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When asked, Jen Kruuse said he wrote his book, “A War for an Afternoon,” as a result of life being madness. As a morale booster, to make the men of the SS army feel invincible, they were ordered to exterminate the town of Oradour-sur-Glane, France. The women and children of the town were rounded up, placed in the town’s church and the church was burned. All the men of the town were shot dead. The entire incident, explained Kruuse, was madness, pure madness.
European correspondent and journalist Daniel Singer discusses the independently published magazine “The Nation” and French politics and government. Singer focuses his discussion on the 1995 strikes in France and the political and economic events leading up to and influencing these strikes. Studs plays the French national anthem “La Marseillaise.”
Dorothy and Henry Kraus describe how they discovered an entire European collection of church-located woodcarvings depicting a wide variety of scenes crafted by local artisans. Hundreds of years of political, religious, and social events shaped the portrayals, and they explore many of the illustrations in their book, focusing on the themes of labor, animals, and religion. They marvel at the skill and craftsmanship and observe that the works can be a rich source of primary research material for modern scholars.
Pulitzer Prize winning writer and historian Barbara Tuchman discusses her book “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century” and its historical background. Both Barbara Tuchman and Studs Terkel reads excerpts from the book. A musical piece called “Courtley Love” is played at the beginning of the show.