tv The Presidency Dwight Eisenhowers World War II Leadership CSPAN July 26, 2021 2:00am-3:32am EDT
>> over here in the making but it's fitting, their persistent. to commemorate right eisenhower and men and women who saved civilization in the 40s and there's no question in my mind they did exactly that. on the reserves of the character and energy, the weight of the world is on their shoulders. they were outside of their comfort zone, for sure. the programs way which we were reviewing is one of my favorite, colonel and the uss berlin. i want this remind you of the world war ii, expert and intelligence and get the
american armory operating was only in need of its own operation. should consider he was a city editor for the grand rapids. suddenly in 1940 he's an officer with creating an intelligence american forces in the american army and european organizations. world war ii brought 15 million americans and they weep as well. another for wonderful picture which bryant will promptly share is an item that ralph carried on his person throughout his life
and it is a copy the intelligence team put together. for the tapestry into the diagram of logistics, imagination, dedication and large ideas a view of the american national interest the size significant of america to the world which the generation shared. they have similar past, it's remarkable how they track. they were from small towns and i think they were, people assumed a lot of response about it at a young age and processed opportunity and understood it
and they embodied the optimism and the opportunity genders. it's something that maintains appreciation for the opportunity and obligation to lead, promoting leadership, acknowledging americans the opportunity is possible, the opportunity to leave. it's automatic, i think that's inherent with these men, if we are pessimistic in america think we have problems from a in the 1930s and 40s, western civilization have problems. after world war i, a devastating experience for the western democracies and never again especially for americans across the atlantic ocean to participate in the great war.
the government to permit another war and were reluctant to acknowledge the terms of this department to western civilization in the 1930s. there was a certain justice in this effort to overturn the system in the 1930s. as even a rationalization but the totalitarian phenomenon in europe waived the future. the force of the nazis in the 40s and it evolved on the americans to recognize our duty what had to be done in our ability to do that duty that it could be done. on september 3, 1939, winston churchill rises in the house right in london.
missus cap markham, half british to his british colleagues and to americans were going to listen in on every churchill speech. the prime minister said it was the same day and that is true but at the present time, there's another one which may be present and if these great trials, there is a generation to prove itself not unworthy of those who have quite the foundations of the laws and shape the greatness from our country but this is not writing for this and what's most sacred demand. material gain, their shop in country. it is a inherent quality the
rights of the individual and establish the stature of man. as churchill spoke these words, right eisenhower remained in the army in the 1930s and the service in uniform. the san antonio texas to washington. he joined the ccc of the 1930s and i have premonition western civilization american democracy is going to be challenged in a way. becomes trained trained in military service and success.
in a matter of months, the churchill speech will be back in uniform in the united states begins to spill the british around the world. as we gradually enter the war in europe. intelligence, a function that he had to practically invent title. in my research, the more i appreciate between disasters in the 1930s and 40s, to know our enemy. ralph led family and friends, creating time except
responsibility for assembling accurate information, a matter of life and death. agents planning diversions and the invasion. it was not part of it practically everywhere right eisenhower went, there to greet him. i can imagine collaboration and they had a collaboration and must have been business like, friendly, they had jobs to do, the interactive as americans. this app i refer to is a tribe of planning a product of very creative efforts and long and very hard work involving this and british counterparts as well. the remarkable confirmation of world war ii presented demonstrated nations to particular a common cause and the face of danger and the name
of common values. the story of these men and world war ii bears witness that international collaboration is possible even as they miss declines and our inpatient and involvement in the war in the first place. he issued by dwight eisenhower and the ability to cope practically anywhere western in 1945 and there's an interesting parallel between that and my own father's story in 1944 as he went overseas in december 1944, he was detached intelligence monitoring and he was a liaison between divisions is motorcycle, he was touring the length of the
press and experience in the abyss of germany. no knowledge can prepare one for the emotional impact and ever since, all of humanity was joined in that cause. by dwight eisenhower at the end of the war, opened the war on the third 1999, he delivers a right-wing form in the speech to the same british parliament in june 12, 1945. the superficial ways which we recognize family relationship,
it was born in the town where i was weird. perhaps one later under. by your standards, please towns are young without traditions but to these people, i am proud to go on. not determined by measurement that proximities and rather we shut charged post, call them what you will, they are a real treasure to preserve freedom of worship is quality before the law, liberty to speak and act as seen fit, subject only in trespass not for the rights of others. citizens of grand rapids. in all of this time, dwight
eisenhower, ralph underwent sustained challenge and they gave proof of their dedication what it means to be an american into the 20th century and 21st century and they recognized, i think the perils democracy based and the importance of leadership and i don't think it's a coincidence they returned to the united states in 1945 and 46 leaders as they preoccupy themselves in the wider parts of their careers with this nurturing of leadership and training people who can perform the same rules for the u.s. they performed in the 1930s and 40s. in grand rapids is reflective in many dwight eisenhower's
products and they returned home and we had recognized to rather circumspect about their experience, rarely discussed world war ii with me in learning about the war but he would have, i was misfortunate in a way leading many years without direct mission, world war ii, the ultrasecret, one of the great breakthroughs in world war ii enable us, it was directly involved in getting them to the british where the code breaking
and so forth was developed in performing intelligence. ralph has a good deal to do with them. that's without even doing pat from 1975. ralph british and i six in 1975 was aging and i think he was afraid he was going to leave the world without the world having appreciated what is along with americans so he wrote a book called the ultrasecret which broke the seal and appreciates the critical role they play throughout the work. in germany, they recognize possibilities that need to
impart appreciation for special features of america to train, inspire and encourage americans to develop citizenship here. practical intelligence ability to get groups to work together. the all important characteristics of neutral respect and i am proud to be here because of the staff affiliation, connection the foundation and the museum based on grand rapids. he was junior in this and dwight eisenhower i suppose, every bit educated american determined to shake his own future and that
america shape the history of those times. they all face the fact when the war was over which we account circumspection, the victory was incomplete in 1945 and there is awareness there would be this over decades the nature of history established orders and they must return. we were in such a place in september 1958, 50 years ago, not 35 years ago, my first trip to grand rapids member so well, two weeks before, he gives a speech to which he says which i is remarkable, americans lost something in the division our own values and principles and determination to succeed, free
and democratic people will give a torch of light and we all survived not only because of the patriotism that stands instead of patriotism that stands for love for people. he calls to prove his dedication to america and subsequent years and he did so we are commemorating ralph right eisenhower and also grand rapids. we have to commemorate these people nostalgically or not or as specific guidance for the future, we recognize their qualities as people. their qualities at any time and any place in appreciate examples they set at the possibilities that they recognize as citizens for the united states.
he recognizes leadership is critical and must be taught so we have reserved -- resolved these examples and cast role models for the future but above all, appreciate their example and the confidence that enables all of us to feel about the future of our great country. thank you very much and i guess we can go to some discussion, critical of the intelligence which is something, by the way, i would strongly recommend for people in the audience, this is a book ryan sent me, a memoir called intelligence inside with ralph donald merkel, a very matter of fact account of ralph the war which i can't begin to
emphasize how valuable the book is. they have a genuine ego in the book is an attempt to explain how the europeans operations u.s. army in the intelligence operation works, what kind of input they provide. the difficulties and challenges creating intelligent service world war ii and here and there, it conveys the enormity of the event and i think it causes us to appreciate how special these people are the enormity of what they went through and what we owe to the democratic citizenry of others in that period of time. >> thank you. i was planning to talk a little
bit about the links between my grandfather and your grandfather but you've done such a great job covering most of that. i'll just add to that, was chief of intelligence, his relationship was to disseminate the information coming out the intelligence and his team of folks within the intelligence would disseminate that delivery reports on a daily basis dwight d eisenhower so my grandfather would have reported to donovan i think we would put up a picture right now -- he was considered the osf and the father of the cia as you mentioned intelligence didn't exist here in the united states prior to world war ii and certainly these
guys were instrumental in getting fat rolling post war. >> i think he was probably of our intelligence organization, 1941 we were intercepting japanese traffic, we had broken the diplomatic cycles which was a breakthrough but we knew pearl harbor was coming or we had a feeling because of an abrupt change in messaging and cryptic messaging but all that was in 1939 and 40, what puzzles me is the war that occurred and this is organizing an operation like this.
>> we all love to see that. if you get your hands on it, let us know. >> somewhat available, i have had several projects university of pennsylvania where it continues, i've been there for years. i had a project where we have gone and i recommend this to people in the audience interested in service records and things like that, it is amazing. i had 12 years ago documented the fact that her great-grandfather was involved in a prison exchange and have no idea we had any contact with the german army in prison exchange when in fact there was. in 1945, it happened in the campaign and her great-grandfather was part of it so there is a lot there and i think eisenhower's record was.
i have bits and pieces from them, my grandfather's service but i don't think it's generally available. >> i would like to start with a two-part question for you, your grandfather and team relied heavily on the coat break which was mentioned earlier, recognize the information obtained was often wrong. for example, the german buildup at the battle of the bulge and things went horribly wrong for allied forces, how did your grandfather go about discerning and trusting intel after such debacles as this and what was his confidence level and accuracy of such a position as indicated on the order of the map we are about to share here and you mentioned earlier dated june 11944. >> that to me is an amazing part right there at your grandfather
carried it on his person and i can see why. the circles you seek would be llc in this area of control, the pander units work on the battle of one of my phones and we rehearsed that in normandy periodically these were very dangerous divisions, nearly close on d-day but here is the good thing, the ultra break down, i would not say she text but to confirm in an irresistible way of buildup office within in 1944, i don't
think our command responded effectively and i think that is because our command in collaboration with intelligence so the information to exercise judgment and i think allied command insight 44, the germans were not right you quit the war until they had the opportunity to destroy the western democracies they had in 1940. there is easy victory in great britain in 1940, a great the germans great contents for democratic powers and they were going to try to wrestle to the ground before it was over, they were unable to in the normandy campaign because they're tied down on two fronts but they gathered up their strategic reserve and hurled it.
intelligence kind of mystic and i think the memoir short of public business in a sense, we had driven them back to the border so they were actually able to transmit messages and do other things to maintain radio silence about cut off ultra as the source and we didn't have the traffic. we did have warnings and in his memoir, he relates army, third army had an idea that it was coming. the command was leading in the direction that something was about to happen so when it did, interestingly the command responded immediately. this was in contrast the
documentary of the german victory over the french and british that is the french high command expected them and they expected and they adhered to that and stuck with that. all the way up to where they realized the circle by the spearheads driven rock that is persisting. that did not happen so i want to give -- i would say confirm the dimensions, i write these reports and it palpable toward something very sinister in the west, all the reports including the ones ralph was writing were full of premonitions so when it
struck and we could identify, that's one thing we did well, we knew you can identify 25 german divisions they've committed. as soon as we saw this, our response lenient that response particularly the third army response heading northward. ... interesting book, the best book written on the battle of the bulge. it is not anything you disclosed to me but between himself and his father they
discussed that problem. it made a huge impression. my father's first book is as a historian was about counter offenses and the bureau and the disaster where we prevail. lots of places to one area where i don't recall a lot of paltry information was on the eve of d-day, they were coming from french agents on the ground and british people who parachuted in. with the normandy battle
engaging the germans, on june 30th which we read about the feeding them on august 7th, 1944, that is the critical -- who knows, who knows, you don't want the enemy to get the idea that you are reading all of their mail all the time. there are times that is when the germans commit them to whopping out the arias the normandy breakout begins to unfold that presents an opportunity not only to check the germans but to circle and wipe out their forces in normandy and convert the victory of normandy into a liberation of france.
practically all of our movements were dictated by it including the advance in middle august, the biggest american victory of the european theater. thanks - the codebook he came up with in islip when they shut down the german aircraft i haven't even covered that. that is an amazing story and the codebook became part of the decoding operation. >> keep in mind, my next question is related to that, england might be the principal source in september of 44 although there wasn't time to
react with a substitute method of public communication, is this something allied forces would have been aware of and adjust accordingly? >> what happens they begin to rely on careers literally, person-to-person communication on the field and this is kind of put we managed not to happen prior to this, we catch that ship and martini you. in late july of 1944, we watched the most years, we haven't nevertheless your two because of covid but the germans contain the americans and british in normandy, june 6th to july 20 fifth. this is a real problem for us,
we built up to a point where we can't bring more troops and material. the breakout offensive resort in july, and on the western edge of the normandy battlefront -- that is when patton comes in with the pursuit offensive and through a hole that our troops created in the german line he starts pouring division after division and they become the third army, they circled behind the germans moving eastward to encircle germans and also a third of them fanned out to take port, one in second from the german army, they have enough armored in the area to organize 6 or 7
panther division tower attack at the base of that breakout, the supply columns were moving through its own, the germans have the capability to direct a major panzer effective at that town and that is where we are listening to every message, we know where the units are, that is when we played that card is too great affected by the time the battle is checked on august 8th or ninth suddenly the germans are encircled and have to fight their way out of an encirclement and we were using ultra to great effect and the result was that the normandy battle became the
battle for france and that put us ahead of our projections and that is a great success but as you indicate, the germans as they are gathering on the german friends here and making it back on hand, by foot or on horseback or however they can get their, the units regroup, they are asking themselves how did that happen? and i guess i think what they realize is we turned up every where we weren't supposed to be and so they go dark and so the whole tone of intelligence reports and gathering in 1944 is something i recommend to people who have the opportunity to look at files of the roosevelt library or national library or administration, to
experience this thing daily, to experience the kind of drama that is unfolding, suddenly we don't have the same familiar intelligence setting or the same advantages, he is not extended, he has secure supplies with reliance on electronic communications and so forth so we begin to wonder, to rely on a lot of units, not sure if you're getting the right training. it is a very very anxiety ridden time when we did not have that license. >> i could keep going on with questions which i have 90 for you but this time i'm going to turn it over to the public.
the director of the ford presidential foundation. do you have a list of questions that have come through for us? >> we do. we have a number of questions coming through and i want to thank you for a magisterial presentation. thank you as well for the maps and images from your grandfather. i just got to say as a way to preface this but in west michigan, ralph ellen stein is one of our great heroes we will always honor his memory, his example that he left of a visionary leadership and strenuous service inspires young people coming up but with that preface i actually have three questions and i think both david and brian will be able to address this.
the questions are what are the most important qualities of a leader from eisenhower's viewpoint, what we can extend that, ralph's viewpoint as well. what qualities should a leader possess? >> want to go first on that or do you want me to? >> one of the most interesting interviews i've seen is one that you contacted on that very thing and i can remember total leadership capacities which we were talking about and if you are looking for superlatives, the most important thing, two of the things he said stand out to me, what is the ability to build cohesion.
leadership should aim at cohesion. the second is leadership by example. by cohesion. how did he make the allied command work? that is something ralph's memoir extols him for, what was the secret? the secret in world war ii. eisenhower never -- an issue to be discussed in terms of national interest for prestige, everything was couched in terms of achievement, fulfillment of the mission. and mission oriented command and that is what made that command work. if you relax that rule for a minute you would -- and you did from time to time, command under pressure particularly during the normandy campaign, began to buckle under pressure
and sensually, the mission oriented aspect of leadership was very important. the other is leaders certainly have to give the people, the organizational people they are associated with a sense. they are willing and able to do what there has been. the reciprocal nature of leadership, you can't ask things of others that you are unwilling to do yourself and that was the sense i got from my grandfather. i didn't know my grandfather as long as ralph. i knew him for 21 years, worked for him for four or five years, and he was somebody who knew my job as well as -- i had a very
strong sense that he was willing to work as hard as i was, keeping that farm going. i loved the gettysburg farm. what do you say? >> i concur with everything you said but i would add because of the fact that i had a relationship that lasted into my late 40s with my grandfather i had an opportunity to see a side of them boast didn't everybody saw that he was extremely approachable and humble. you talk about the fact that that had to do with that generation but the intellect that he had about certain things, he could foresee, you talked about joining the ccc camp and getting his feet wet
before he was to move on in the position that he held later as the war started up there was a certain knowledge about this guy, there he was in europe postwar and he sees this guy making crackers in a bakery shop and he goes home and develops the rollers that will make goldfish crackers. this isn't here every day, this is somebody who really thought through these things. >> you are putting finger on his attention to detail. you knew what he was doing. he had great attention to detail. my parents told stories how you stayed up at night with textbooks when we were grandchildren in school trying to master the new math and things like that. he was driven to master situations and so attention to
detail, that is a wonderful story about establishing bakeries and things like that and that is very practical. the approachability question is another one that is generally true and there are exceptions to that. i would say patton an exception. my grandfather's heroes, we were talking about this earlier today, one was george patton and the other was douglas macarthur in these are well-known egotists at one time i was critical of that. as i have read military history and studied over the years i've come to appreciate that at times the personality, the personality of the commander can be very important former
row and that is illustrated by the egotism of patton which was probably staged. in the movie where his aid says sometimes it is hard to tell when you're acting and when you are not. and patton replies it is not important for them to know. it is important for me to know which means he was an actor but sometimes the outsized personality, the flamboyant uniforms and so forth can build morale. a lot of books, i inscribed in the european theater, i go over two distinct types of inscriptions.
one was derek jacoby who fathered -- served with my grandfather in europe and the other was joseph smith served in the third army under patton. there is great pride in that and that might be at times that is necessary but at the very top, particularly in the chains of command, what people wanted from ralph and from dwight eisenhower is assurance that we are doing all we can to win, we have accurate information that gives the best chance for success, that breeds confidence. there are exceptions. >> we have a number of very good questions. if you are asks why do you
believe general eisenhower was able to rise to supreme commander whenever others more senior in rank or experience. there is a part 2 to this question, what was the secret of dealing with field marshall montgomery? >> he had a basis for thinking he was in charge, but i would say that interestingly dwight eisenhower was -- he had two qualifications for supreme command. one, he already had experience in allied commands and his command, they had problems, these were not problem free. they were successes.
number 2 there was a great possibility that -- the invasion of northwest france, it could fail. this is the supreme operation of world war ii and strangle he eisenhower did rank -- there was a possibility that if the landings are repelled by the germans where do we stand? one thing to fail under eisenhower, it is another to fail under george marshall, the number one soldier in the american army. if marshall is committed to that invasion and the invasion fails there's going to be some sort of supreme conclusion drawn, what is going to be required if the invasion fails,
it fails under eisenhower, under marshall you can probably get by, i can't escape that. he was confident, he was qualified for the command, he demonstrated a record of success. why him and not marshall? marshall is overqualified. i think if you put him there, the risk was very high but the entire thing could have failed. this was something you were determined to do, determined to invade northwest france and reopen the front that he lost the gave everything to our democracies and we are going to do that and the question was how to come back on june 6th, the fireside chat again and again and again -- failed coming back again and again and
again and i think that would have been a pipe dream if something had been entrusted to marshall and failed. i would say that this is a dangerous operation. the germans, here is a number i put out. a lot of history downplayed the german forces, they had 59 divisions. by comparison we had 11 divisions which is considered the number one military the world, they had 59 divisions in france in june in 1944. they had a particular unit that was the 350 second infantry division. this thing was one third
russian meaning russian pows who agreed to serve in the german army, forced labor gangs and things like that the feeling was these people were unreliable but look at it this way. what happens if germany loses the war and everybody is repatriated and they go back russian, look at it that point of view. they are fighting for their lives. there one third russian, went into the omaha battle. 15,000 effective combat strength. by july 31, 1934, they are reduced to 250. they were written off, they lost everybody. every commander who was in
charge of the, get dunkirk and so forth with soldiers, the commanders have taken a personal oath to defend the sports to the last round of ammunition on pain of suicide and many of these ports were not even touched, when germany surrenders which means they were in it to win. and that underscored the great danger of this operation and the sensitivity of what everyone was doing, that great command, the great organization. >> another question is really interesting from the perspective that ralph ellen
stein was one of the first, arguably the first american officer in the dachau concentration camp and the syrian experience would never leave him. he had his own version of posttraumatic stress as a result of what he encountered and some of the other brutalities he witnessed, we have an interesting question related to your grandfather. could you talk about your grandfather having the press covered the liberation of the death camps by the u.s. army? i have read that he did this so that no one could ever deny what had happened. >> all these people in high command probably understood intellectually that they were about to enter a chamber of horrors. churchill says now into the
abyss, anticipated confirmation of all of our worst fears. it was their capacity for atrocity on this scale that transformed world war ii into a humanitarian issue. everybody had power over it. it is one thing to recognize that. it was another thing to experience it. a satellite camp on the same day my father - all i can tell you is patton excused himself. my father in the first or second jeep, 35 years later on a rainy afternoon we are sitting around his study, he and myself and i noticed a
picture on the wall. i got it down, we were sitting there quietly, these were pictures, and when they entered the camp they tried to hide their parents out of respect to the people who were there. would they tolerate being photographed? as they began to hide their cameras, take a photograph of everything, photograph this, photograph that. in the collection of programs in the book there's a picture of the inmates he encountered at dachau. i asked my father about this, what was it like? how many grains of sand are there on a beach?
such a repudiation of everything, forced returning veterans from that war to consider first principles and come to grips with the fact that civilization can descend into criminal insanity. it happened in germany. it could happen. this is why you have the effort to educate the leaders that you have in this country organized by people who came back from that war. that was uniquely so. i don't think -- leadership is a funny thing to associate leadership with democracy but i think the bridge is the idea
that what america provides, the willingness to lead at many levels set this apart, it's not the existence of spectacular leaders but the ability to understand at any level taught by leadership schools, that is -- maybe i can't wave a wand -- may we don't have that power is president of the united states but i can make a difference and i can be a good citizen or fill the job, train future leaders to do things that is something america requires. >> something you just said really resonates. brian will agree with this, you said this generation came back and had seen things previous
generations had not and just wanted to in part good leadership first principles the rising generation and i point around 1999-2000, don lovers was having dinner with ralph ellen stein and said if you were ever to set up a presidential study center, train leaders, what would inspire you to do that? ralph looked at don and said i saw with my own eyes the worst that human beings are capable of. i want to do something in the 21st century that affirms the best that human leaders are capable of and the people who follow them. right there coming out of dachau. >> you are talking about two of the most elaborate complexes in
the nazi prison system. that was a tour i've not taken yet. i want to see these camps, the interior of germany which i've never been to. i've been to china but never the interior of germany. don't forget this. my father in 69, my wife and i newly married spent christmas vacation with him in brussels and my father wanted to supervise this. we wound up being taken to various places including the battlefield of waterloo. my father was a military historian, we were taken to a small camp on the outskirts of brussels, this is decembers so you can imagine what it is like.
this is actually camp described in my grandfather's paper is, allied forces overran this camp called green zone, brussels liberated in september of 1944 and you walk in and you see these cold cells, pale lights, pulleys and ropes suspending people at these, being celebrated as international leader and i am sorry. i can remember spending a lot of arguments and having discussions at dinner and i remember this is the worst thing my wife and seen in her life.
this was 40,000, a small camp. imagine what dachau must have been like? this is -- this is a valuation of -- the churchill quote, the factors that may have -- that is churchill in 1939. he saw something in this phenomenon. you have to give him credit, but threatened the stature of man and that is where leadership is statute, making a difference. >> next question comes from a viewer who asks, talking about stature what was the biggest struggle president eisenhower face as he transitioned from general to president? >> he kept a diary and is an
interesting entry which is shortly after he has taken office, maybe and i were having dinner and talking, seems like i've been at this since 1941. in other words there's great comparability from wartime. dwight eisenhower the president is very much the opposite of the war and that took a certain amount of adjustment on his part but he had the statesmanship or comprehension to carry it out, to mobilize people. when the wars over it was very important for the country to stand down, for normalcy to return to america. he felt democracy cannot stand a high fever indefinitely and
time to time we must experience normalcy and so a crisis on the other side of world war ii is a somewhat different exercise than arousing people to action. in 1933-44. i would say also getting to know people, he's dealing with very prominent people. robert taft comes to mind. is mister conservative from ohio, the man that dwight eisenhower took the nomination from in 1952, had to work with all kinds of people he hadn't really known prior to that but i think people come to appreciate his administration
as a success and what counts for that is he knew what he wanted, what he needed to do as president, where the country needed to go so he provided that over time. it was rocky for a long time. the early eisenhower administration is very rocky. >> let's look at eight years later. from the early days of the eisenhower administration a question about the farewell address. we talked about ike's great farewell address. what do you think makes it a great farewell address? >> you are an authority on farewell address is a that is a question. here's my take on this. the reason i'm in the field right now. i'm at the university of pennsylvania. i've run a research seminar of presidential libraries and we
are coming back as soon is this:thing is under control and the reason i got into that, when i was researching a book on the war, because my father had the power, the eisner papers, authorized away for, i was allowed to see my grandfather's postpresidential papers and i encountered a fascinating story in these papers, there were 35 copies of his verbal addressing these papers and i sat down and if i had time or access to them idealized i'm seeing a real story unfold in the drafting of that farewell address, the first third of the draft reflected disappointment about the 1960 election, felt the
other side was irresponsible fanning the flames of the cold war, going to be us down the road of perdition so warnings against his successor. the president says you can't do that. it is an appropriate and so the second set of drafts, sort of -- finally the third, this is where it becomes a great speech, where the focus shifts from what does it cost to what has happened and it becomes a meditation on the great paradox of the twentieth century and that is terrific progress on the one hand and these challenges we face on the other, great depression, world war i, world war ii, the cold
war, things like this, all of which i think infused the idea of america is winning is a fragile existence. he meditates on that and it becomes a great speech. when he's not trying to set the agenda, his gaze look backward that is when it becomes the classic farewell which is something that imparts lessons that are consistent with his achievements and goals as president's and rates a legacy in a memorable phrase, the military-industrial complex. by the way, interesting things in that speech not only about the military-industrial complex but the scientific technological elite which he was equally concerned the idea that public policy had become captive in that we as americans
and this is the lesson of world war ii and why we had these leadership studies and so forth is precious under modern conditions, sort of become a spectator and let other people take the lead and i think the great lesson, that is about acquiescence, he felt the weight of these pressures is very important, the ultimate genuine guarantee for a democracy, that it citizens feel they own it and wish to participate in it and that is not pass this legislation would do that but call for an alert citizenry that feels their government, their nation belongs to them, they take ownership of it by voting, by participating, making a difference.
>> that is a pretty good answer about the farewell address. i can't better it, thank you. >> i had a couple pacers -- papers, even a thesis on farewell addresses and it is an interesting genre of speech my own theory, for what it's worth, the greatest farewell ever delivered by an american is dwight eisenhower's farewell address, washington's was a letter, the greatest farewell in american address is lincoln avenue second inaugural. his second inaugural is a retrospective on the american civil war making it hard to imagine lincoln governing effectively in a second term but in parts, a legacy and a phot it is a beautiful
>> in many ways it resembles a farewell but that is my theory. >> i agree with you 100% is that speech ends up in the norton anthology of american literature as a literary document a couple great questions and we have to wrap it up but we have several people asking to know more about your personal experience as you knew your grandfather and particularly what profound lifelong lessons can you learn from your personal interaction with your grandfather? >> appreciate the question. i knew him well. my father was an only child, grandparents kept us very close. we were there neighbors in gettysburg and so forth.
the effort this man put in made a huge impression. he's a very hard worker and took things seriously and therefore he made a real difference. he is a man who had profound experiences in life, faced the end of his life. there was a side of him that came out that was truly beautiful and i think of it as probably you had a similar experience with your grandfather, people who emerged from world war ii with a very subtle sense of what life is and they accept responsibility in ways that are very very
unusual. he was a magnificent man in that respect. that would be the basis of this. the first book i ever wrote, actually dictated it long before i wrote the book in world war ii, just kept around. >> i think you would also have some things to say about your grandfather. what it was like to be in a close relationship with him and what you wrote. >> you had probably a rare period similar relationship with my grandfather like no weather. but he was extremely warm, and
approachable, the kind of guy you would not -- i guess the way to say it is you can see from afar, i had people that made note of this many times in his life. he was just kind of guy that you could walk and have a conversation with him about somebody that lived through all these experiences and he was somewhat guarded, much like eisenhower was, he was guarded about being prideful. he was never going to tell you here's what i did, he was more humble about carrying those stories but the thing about him was the fact that because he was -- getting a story out of
him, you try to get those stories out, i know many have tried that but he was a tough -- >> a fair amount of your grandfather's work product is still classified, not under our laws but under british officials secret act and french laws and so forth. i was amazed to find out how much of world war ii is still talked away. >> tucked away under british intelligence, they schooled him at oxford when he arrived there. he was certainly -- he wasn't getting it from the us forces so it had to come from somewhere and hundreds of years they had intelligence divisions. >> i was hoping people in the audience to reinforce this, the presidential library, the
presidential studies center, the presidential library system, something possessed americans 120 years ago, begins with woodrow wilson and that was to retain all their records, retain them on a systematic basis, make them available to the public. other countries don't do that and in fact the reason a fair amount of world war ii is still under seal, not a lot but some has to do with foreigner restrictions on us but american presidents decided they wanted to share their story and i think they had a premonition that the american century, the presidency was going to be there, they wanted to preserve
the record. that is the only thing i can think of it because it is unprecedented and valuable. somebody used the system the last 20 years in the leadership training, sending people off to a presidential library to hold documents like your grandfather's map. there is electricity. it is inspiring. to immerse yourself in the stories, the great achievements and to have a lot of the story is really something. it is a unique system and i sure as heck hope that as we reevaluate everything in the wake of covid 19 that we decide so much is going to go online and we are going to digitize, i
hope people appreciate the importance of presidential museums and libraries and what they had to our life is a country. i will rest my case by saying pick up any great book on a president and look at the acknowledgments and these people do almost all of their work at these libraries. they are very inspiring places and you are fortunate to have one in grand rapids. >> thank you for that endorsement and you are absolutely right. the national archive system of libraries, jewels in the crown of american letters, so many biographies come from the files and we are proud to be associated with them. the how and stein center traces back to the fact the two men
met each other on the gridiron when they are playing high school football and they were lifelong friends and their vision president ford's vision with ralph hauenstein was to have a great presidential studies center and presidential foundation library and museum working in concert to further our knowledge of american history, develop citizenship and impart leadership lessons for the 21st century, great vision. >> people have taken on a presidential project thinking they are learning to be president. what you are learning his leadership. you are learning how things make a difference in this country. how things get done. it is an extraordinary service. i am not surprised that they
were friends. not surprised at all. the character of this account of ralph hauenstein's service in world war ii was a testament to that. >> we only have time for one more. since you were addressing a largely west michigan audience do you have any observation, comparison of dwight eisenhower and gerald ford? >> there are very strong comparison. i've been around politicians a lot and forward reminds me most of dwight eisenhower as a person. i remember meeting him for the first time in 1965 at my grandfather's behest hosting
and exchange from mexico and we had a naughty ends, there has been a minority leader and my reaction is serious, formidable, and positive. that impressed people is a character, that is the impact as well. something we haven't talked about is athletics. gerald ford, and playing professional baseball for two seasons before he went to west point off the field, gerald ford, very good quality. the university of michigan.
the first newspaper as far as dwight eisenhower, in 1912 i believe, profiling him as a future all-american at west point. to complete the baseball story, he probably didn't play it seriously but accepting money for any kind of game 1909-1910 was an example, gerald ford, was potentially a problem. the man by the name of red patterson invented the tape measure home run in baseball, great pr guy for the giants, somebody who concluded his career with the california angels. we used to go to california a lot in the late 70s. the giants in 1947 he was assigned to a company for a
game and he said that he confronted general eisenhower, for several years, we understand you played under the alias of wilson. our records show two wilson's, which one are you? he said the one who can hit. and look at the camper state league there were two wilson's in that league, what was the first baseman, 285 in the first year and 340 the second year. they are great athletes and that holds together, but they were people who i think approached the presidency in a certain way. my father says what is wrong with being a trustee? and i think there's a role for
that as we customarily think of presidents as party leaders but from time to time we need somebody who will call things down and serve as a trustee and that is what gerald ford does in 74, 75, 76, and deserves a very high place in the american pantheon as a result. everyone is grateful for that and we appreciate him particularly ten years before everything. >> david eisenhower, brian hauenstein, thank you for a wonderfully illuminating conversation. i have enjoyed it even though i know this material so well, the way your chemistry, talking with each other, two great men, two heroes, people for all seasons and we will continue to study them, certainly at the
hauenstein center and the ford we will honor and study them until the next generation. >> i want to thank everyone for keeping this event going. it has been a great honor and i enjoyed the opportunity to get to know your grandfather. i feel i now know him able i have met and it has been a wonderful experience and i'm sorry if i was in grand rapids but coming out of this, i will take a tour of the presidential library so i am looking forward -- we saw marty allen this afternoon. that is what i meant in 25 years. >> that's right but we will have you back, we appreciate it and before i put you back to jacob, what a fitting way to celebrate what would have been colonel ralph hauenstein's 100
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