From a tomb dating — BCE, Kerameikos Archaeological Museum, Athens Most children have been said to play with whatever they can find, such as sticks and rocks. Toys and games have been unearthed from the sites of ancient civilizations. They have been written about in some of the oldest literature.
Historical oddities or anomalous news stories especially attracted my interest, lingering in my mind for years to come. I was home, sick, and watching television, sipping an endless stream of the chicken noodle soup that my mother always made for me when I was ill.
My mother sat on the sofa, sewing and watching her shows.
Then, the programs were interrupted by the familiar voice of Walter Cronkite, and the news began to break. Like many children in America, I cried that night. A year or so later when the Warren Report was published and excerpted in almost every newspaper in the country, I remember thinking "bullets just don't do that.
Physics was also an interest for me, and another oddity lodged in my mind as I read the standard histories: I thought that was an extremely odd oddity indeed. It seemed to have the same sharp angles and corners as the Warren Commission's "magic bullet".
It just didn't fit. Other odd facts accumulated over the years as if to underline the strangeness of the war's end in general and that fact in particular.
Then, inthe Berlin Wall came down and the two post-war Germanies raced toward reunification. The events seemed to unfold faster than the news media's ability to keep pace. I remember that day too, for I was driving with a friend in his van in Manhattan.
My friend was Russian, as was his family, some of whom were veterans of the harsh conflict on the Russian front.
We listened to the reports on the radio with a kind of breathlessness and anxiety. My friend hurried to me and said "Now it will start to come out in the wash.
We had often discussed what would happen in the eventuality of German reunification, and were agreed that many things from the end of the war would begin to surface, answering old questions and raising new ones.
Our long talks about World War Two had convinced us that there was much about the war that did not make sense, Hitler's and Stalin's genocidal paranoia notwithstanding. Gradually, and one must say, predictably, the Germans themselves raced to uncover what lay hidden in the formerly inaccessible archival vaults of East Germany and the Soviet Union.
Witnesses came forward, and German authors endeavored to come to grips with yet another aspect of the darkest period in their nation's history.
Much, if not all, of their work remains ignored in the USA. This present book is based in part on these Germans' efforts.INTRODUCTION.
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