family. yet zach and lola raised three kids. they have a large brood of grandchildren who come to visit them in their assisted-livingfacility . and at the end of this discussion i look at yet zach and i say, i tried to ask a final question and he looks at me knowing what i'm going to ask. he says it's a good life. he says i've had a good life. he said i love my wife, we've been married for 17 years. i love my children and i will forever thank my cousins in america forfinally letting me in . >> i want to make sure we have some time for some questions so i'm going to turn it over to my colleague
alex woodson and he's going to ask on behalf of those who have beenwriting in. i see the chat lines really writing lighting up so alex, over to you . >>thank you. the first question from debra rogers . can you speak about the survival spirit and how people kept hope alive ? >> it's an extra ordinary, you know it's an extraordinary story and i don't want to downplay it, especially in the jewish camps. the surviving brethren as they call themselves recognized that morning was a luxury. they would not forget the 6 million. but their task was to resurrect judaism. not in europe, they were all clear about that. with the polls, the polls believed that in exile, the anti-communist polls that it was their job. that it was their task, their mission to resurrect a
cultural nationalism, so we keep it alive. so the spirit and the displaced persons camps was not one of victimization but one of preparation for the next stage in their lives. which they hoped and new wood follow. >> this is from david kent. i have a personal question. my father was a jewish refugee from austria who escaped england in 1938 was interred in australia from 1940 to 1942 and returned to england. he came to the united states in may 1948, became a displaced person because the port of austria was too small and alreadyfilled, how could he have come as a displaced person when the us didn't pass the act until june, he definitelycame as a displaced person . >> there was , i haven't
talked about in this interview. there was a truman directive and truman in large part because he couldn't get the british to move, said that the german and austrian quotas would be combined, number one and number two, he said set up offices in and around the displaced persons camps. to provide visas under the quotas for those who could establish german or austrian citizenship in some way. so a small number of german and austrian jews were allowed to enter before the displaced persons act. the germans knew austrians would not consider displaced persons because the displaced
persons, the un defined as those who had fought against the germans. the germans and the austrians were not displacedpersons but under the truman directive , some of them were allowed to enter the country. >> next question is from grady jacobson. massachusetts. we are often caught as children in the us that the liberation of european jews from nazi germany was a major reasonthe allies fought in world war ii . so if allies were not immediately concerned with the injustices perpetrated on the jewish people and the mystery ofthem as well, at what point did the attitude towards them change ? do you think it's this idea of more of a failure of historicalcurriculum ? >> it's fundamentally clear to me that the war was not fought to save the jews area there is no evidence whatsoever that it was fought
to save the jews. as a matter of fact, roosevelt and his cabinet went out of their way to discount any word that american boys were being sent over tosave jews . the were more was fought for a variety of reasons but the rescue of the jews was never part of that. and if that's currently in thetextbooks, then that's just wrong . when the war wasover , the common sense view is that americans opened their arms and pocketbooks to save the jews who hate they had not saved during thewar .
6 million had died but a quarter million remained and the common sense view is that again, we opened our arms and welcomed them. that was not the case. in the end of those quarter million displaced jews only about 50,000 came to the united states as displaced persons. some of those who went to israel because there was no place else they could go later came back to the united states but the number of displaced jewswere allowed into this country was minimal compared to the need . >> this is more of a comment from phyllis lee. non-resettlement a tenant of international law set up by the un hr could lead to debts. their obligations by countries, some jews were forced to settle in new
jersey, even israel didn't take everyone at first it wasn't until 1955 that israel was willing to do so. >> yes and number israeland the beginning , ben-gurion said we will take all the jews. they can come. and israel set up a organization to bring the jews who were sick, who were infirm, to bring them to israel. there were groups, large numbers of jews who remained in germany were those who had gone to israel, found that they couldn't live there becauseit was in a state of war. came back to germany and there were groups of orthodox jews who remained in germany . but for the most part, the israelis accepted the jews . there are questions about whether they could have treated them better.
once they got to israel. and there was also some resistance to bringing them into the country. but israel did all the stores and obligation to take in as many jews as wanted to come . >> this question goes back to one that's a little more specific comments from billy pickett. are there any lessons we can learn from the lastmillion when looking at the us border with mexico ? >> yes. yes. let me start with two. one, there has to be a fact-based approach. we can't let just as the jews were kept out because of this meant that they were bolsheviks. all of us have to do everything we can to counter
this myth of mexicans who don't want to work hard or are criminals or hondurans and colombians are gang members. there has to be a fact-based realism. at the same time, humanitarian interest at some point has to override geopolitical interest and political differences. and we have to open our hearts and our souls and our minds to the crisis on the southern border. and you know, there's no sign that that is being done with thecurrent administration . one would hope that it changes. >> i can take it now, we are coming and i want to make
sure david had a chance to sum up. david, i have a big question. we may have to have a separate conversation over lunch sometime about i don't want to get into counterfactual history but i know a big part of the book was you're talking about as you were saying how the war doesn't end and it blends into the cold war. and did you give any thought to the sort of counterfactual about some things that could have been done differently and maybe it feeds off the answer you justgave but were we able to go back there in time , seeing the cold war on thehorizon . how this problem might have been addressed in a way that would have been more positive less perhaps less confrontation with the soviets. >> yes, i think it would have been possible to cooperate with the soviets and what the
soviets wanted was, the soviets had a lot of the nazi record. all of the german records. the soviets had eyewitnesses from the baltic states and ukraine who knew who the war criminals were if the americans hadcooperated with the soviets , war criminals would have been found and brought to justice. now, the americans didn't cooperate with the soviets because we didn't trust the soviets and we learn to but you don't have to trust them. we didn't have totrust that entirely . to enter into some sort of cooperative relationship with them. early on. and that was not done. and as a result the soviets were convinced that we were keeping these war criminals in camps because they were
anti-communist which was possibly true. and the hostility between the soviets and the american coalition increased to the point where it was unmanageable. >> we are right now at the top of the hour so we have to adjourn this session. david, thank you very much for spending time with us. this is one of those books where it really is a life-changing experience for me. it makes me look at the war in a completelydifferent way thank you so much . we look forward to continuing the conversation. >> this has been aterrific conversation thank you very much . >> thanks everybody for listening. goodbye.
>> weeknights this month we feature book tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span2. tonight as part of our 2020 year in review we focus on books about business and economics. first, economist and best-selling author thomas picardy on his book character ideology then thomas warlick, chief economist for bloomberg economics talked about his book: the level that never pops. later authors rebecca anderson and miriam cindy show their thoughts at the boston book festival. that starts at 8 pm eastern. enjoy book tv this week and every weekend on c-span2. >> every weekend with the latest nonfiction books and authors, book tv on c-span2 created by america's cable television companies.
today we're brought to youby these television companies to provide book tv to viewers as a public service . >> listen to c-span's podcast the weekly. we're talking to purdue university political scientist robert browning who directs the c-span archives versus use of lame-duck sessions to tackle big ticket legislation. find c-span's the weekly where you get your podcasts. >> good evening everyone, my name is connor moran and on director of the wisconsin book festival and i'm delighted to be joined here tonight by brian greene, author of until the end of time jen 11. the author of the black survival guide. we're also joined by this evening by eric wilcox who is