WBEZ | World War II http://www.wbez.org/tags/world-war-ii Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago’s German community welcomes World Cup watchers http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-german-community-welcomes-world-cup-watchers-110336 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GERMANY5-horiz.jpg" style="height: 373px; width: 280px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="Dank Haus member Erwin Lickmann stands by the cultural center’s prized painting of Kaiser Wilhelm I, Germany’s first leader (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />At Lincoln Park&rsquo;s Dank Haus, Erwin Lickmann &nbsp;and I slowly walk into a crimson walled room. He whispers as he shows me a giant 19th century portrait of Germany&rsquo;s first leader, Kaiser Wilhelm I. Lickman is dressed in pea green lederhosen and he tells me the Dank is more than a refuge for older Germans who want to engage in their culture</p><p>&ldquo;The Dank Haus is a community of serving people,&rdquo; he says &ldquo;Sports brings people together. And they can have a beer afterwards and be happy, you know. Builds friendships!&rdquo;</p><p>The Dank Haus was founded in 1959 as a haven for Germans, a place where they could celebrate their heritage and their culture. Next week, it&rsquo;ll welcome hundreds who&rsquo;ll pack the place to watch the World Cup. On this day, around two dozen senior citizens listen to Dank member Sara Hartig read a German poem. Many of them, like Gerhard Grieff, came after World War II.</p><p>&ldquo;I emigrated from Germany in 1952 because Germany after the war was bad,&rdquo; says Greiff. &ldquo;Living over there, we didn&rsquo;t have much of a future there when I was young. So I came over here and stayed here.&rdquo;</p><p>It wasn&rsquo;t easy here either, being German in America after the war. That made places like the Dank Haus all the more important for German Americans. &nbsp;Over the years the community assimilated. Sarah Hartig has been with the Dank for decades and wonders about its future. None of her six children are involved in the cultural center.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to be more American. English is spoken at all the meetings,&rdquo; says Hartig. &ldquo;When we started everything was spoken in German. We&rsquo;re getting older, young people came in and they started speaking English.&rdquo;</p><p>I asked how she felt about that. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going along&rdquo; she sighs.</p><p>Today, German traditions are alive and well, celebrated by Germans and non-Germans alike. There are two main festivals in Chicago each year: Oktoberfest in the fall and Maifest in late spring. This year in addition to the traditional German songs and suds, talk at the festival turned to the World Cup.</p><p>Anna Liese and Rafael Vasquez have a bit of a problem as the games approach. She&rsquo;s German and he&rsquo;s Mexican. Anna Liese was raised with a strong sense of German pride. She&rsquo;s dressed in a dirndl costume, speaks German and Spanish. She met her husband more than 40 years ago in Mexico.</p><p>&ldquo;Of course my father was a little upset. But after many years, he was at peace with it,&rdquo; Liese says.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GERMANY2.jpg" style="height: 210px; width: 280px; float: left; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px;" title="Ana Leise and Rafael Vasquez have a laugh at Maifest in Lincoln Square, May 30. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" />Her husband Rafael, dressed in lederhosen, passes around shots of apfelkorn better known as apple schnapps.</p><p>&ldquo;She cooks Mexican food. She liked soccer, she drinks beer. What else could I want?,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I won the lottery!&rdquo;</p><p>Vasquez says you don&rsquo;t have to belong to one nationality to enjoy what another one can bring. But he&rsquo;s not planning to root for Germany in the World Cup. He&rsquo;s supporting his home country.</p><p>&ldquo;Oh my god, you&rsquo;re putting me on the spot.&rdquo; says Vasquez &ldquo; Mexico. Hopefully they will make it to the semifinals. I want to say there&rsquo;s a 10 percent chance they will make it past the quarterfinals.&rdquo;</p><p>If Mexico doesn&rsquo;t make it, he may want to latch himself to his wife&rsquo;s team, Germany, which is favored to go much farther in the tournament.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ Host/Producer Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a><u>&nbsp;</u>and <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106564114685277342468/posts/p/pub">Google+</a></em></p></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 14:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago%E2%80%99s-german-community-welcomes-world-cup-watchers-110336 Hosting the enemy: Our WWII POW camps http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hosting-enemy-our-wwii-pow-camps-109344 <p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="325" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/16853521&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Orland Park resident and curious CPA Bill Healy describes himself as a World War II history buff, but he recalls a moment not long ago when his enthusiasm for the subject outstripped his knowledge of it. He was out with some friends after a game of golf, he says, and one of them brought up German prisoner of war camps in the suburbs. Bill was shocked! He&#39;d never heard of these before, so he hit up Curious City with this question:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Where were German POW camps located around Chicago during World War II?</em></p><p>Bill&rsquo;s question screamed for a visual treatment, so we put together <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/life-chicagos-german-pow-camps-109344#POWmap">this annotated map</a> that shows the camps&rsquo; locations and a bit more about them. Below, we also provide some context to make sense of it.</p><p>But with Bill&rsquo;s enthusiasm as our guide, we kept a lookout for interesting stories about life in and around the camps. We turned up several: A few were sad, a few were uplifting and a few had even grabbed headlines in decades past. Each is a reminder that Chicago&rsquo;s connection to World War II didn&rsquo;t just involve sending young men and women abroad; political and personal dramas unfolded at home, too.</p><p><strong>German POW camp locations</strong></p><p>The main camp was Fort Sheridan, with 1,300 POWs housed there from 1944 to 1945. Fort Sheridan also served as a sort of processing center and distributor of some 15,000 POWs, with prisoners being sent to smaller &ldquo;branch camps&rdquo; throughout the Midwest, a handful dotting Chicagoland.</p><p>Although nearly 425,000 POWs came to the United States during World War II, 370,000 of them were German. Many were captured while fighting in German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel&#39;s Afrika Corps.</p><p>We brought them to the U.S. for several reasons: First, it was too expensive provide food for prisoners held overseas. Also, camps were overcrowded in Europe, and our ally Great Britain asked for our help. Lastly, POWs could help fill the labor shortage in vital industries such as farming.</p><p>In the Chicago area, another few hundred were based in the Sweet Woods Forest Preserve near south suburban Thornton. They stayed in military-style barracks constructed during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Thornton site later housed a Girl Scout camp and even a high school.</p><p>Estimates suggest that between 75 and 250 POWs worked at Arlington Fields, south of Arlington Heights. Prisoners there were assigned to work at the United States Naval Air Station at Glenview. Also in Glenview, nearly 400 POWs were based at U.S. Camp Skokie in 1943. They worked in nearby orchards and farms, as well as the Naval Air Station. The facility was built by the Civil Conservation Corps and became a military police post before housing the German POWs. After the war ended, most of the facility was demolished, but one was preserved and housed a Girl Scout camp in the 1960s.<a name="POWmap"></a></p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="620" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="//www.thinglink.com/card/467079498500669440" type="text/html" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="620"></iframe></p><p>About 200 POWs were based in Camp Pine in Des Plaines at the corner of Euclid and River Road. Some of those POWS worked in the greenhouse of Pesche&rsquo;s Flowers, which is still open today. <a name="stories"></a></p><p><strong>The stories: Why Rudolf Velte returned 50 years later</strong><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Rudolf_Velte_German_POW_circa_19451946 for WEB.jpg" style="height: 221px; width: 170px; float: right;" title="This photo of Rudolf Velte in uniform was taken by a photographer sent by a church group that visited the POWs. Velte worked at Pesche’s Flowers. (Photo courtesy of the Des Plaines History Center)" /></p><p>Rudolf Velte was a German POW who was held at Camp Pine during the end of World War II, from 1945 to 1946.&nbsp;He had fought in German Field Marshal General Erwin Rommel&rsquo;s Afrika Corps before he was taken prisoner by the French. He escaped. Conditions were abysmal, he said: &ldquo;There was not much to eat and drink and very bad medical care, leading to bad illnesses.&rdquo; Velte ended up turning himself in to English soldiers. From there the American army took over and brought him to the states.</p><p>Curious City&rsquo;s Edie Rubinowitz went to Des Plaines learn more about this POW who picked carnations and made a special delivery more than fifty years later. She also discovered tapes that caught Velte recounting his story to (and being translated by) an American cousin, Art Bodenbender.</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="300" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/16855476&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>The stories: Reinhold Pabel&rsquo;s escape to Uptown</strong></p><p><embed flashvars="host=picasaweb.google.com&amp;noautoplay=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;feat=flashalbum&amp;RGB=0x000000&amp;feed=https%3A%2F%2Fpicasaweb.google.com%2Fdata%2Ffeed%2Fapi%2Fuser%2F103395493521839527756%2Falbumid%2F5955883370124599073%3Falt%3Drss%26kind%3Dphoto%26authkey%3DGv1sRgCKfO2Imck8PCDQ%26hl%3Den_US" height="400" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" src="https://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/picasaweb.googleusercontent.com/slideshow.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600"></embed></p><p><em>(Press play for slideshow. Press paper icon to see captions)&nbsp;</em></p><p>Not all German POWs had fond memories of their imprisonment in America. Reinhold Pabel&rsquo;s experience was not as idyllic as Velte&rsquo;s. Yes, Pabel did get to take courses he wanted to &mdash; he learned Persian, for example &mdash; but he said the Nazi and anti-Nazi tensions ran high in Camp Grant in Rockford, Ill. Prisoners were forced to pick sides and those who were anti-Nazi could face beatings by the Nazis.</p><p>Pabel was also not enamored with the U.S. government&rsquo;s efforts to &ldquo;de-Nazify&rdquo; prisoners. The audio piece below tells the surprising story of how Pabel learned about the American way of life on his own. (Vocal reenactments courtesy of Peter Spies)</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/124240519&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Edie Rubinowitz is a professor of journalism at Northeastern Illinois University and a former WBEZ news reporter. You can follow her on Twitter @<a href="https://twitter.com/edester" target="_blank">edester</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 16:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/hosting-enemy-our-wwii-pow-camps-109344 Remembering the war at home http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/remembering-war-home-108209 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Flickr Kymberly Janisch.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Orland Park resident and curious CPA Bill Healy is a World War II history buff. Recently he was out with some friends after a game of golf and one of them brought up German POW camps in the suburbs. Bill was shocked! He&#39;d never heard of them before, so he wrote Curious City to see what we could dig up.&nbsp;</p><p>We&#39;ve paired Bill up with independent reporter Edie Rubinowitz to help separate fact from fiction and unearth details about a history unkown to many Chicagoans. You can follow the investigation as it happens via the reporter&#39;s notebook below. If you have tips on where to look or sources for us to consider, we&#39;d love to hear them! Please comment below.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="750" src="http://embed.verite.co/timeline/?source=0AgYZnhF-8PafdE5ITnZtTlhVajYxc0NTbWxxVUlWcHc&amp;font=PTSerif-PTSans&amp;maptype=toner&amp;lang=en&amp;hash_bookmark=true&amp;width=620&amp;height=750" width="620"></iframe></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/about-curious-city-98756">Curious City</a>&nbsp;is a news-gathering experiment designed to satisfy the public&#39;s curiosity. People like you&nbsp;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/ask">submit questions</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://curiouscity.wbez.org/#!/ask">vote&nbsp;</a>for their favorites, and WBEZ reports out the winning questions in real time on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.facebook.com/curiouscityproject">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#!/WBEZCuriousCity">Twitter&nbsp;</a>and the reporter&#39;s notebook above.</p></p> Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/remembering-war-home-108209 December 7, 1941: Chicago at war http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-12-07/december-7-1941-chicago-war-94443 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-07/war.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago was warm on December 7, 1941--warm for December, with a high of 39 degrees. It was Sunday. With the stores closed, people had a chance to take the day off from Christmas shopping. Maybe they were headed out to Comiskey Park to watch the Cardinals battle the Bears.</p><p>The news hit the city shortly after noon. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.</p><p>Pearl Harbor--where's that? And Chicagoans searched their maps, and found it was in Hawaii, and realized that their country was now at war.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/12-07--WWII tanks.jpg" style="width: 490px; height: 327px;" title="(Collection of John Schmidt)"></p><p>Little more than a year ago, 40,000 people had gathered in Grant Park to hear Charles Lindbergh tell them that the U.S. must stay out of foreign wars. The <em>Tribune</em> had been sounding the same message. But things were different now. We had been attacked. We would stand together as Americans.</p><p>Suddenly, all Chicago was in motion. Sunday afternoon looked like Friday evening rush hour. Municipal Airport and the city's six railroad terminals were jammed with travelers whose plans had abruptly changed--soldiers and sailors returning to their units, politicians on their way to Washington, private citizens just wanting to get back home. There were crowds gathering at the churches, too.</p><p>People hauled out American flags and hung them on their porches. Neighbors who hadn't spoken in years exchanged greetings. Newspapers printed extra editions, and they were immediately scooped up. The <em>Chicago Sun</em>, which had begun publishing only three days earlier, sold out its entire run. Everyone wondered what would happen next.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/12-07--Mayor Kelly.jpg" style="width: 390px; height: 388px;" title="Mayor Kelly (Collection of John Schmidt)"></p><p>On Madison Street, four windows were smashed at the Oriental Trading Company. Other than that, no violence against local Japanese was reported. At the Japanese Consulate, employees were seen burning records.</p><p>Mayor Edward Kelly announced the police and fire departments would receive training on how to prevent sabotage. The mayor also said he'd ask the city council for money to hire more public safety personnel. "Those godless gangsters have stopped&nbsp; their bluffing to start their bombing," he thundered. We had to be ready for anything.</p><p>Already lines were forming at military recruiting offices. The country needed men for the coming fight. At the Warren Avenue police station, an army deserter from Texas turned himself in. "I want to go back and do my part," he said.</p><p>Chicago was at war. It would not know peace for 1,351 days.</p></p> Wed, 07 Dec 2011 12:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-12-07/december-7-1941-chicago-war-94443 Rustbelt city wants immigrants, skilled or not http://www.wbez.org/content/rustbelt-city-wants-immigrants-skilled-or-not-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/3.JPG" style="width: 605px; height: 404px;" title="Deserted houses like this one mar Dayton’s East End. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></p><p style="text-align: left;">Lifelong Dayton resident Monica Schultz, 36, brings me to the East End block where she grew up. “This whole street was full of families,” she says. “Kids were running around playing, all within my age range.”</p><p style="text-align: left;">Now no kids are in sight.</p><p style="text-align: left;">Schultz points to a half dozen abandoned houses, including one right next door to her family’s place. She says the city has boarded it up a few times but stray cats keep finding their way in.</p><p style="text-align: left;">“We had a flea infestation problem,” she tells me. “People walking by could see the fleas or feel the fleas or get the fleas. All of the yards in the neighborhood here were becoming infested with fleas.”</p><p style="text-align: left;">Schultz says the city can’t keep up with houses like this. “It’s one of many that need to be bulldozed,” she says. “But it’s on a list.”</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-28/great-lakes-workers-faring-better-canadian-side-border-94389">Workers faring better in Canada</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/using-sound-find-leaks-and-save-dollars-94303">Using sound to find leaks and save dollars</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind-93875">Gas drilling could take air out of offshore wind</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>Dayton’s population has been shrinking since the 1960s. Most of the area’s factory jobs are long gone. To save the city, Schultz has embraced a new idea: Help immigrants and refugees lay roots in Dayton.</p><p>Schultz, who owns a small marketing firm, helped lead community meetings that generated a 72-point plan called “Welcome Dayton.” City commissioners approved the plan this fall. The points range from better immigrant access to social services, to more translations of court materials, to grants for immigrants to open shops in a dilapidated commercial corridor, to a soccer event that supporters envision as a local World Cup tournament.</p><p>Schultz tells me the plan could revive a Dayton entrepreneurial spirit that sparked inventions ranging from the cash register to the airplane. “You would have small businesses,” she says. “You would have coffee shops and you would have bakeries and you would have specialty grocery stores.”</p><p>Dayton is among several rustbelt cities suffering from population loss and brain drain. To create businesses and jobs, some communities are trying to attract immigrants, especially highly educated ones. Dayton stands out for the attention its plan pays to immigrants without wealth or skills.</p><p>The plan even addresses people without permission to be in the country. One provision calls for police officers to quit asking suspects about their immigration status unless the crime was “serious.” Another point could lead to a city identification card that would help residents do everything from open a bank account to buy a cell phone.</p><p>City Manager Tim Riordan, Dayton’s chief executive, says welcoming all types of immigrants will make the area more cosmopolitan. “I think there would be a vibrancy,” he says. “We’d start to have some international investment of companies deciding they ought to locate here.”</p><p>Foreign-born residents so far amount to 3 percent of the city’s 142,000 residents. For a mid-sized U.S. city these days, that’s not many.</p><p>But Dayton’s immigrants and refugees are increasing their numbers and, Riordan says, they’re already making a difference. He points to a neighborhood north of downtown where some Ahiska Turks have settled. “They were refugees in Russia," he says. "Here they’ve bought houses. They’ve fixed them up. And, sometimes when I talk to hardware store owners, people will come in and they’ll buy a window at a time. ‘I’ve got enough money to put in another window.’ It’s slow-but-sure change.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-30/2.JPG" style="margin: 4px 18px 2px 1px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 280px;" title="A Dayton pizza parlor run by Ahiska Turks adds life to a decaying neighborhood. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)"></p><p>Not everyone in Dayton is on board with the plan.</p><p>In a corner tavern on the East End, a 62-year-old bartender serves the only customer what she calls his last can of beer for the night. It’s a Friday, just 11 p.m., but she’s closing. “The owner can’t pay me to stay any longer,” she tells me, speaking on condition I don’t name her or the bar.</p><p>The bartender says the tavern could be on its last legs and tells me what happened to three other East End bars where she worked. They all shut down. She says that’s because many of the neighborhood’s Appalachian families, who arrived for manufacturing jobs after World War II, have moved away.</p><p>“NCR closed down, Dayton Tire and Rubber closed down, GM and Delphi and Frigidaire,” she says, pausing only when her customer slams down the beer and bellows something about a “last paycheck.”</p><p>The bartender tells me she doesn’t like how Riordan and other Dayton officials are handling the exodus of families who’ve been paying local taxes for generations. “Why won’t he try to keep those kinds of people here?” she asks. “He wants to welcome the immigrants to come in here. What can&nbsp;they&nbsp;do? Where are they going to get the money to fix up anything? What jobs are they going to get to maintain what they fix up here? There are no jobs here. None.”</p><p>It’s not just locals like the bartender who have doubts about “Welcome Dayton.”</p><p>Steven Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington group that pushes for strict immigration controls, acknowledges that attracting immigrants would increase the size of Dayton’s economy. “But that’s different than arguing that there’s a benefit,” he says. “Growing an area’s gross domestic product, but not the <em>per capita</em> GDP, doesn’t mean anything. It wouldn’t be very helpful. In fact, there might be problems with that.”</p><p>Camarota says the low-skilled immigrants would put downward pressure on wages for workers on Dayton’s bottom rungs.</p><p>But Italian-born economist Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis, says low-skilled immigrants would bring what Dayton seeks—and more: “One, they will increase the variety of local restaurants, local shops. Second, they will provide a variety of local services, such as household services, care of the children, of the elderly. Third, they will also develop and bring an atmosphere of diversity and higher tolerance.” Peri says these low-skilled contributions would all help Dayton attract immigrants with more resources.</p><p>The willingness of many immigrants to perform manual labor for low pay, Peri adds, could create jobs for longtime residents. He points to landscaping companies: “They will need people who mow the lawn but also they will need accountants, salespersons, a manager and drivers.”</p><p>Dayton’s approach—welcoming immigrants with and without skills—is the “optimal strategy,” Peri says.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-01/4.JPG" style="margin: 4px 18px 2px 1px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 219px;" title="A Dayton church translates sermons to Spanish through headphones. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)">Whether a city’s immigrant-integration plan can actually attract many people is another question. About an hour east of Dayton, the city of Columbus launched an immigrant-friendly initiative in 2002 and saw its foreign-born population grow fast. But that city’s economy is much more robust than Dayton’s. It had already been attracting immigrants for years.</p><p>The results of “Welcome Dayton” could depend on how it works for city residents like a 25-year-old mother whom I’ll call Ana López. (She&nbsp;doesn’t have papers to be in the country so I agreed not to use her real name.) López says she came from the Mexican state of Puebla as a teenager at the urging of a friend who had arrived in Dayton earlier.</p><p>López says her first job was in a restaurant with a big buffet. “We didn’t come to take work away from anyone,” she tells me in Spanish. “Rather, there are jobs nobody else wants.”</p><p>Now López and her husband have three kids, all U.S. citizens. The family has managed to buy a house. And it’s found a congregation, College Hill Community Church, that provides simultaneous Spanish interpretation through headphones.</p><p>But Dayton hasn’t always been hospitable. López says police officers caught her brother-in-law driving without a license and turned him over to federal officials, who deported him.</p><p>Looking at the “Welcome Dayton” plan, López says providing the ID cards and removing the police from immigration enforcement could make a difference for families like hers. “These families would tell their friends and relatives to move to Dayton,” she says.</p><p>That’s exactly what city leaders want to hear.</p></p> Thu, 01 Dec 2011 11:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/rustbelt-city-wants-immigrants-skilled-or-not-0 World War II vet recalls the bombing of Berlin http://www.wbez.org/content/world-war-ii-vet-recalls-bombing-berlin <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-11/B-17_Flying_Fortress_Wikipedia Commons.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In honor of Veterans Day, we have this harrowing story from a local man who served in World War II.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-11/B-17_Flying_Fortress_Wikipedia Commons.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 310px; margin: 5px; float: left;" title="B-17 bombers, like the one Bill Wagner served on, flying over Europe during WWII. (Wikipedia Commons)">Between 1942 to July 1945, Northbrook resident Bill Wagner was a B-17 radio operator and gunner with the "Mighty Eighth," the much lauded Eight Air Force division that suffered nearly half of all U.S. Air Force casualties during WWII.</p><p>Their casualty rates were so high because they conducted a daring daylight bombing campaign against Nazi-occupied Europe, including missions deep into Germany; Wagner flew in 24 of those missions.</p><p>On his 24th combat mission, Wagner’s plane was shot down. He was taken captive and held as a POW.</p><p>But it was not the first time he had shot down during combat. On one particular mission on a cold February morning, he was on one of 2,000 planes sent to bomb the German capital; a mission from which, initially, his plane did not return.</p><p>In 2007, Wagner spoke at the Northbrook Public Library, and shared the story of this particular bombing campaign. It’s harrowing, and a good reminder of what the average solider can go through over the course of even one mission. As Wagner put it, these were “ordinary guys to whom extraordinary things happened.” You can listen in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range </a></em><em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Bill Wagner spoke at an event presented by <a href="http://www.northbrook.info/">Northbrook Public Library</a> in August of 2007. Click </em><em><a href="../../episode-segments/eighth-air-force-veteran-recalls-world-war-ii-experiences">here </a></em><em>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Fri, 11 Nov 2011 23:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/world-war-ii-vet-recalls-bombing-berlin Chicago festival highlights evolving Polish cinema http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-08/chicago-festival-highlights-evolving-polish-cinema-93857 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/poland1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last weekend, the 23rd annual <a href="http://www.pffamerica.com/tickets.htm" target="_blank">Polish Film Festival of America</a> kicked off in Chicago with the premiere of In Darkness, the new film by Agnieszka Holland. Considered a leading figure in Poland's New Wave, Agnieszka's films include Europa Europa and The Secret Garden.</p><p>Holland came to Chicago for the debut of In Darkness. Worldview film contributor Milos Stehlik sat down with her to discuss the importance of the festival and Polish film.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.pffamerica.com/tickets.htm" target="_blank">The Polish Film Festival</a>, the largest festival of its kind outside of Poland, runs in Chicago and the surrounding area through November 20.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 17:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-08/chicago-festival-highlights-evolving-polish-cinema-93857 Buy Bonds! http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-09-09/buy-bonds-91138 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/tanks_Schmidt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Wars cost money--lots of it. During World War II, the U.S. government raised money by selling war bonds to the public.</p><p>The third bond sale was launched here on September 9, 1943. The country had already been at war nearly two years. To renew spirits and remind people what the war was all about, Chicago staged an all-day extravaganza.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-27/09-09--tanks.jpg" style="width: 485px; height: 324px;" title=""></p><p>The proceedings began at noon, with a fly-over of planes from Glenview Naval Air Station. As the planes thundered over the Loop, the city responded.</p><p>Anything that could make noise was sounded. Air raid sirens shrieked, facory whistles blew, church bells rang. Drivers leaned on their horns. Pedestrians yelled their lungs out.</p><p>After two minutes the cacophony died away. Then it was down to business.</p><p>An outdoor rally was staged at LaSalle and Jackson. Movie stars Albert Dekker and Helen Walker were joined on the podium by four decorated war heroes. They took turns addressing the crowd of office workers on lunch break, urging them to help beat the Axis by buying bonds.</p><p>Over on State Street, Goldblatt's department store unveiled a reproduction of the Liberty Bell. Bond purchasers were given the privilege of ringing the bell. Store employees also presented officials with a check for $100,000 for their own bonds.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-27/War Bonds 02.jpg" title="" width="306" height="400"></p><p>The action was not confined to downtown. Many large factories--such as Western Electric, Dodge, and Stewart-Warner--held their own rallies. War savings booths were opended in neighborhood theaters and office buildings and bowling alleys. Officials announced that 15,000 volunteer bond wardens would soon begin door-to-door sales to every house in the country.</p><p>The day ended with another rally, this one at Medinah Temple. The main speaker was Monsignor Edward Flanagan, famed founder of Boys Town. "Our country is the most indulgent mother of all the nations of the world," he told the audience. "She asks us not to give, but to invest in ships, planes, and ammunition for those fighting for us."</p><p>Flanagan's plea was echoed by naval hero (and Boys Town grad) Wesley Haggard. He said America was fighting "the rottenest, yellowest foe in history." Buying more bonds would help bring all the troops home all the sooner.</p><p>Bond drives went on throughout the war. Sales eventually totaled over $185 billion. The program was so successful that the federal government has continued selling bonds to this day--only now they're called U.S. Savings Bonds.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 12:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-09-09/buy-bonds-91138 Michigan Woman Who Inspired WWII 'Rosie' Poster Has Died http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/michigan-woman-who-inspired-wwii-rosie-poster-has-died <p><p>In 1941, a United Press International photographer snapped a photo that would help inspire the nation. As <a href="http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20101230/NEWS01/12300334/Lansing-s-Rosie-dies-at-age-86" target="_blank">the <em>Lansing State Journal </em>writes</a>, it captured a 17-year-old bandana-clad girl who was working at a metal-pressing plant near Ann Arbor.</p><p>That image heavily influenced a poster that "evoked female power and independence under the slogan 'We Can Do It!,' " <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122905336.html?hpid=topnews" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post </em>writes</a>. It became one of the most-famous "Rosie the Riveter" illustrations of the war.</p><p>Geraldine Hoff Doyle of Lansing, who 40 years later didn't realize that the photo of her played a role in the Rosie phenomena, died Sunday at a hospice in Lansing. She was 86.</p><p>The <em>State Journal </em>says that Doyle never claimed to be the "real" Rosie: "She would say that she was the 'We Can Do It!' girl," [her daughter, Stephanie] Gregg said. "She never wanted to take anything away from the other Rosies."</p><p>But, the newspaper adds, "it was Doyle's poster that would eventually become the central face of Rosies everywhere and the rallying cry for an entire social movement."</p><p>Our friends at <em>All Things Considered</em> plan their own short tribute to Geraldine Hoff Doyle later today. <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/stations/stations/" target="_blank">Click here</a> to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show. We'll add the show's report to this post later.</p><p>All this may have some of you remembering the song <em>Rosie the Riveter</em>. Here's a bit of The Four Vagabonds' version:</p><p>(H/T <em>ATC</em>'s Gabe O'Connor and NPR.org's Erin Killian) Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1293743531?&gn=Michigan+Woman+Who+Inspired+WWII+%27Rosie%27+Poster+Has+Died&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=Rosie+the+Riveter,Geraldine+Hoff+Doyle,History,National+News,World+War+II,The+Two-Way,Around+the+Nation,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=132484640&c7=1001&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1001&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20101230&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/around-nation/michigan-woman-who-inspired-wwii-rosie-poster-has-died