History is about so much more than memorizing facts. It is about the story. And, told in the right way, it is the greatest one ever written: Good and evil, triumph and tragedy, despicable acts of barbarism and courageous acts of heroism. Glenn’s latest book,Miracles and Massacres, is history as you’ve never heard it told. It’s incredible events that you never knew existed. And it’s stories so important and relevant to today that you won’t have to ask: Why didn’t they teach me this?
'Don't shoot the messenger' is a 2,000 year old phrase. It's from Plutarch. But in World War II, there was a 'don't shoot the messenger' tale that you probably have never heard.
1942: The Germans sent cold front operatives by U-boat to the east coast of the United States. We all know the U-boats in Long Island, right? The mission was called Operation Pastorius, and it was authored and authorized by Adolf Hitler himself. The Nazis went out and hand-selected German agents. They looked for men who had lived in the America for a time.
Two of the eight were actually U.S. citizens. While they were selected for two-year missions, they were trained all of three weeks. They were schooled in bomb-making, arson, detonators, timing devices. All eight of them failed their test, but they were put on the U-boat anyway. The orders were to sabotage American factories, the power plants, the railroads, other targets that were crucial to the Allied war efforts. The German U-boats surfaced off the coast of Long Island and Florida and eight German saboteurs blended into our country.
This is where the story ends for most. But in Miracles and Massacres, this is where the story begins because at least two of the Germans had no intention of ever carrying out their orders. In fact, they joined this elite squad to try to warn anyone in America who would listen that the Germans were there. They were citizens. They wanted to live in the United States. They hated Hitler.
If you haven't heard this story before, you should ask yourself why not. Answer: We shot the messenger. Not out of ignorance or arrogance. No, we shot the messenger because our president was in need of a political victory.
If it sounds frightening, wait until you read the whole story, in Miracles and Massacres. I don't want to spoil it for ya, but here's a hint as to why the story still matters: You may not have ever heard of Operation Pastorius before, but our Supreme Court certainly has.