WWII

Meisy's Resistance

Jun 2, 2020
R/DV/RS / Flickr

The Battle of the Bulge had not gone well for a California kid named Ralph Ellis, who, like countless others in the fog of war, had lost track of his outfit. He was in awful shape, as so many were when the Hitler sprung an immense December surprise and bullied their way through Allied lines in France and Belgium. Ellis was alone, wounded, frozen and famished, hiding out in an uninhabited house in a town pummeled--for the second time--by the Nazi advance. He thought he was dying.

Cultural Continuum 1-17-20

Jan 17, 2020

The Kee Live Music Festival gets underway Friday in Cherokee, the University of Okoboji Winter Games cranks up Thursday, and there are two new exhibits at the Clay County Heritage Center. In the metro area, MLK Day is Monday and the NAACP is putting on a big event at The First Congregational Church. Find out more on our first Cultural Continuum of the year.

The Algona Nativity

Dec 23, 2019

The first one was twelve feet wide, still quite a production because Jesus, Mary, and the babe were mud-sculptured, then baked, then painstakingly painted. Back in Germany, Eduard Kaib had been an architect. That’s not to say his hand-made Nativity–all of twelve feet wide–required architectural expertise. It was Christmas, 1944, and Kaib was a long, long way from home. Things just got to him; so he decided to create this most famous barnyard scene, a fully manned–and animal-ed–nativity.

Keystone/Second Roberts Commission [Public domain] / Wikimedia Commons

It's 1944. Otto Steinke is too old to be drafted, his son just a few months too young. Besides, both are needed because the Allied cause requires mountains of food, food the Steinkes can produce on their Iowa farm. Not everyone can be a soldier, even some who really, really want to be. 

On The Exchange this week we talk with some of the candidates from this general election.  Mayor Bob Scott will talk about his re-election and Rhonda Capron says goodbye to the Sioux City Council after eight years of service.  SOHO restaurant and bar owner Julie Schoenherr bested Capron.  We will speak with Schoenherr as well.

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Corn growers and ethanol producers may get some good news soon, according to Iowa’s senior senator. 

Republican Chuck Grassley says President Donald Trump was surprised that his decision to exempt 31 refineries from their ethanol obligations generated a lot of opposition. Grassley and others met at the White House last week and presented a plan to correct the problem: waived gallons from small refineries need to be re-assigned to someone else. Grassley says the White House had its own proposal.

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Corn growers and ethanol producers may get some good news soon, according to Iowa’s senior senator. 

Republican Chuck Grassley says President Donald Trump was surprised that his decision to exempt 31 refineries from their ethanol obligations generated a lot of opposition. Grassley and others met at the White House last week and presented a plan to correct the problem: waived gallons from small refineries need to be re-assigned to someone else. Grassley says the White House had its own proposal.

Author Jim Schaap talks with Siouxland Public Media's Mark Munger about a Dutch resistance fighter in who defied the Nazies WWII. Diet Eman died last week.  Schaap worked with Eman on her biography. 

We talk with the president of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA about a three million dollar gift that will help the school and the community work on rural economic projects and issues.

Also, a conversation about civility and modern life.

We talk with 4th district democratic candidate JD Scholten about his second try at winning the race against veteran

Cultural Continuum 9-07-18

Sep 7, 2018

The Sioux City International Film Festival gets underway Wednesday, but there are loads of things to do leading up to that. Live music, BBQ, hot rods, a planetarium show in Wayne and a chance to audition for the Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra.

Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division

Those in the know were not particularly surprised to see Kaitlin Bennett come on campus around graduation dolled up as she was--her mortar board darlingly decorated with a dare, and her brother's assault rifle, with scope, slung over her shoulder. News stories claim that she was an outspoken 2nd Amendment advocate during her tenure as a student and that she wasn't at all shy about shooting off her mouth about guns.   

It's a Yankee Doodle Dandy edition of Opus this time! Gretchen will play the Symphony #3, the final symphony of Aaron Copland, composed during WWII. Also we'll double the dose on Copland with A Lincoln Portrait, narrated by the resonant bass of James Earl Jones. 

Check It Out: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose

May 15, 2018

 

 

Cultural Continuum 5-11-18

May 11, 2018

German born in 1934, Inge Auerbacher was taken to Terezín (Theresienstadt) concentration camp in Czechoslovakia at the age of 7. Of 15,000 children imprisoned at the camp, about 1 percent survived. Miraculously, her parents, who had also been transported to Terezín, lived. Upon returning to the place that had been their home, the family discovered thirteen close relatives had been slaughtered by the Nazis. They soon immigrated to the United States.

Public Domain Pictures

Some psychologists want to drop the last initial in PTSD. They claim that to call PTSD a “disorder” makes the condition appear unusual. It isn’t. They claim that if you’ve been to war, you have post-traumatic stress because war is trauma.

I can’t help thinking such distinctions wouldn’t have mattered to the woman in the casket yesterday. Her husband took Nazi fire at the Battle of the Bulge and came home with a purple heart from wounds that were visible–and some that were not. “He just wasn’t the same when he came back from the war,” one of his relatives said.

James Schaap

We visited Stratford-upon-Avon, toured Shakespeare's house and watched the Royal Shakespeare Company perform Julius Caesar in the Royal Shakespearean Theater. I vaguely remember the grave of Jane Austin, but Piccadilly Circus is gone completely.

For reasons I can't explain, nothing in jolly old England left as hearty an impression as the bombed-out hulk of Coventry Cathedral. For a moment, the Battle of Britain was more than a grainy newsreel or a whole album of old black-and-whites.

Collateral Damage

May 29, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

Karen Edelman Williams had never been here before, never seen unending fields of corn and soybeans amid the tawny prairie grass, never seen anything like the yawning openness all around. So when, sometime later, she wrote a letter to those people she’d met on a visit out here, she told them she’d never forget the place. “I will never forget the kindness of the people we met there,” she told them, “or the beauty of your Nebraska skies.”

I love Audiobooks.  Having someone read me a story, even as an adult, is one of my favorite things. I suggest you check out City of Thieves by David Benioff and narrated by Golden Globe winning actor Ron Perlman.

[David Benioff is an American novelist, screenwriter, producer, and co-creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones.  City of Thieves is a novel based on his grandfather’s stories about surviving World War II in Russia.]