Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fallen Heros of the Berlin Airlift

Eagles Over Berlin is dedicated to the ordinary men and women who realized the most important American victory of the Cold War known under the name “The Blockade of Berlin.”


George B. Smith, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
illy E. Phelps, Long Beach, California
Charles L. Putnam. Colorado Springs, Colorado
James A. Vaughan, New Haven County, Connecticut
Joel M. DeVolentine, Miami, Florida
 Johnny T. Orms, Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany
Eugene S. Erickson, Collinsville, Illinois
Robert P. Weaver, Fort Wayne, Indiana
 Herbert F. Heinig, Fort Wayne, Indiana
 Harry R. Crites, Jr., Lafayette, Indiana
 Bernard J. Watkins, Lafayette, Indiana
 Norbert H. Theis, Cunningham, Kansas
 Robert C. von Luehrte, Covington, Kentucky
 Ronald E. Stone, Mount Sterling, Kentucky
 Craig B. Ladd, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Willian R. Howard, Gunnison, Mississippi
 Richard M. Wurgel, Union City, New Jersey
 Karl V. Hagen, New York City, New York
 William T. Lucas, Wilson, North Carolina
 William A. Rathgeber, Portland, Oregon
 Charles H. King, Britton, South Dakota
 Leland V. Williams, Abilene, Texas
 Robert W. Stuber, Arlington, Texas
 Lowell A. Wheaton, Jr., Corpus Christi, Texas
 Edwin C. Diltz, Fayetteville, Texas
 Ralph H. Boyd, Fort Worth, Texas
Willis F. Hargis, Nacogdoches, Texas
 Royce C. Stephens, San Antonio, Texas
 Lloyd C. Wells, San Antonio, Texas
Richard Winter, Seattle, Washington
 Donald J. Leemon, Green Bay, Wisconsin


Sunday, August 15, 2010

What is the actual message of Eagles Over Berlin?

In the present time of terrorism and war, when we are permanently questioning our actions and looking for the best solution, the historic lessons of that period are clear:

• Firm determination and tenacity could bring military victory without bloodshed.

• There is no shame to export such values as freedom, democracy, civil rights and progress.

In 1948, the Allied Powers were able to create a strong unity and stopped the advance of dictatorship. Without that determination, the map of Europe would be different today.

Democracy, freedom, civil rights and progress are the basic principles of humankind! I hope “Eagles over Berlin” will help to create a new alliance against another, even more terrifying enemy — terrorism by highlighting our common values.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Berlin Tempelhof – The airport of the Berlin Airlift

Berlin's Tempelhof Airport last year marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Airlift.

Those, who as young men were involved in the Berlin Airlift, serving as aircrew on the non-stop flights that operated in and out of the city's Tempelhof Airport, would love to go back to Berlin and see how the airport has changed. The famous airport, however, does no longer operate, but there is still something to see. The airport may have closed, but Tempelhof has become effectively a memorial to the heroism shown during the Berlin Airlift by British and American aircrews and pilots.

When the Soviet Union decided to blockade Berlin in June 1948, the city depended on the British and American airlift to supply its needs - particularly food and fuel.

Last year the airport marked the 60th anniversary of the end of the Airlift and earlier this year, the runway area opened as the city's biggest park - three times the size of London's Hyde Park. Everything remained exactly as it was when the airport operated its last flight in 2008, including the carefully marked runways and the radar tower.

In fact, Tempelhof has a significant place in aviation history.

As a parade field, Tempelhof witnessed the first demonstration flights by the Frenchman, Armand Zipfel, followed by pioneer Orville Wright in 1909. Tempelhof’s reputation in aviation was born, however, its designation as an airport did not arrive until 1923. Lufthansa was founded here in 1926 and the following year Tempelhof became the first airport in the world with its own underground station - now called Platz der Luftbr├╝cke.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Motivation for the story: Rebirth after Destruction

Since I was an eyewitness of the tragic events in New York City on September 11, 2001, the heartbreaking moments were the motivation to write the book.

On the afternoon of that tragic day, I was walking on the empty Fifth Avenue, in the city that never sleeps, now only a ghost town. The beautiful weather and still warm sunshine were full of sadness. It was as if the tender sunshine was gently welcoming the thousands and thousands of souls died on that day. In the warm of late summer, I was cold, so cold…

As so many others, the events blocked me for a week in New York. After the tragedy, slowly, life returned in New York. When some days later, I was standing on the same place, looking to the truck transporting the firefighters and steelworkers with exhausted faces, in the middle of the usual jump traffic, I felt that life took over.

'Life is always taking over,' I thought.

Rebirth after destruction, the survival and the strengthening of our basic values, these are the principal elements of the novel.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cold War era

ather than a single military conflict, the “cold war” is a term used to describe the shifting struggle for power and military strength between the Western powers, including the United States, and the Communist bloc, primarily the Soviet Union, from the end of World War II until the collapse of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

This period of East-West competition and tension fell short of full-scale war, and instead was characterized by mutual perceptions of hostile intention between military-political alliances, or blocs, competition for influence in third world countries, and a major superpower arms race. The cold war period is characterized by the American foreign policy principles of internationalism, as executed in the formation of alliances with other world powers in an effort to ensure the world’s collective peace; “containing” the threat of communism as posed by the Soviet Union’s increasing reach into Eastern Europe; and military deterrence, building the military strength of America and its allies in an effort to deter an attack from the Soviet Union.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Joy of Self-publishing

I was born and raised in Hungary in Eastern Europe, during the communist era. In 2001, I arrived in the United States, where I cherish democracy and freedom.

Let me tell you a story… I was twenty years old when I went to a tourist trip to Austria, the neighboring country of Hungary. It was the first time in my life that I traveled outside communism. My head was full of pre-suggested ideas.

In the small baroque town of Gmunden, in the youth hostel, I met a young American. We discussed the United States and he explained me with proud how open the American society is. I did not understand the meaning. I answered with self-assurance: "The American society was open one hundred years ago! Nowadays, the classes are settled, society organized and America is as like all the others, directed by money and capital!"

The young man, surprised, contemplated me with seriousness. He answered with the same certainty and self-assurance: "America is still a country of opportunity, where all is possible!" I was dazzled. This simple sentence shook all the twenty years of instruction and education, everything I had heard and knew about America. The young man was of my age. For him, everything was possible…

I went back to Hungary, but in my spirit, this encounter changed something that I could not even express at this time.

Thirty years are gone… Today, I live in Los Angeles. When I had the first printed exemplar of my book in my hands, particular emotions shook my soul. Suddenly, the smiling face of that young American appeared before my tears filled eyes. How right he was! America is still a country of opportunity, where everything is possible.

With my book, I would like to remember my readers of the Berlin Airlift, when Americans and Europeans were protecting side-by-side democracy and freedom.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why Did the Berlin Airlift Occur?

The Berlin Airlift occurred after World War 2. When Germany surrendered, the four major countries of the Allies were placed in charge as occupation forces. The four countries were USA, Britian, France and Russia. The country was divided up into sectors and placed under the control of each country and the capitol city of Berlin was also divided. Later, Russia began to isolate the territories under their rule, including other border countries. This divided Germany and eventually Russia erected a wall that was known as the "Iron Curtain" along the border.

Since the city of Berlin was within the region occupied by Russia, the sectors of the city that was under the rule of US, Britian and France were cut off from the other regions of Germany to the west, which still had some freedom. The Soviet Prime Minister wanted to exert complete control, so he closed the only road that connected the part of Berlin that was free from the remaining West Germany. The US and the other allies didn't want Russia to take complete control over Berlin, so they sent food and supplies into Berlin by air---thus the Berlin Airlift.

Eventually, Russia gave in and re-opened the road.