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Some people don’t think we need to know history. But history is simply other people’s experiences. The same folks who don’t think we need to know history are the same ones who hop on YouTube video to learn how to insulate the attic or they explore Pinterest to get ideas for a birthday party theme. They are tapping into a history of sorts. Someone else, through trial and error has previously figured some things out that we don’t know and now the rest of us benefit from their insight.
Consider the old adage: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” The second half of that statement is about learning from our own experiences, and that again, is history, albeit our personal history. But life is too short, and some experiences are too costly to have to learn only from our own successes and failures. We really need to learn from what others have experienced. Once again, that is history. Or as World War II icon, General George Patton said, “Fools learn from their own mistakes. I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.”
I think some people resist the idea of learning about history because to them it’s a set of dates and places about which they have little knowledge and even less interest. In short, they don’t value history because it’s dull. But to me, history isn’t so much dates (who did what, when, and to whom) as it is stories. In terms of WWII, the stories are many but they include the fact that Adolph Hitler had a problem with flatulence. Another wartime tale is that during the conflict with the Japanese, future American President, John Kennedy, swam three miles to an island after his ship sunk. The fact that some of us were taught history in an uninteresting way does not negate its value to us today.
Read an Excerpt
At 1:45 a.m. Otto Adler rose from his recliner, walked to a table, and picked up a sheet of paper. He scanned it and set it on the table. “Johann went to kill Ingelse but didn’t come back,” he said to the empty room. He pounded the wall with his fist. “I bet the Dutchman outsmarted him and suckered him into talking. I told Johann not to talk! Just shoot him! But he never listens to his older brother,” he growled. “I won’t make that mistake.”
He made a phone call.
“You ready?” Good. I’ll be there at 2:20.” He reached for the sheet of paper. “Yes, I’m going to go over it again.”
“So we get it done. Ingelse is a snake that slithers away. But not this time. Ten minutes to get there. We watch the house for fifteen minutes.”
He drummed his fingers on the phone table.
“At 2:45 we walk up to the house. I stand on the porch, and you crouch in the bushes with your gun.” He shaped his free hand like a pistol.
“I knock on the door and say, ‘It’s Windmill.’” He smiled. “I tell him I have an important delivery. When he looks at me, you jump on the porch. You shoot. We leave.”
He was silent for thirty seconds. “Yes, I’m sure. That Jew-loving Ingelse will be dead in an hour.” He hung up the phone and fed his notes to the flames in the potbellied stove.
About the Author: Life conspired to get Rob Currie to write Hunger Winter: A World War II Novel. His father is a World War II veteran and his wife is Dutch. An award-winning author, it was only a matter of time before he would focus his writing on World War II. Research for Hunger Winter included numerous books, interviews with Dutch WWII survivors, and three weeks in the Netherlands. His investigation revealed astonishing details about the Dutch experience of the war, which begged to be turned into a book.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, he graduated from Cornerstone University and went on to earn a master's degree and doctorate in psychology from St. Louis University. He has taught psychology at Judson University since 1987. His hobbies include playing basketball, cooking, and writing poetry.
Author Web Site: http://www.robcurrieauthor.com
Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Winter-World-War-Novel/dp/1496440358/
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