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What I hope you will do is contact me about my father's story.  Read on to find out why.

I have been a historian and a storyteller.  The historian in me has often been frustrated by the fact that most people find history boring - a collection of old facts, old dates, and abstract phrases drained of human interest.  I can't really blame them; that's how history is often presented  and taught. 

Luckily, not long ago fate dumped in my lap an opportunity to show people just how alive history can be. I inherited my father's World War II Army foot locker, which turned out to contain hundreds of letters and other documents.from the years 1942-1947.  During this time my father was first in the Army (1942-45) and then spent about two years (1945-47) working for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA).  During the last year of his UNRRA service he was director of a displaced persons camp in Germany, housing about 3,000 Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe.   

Many of the letters were written by my father; most of the others were written to him by family and friends.  They portray a young man dealing with everything from raw fear to his role as a leader to his encounter with a world that was wider, more challenging, and more brutal than anything he had previously known. Many are vivid, insightful, and gripping.  They offer a terrific opportunity to put a human face on huge historical events.  

I have created a 45 -minute story covering my father's time in combat in Europe.  Audiences have received it enthusiastically at storytelling series, veterans groups, libraries, and elsewhere.  Here's a video showing about eight minutes from the story: 

If anyone knows of any groups that would like to hear the story, please let me know!  See contact info below.

I hope to develop more stories based on the letters, and to persuade educators to use some of them in classrooms.  

There is more on all this on the other pages of this blog. I hope you enjoy exploring them, and I'd love to hear your comments. 

Contact Information

Arnie Pritchard
19 Colony Road
New Haven, CT 06511

phone 203-624-2520



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