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His observations open a veritable Pandora's box of horrifying research the Third Reich was conducting, research far more horrendous in its scope and terrible promise than mere atomic bombs.More importantly, his observations also raise the disturbing question of why the Allied governments - America in particular - kept so much classified for so long.Our long talks about World War Two had convinced us that there was much about the war that did not make sense, Hitler's and Stalin's genocidal paranoia notwithstanding.Gradually, and one must say, predictably, the Germans themselves raced to uncover what lay hidden in the formerly inaccessible archival vaults of East Germany and the Soviet Union.My mother sat on the sofa, sewing and watching her shows.Then, the programs were interrupted by the familiar voice of Walter Cronkite, and the news began to break. A year or so later when the Warren Report was published and excerpted in almost every newspaper in the country, I remember thinking "bullets just don't do that." And I listened intently as family members debated the official conclusions of Oswald, the "lone nut" in his Texas School Book Depository, versus what was beginning to emerge with the "Grassy Knoll." As a teenager I became fascinated with the history of World War Two, and particularly the European theater and the race for the atomic bomb.
By the same token, what he saw raises many more mysteries and questions, affording a brief and frightening glimpse into the labyrinthine world of Nazi secret weapons development.
Physics was also an interest for me, and another oddity lodged in my mind as I read the standard histories: the United States had never tested the uranium bomb it dropped on Hiroshima. It seemed to have the same sharp angles and corners as the Warren Commission's "magic bullet". Other odd facts accumulated over the years as if to underline the strangeness of the war's end in general and that fact in particular.
Then, in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down and the two post-war Germanies raced toward reunification.
What, really, did we recover from the Nazis at the end of the war? To appreciate how badly written a finale it truly is, it is best to begin at the logical place: in Berlin, far below ground, in the last weeks of the war.
There, in the bizarre and surreal world of the Fuhrerbunker, the megalomaniac German dictator huddles with his generals, impervious to the rain of Allied and Soviet bombs that are reducing the once beautiful city of Berlin to piles of rubble.
Like many Americans, I well remember where I was when President Kennedy was assassinated.