No further incidents occurred as the mud-spattered Citroen pulled up to the elegant porte-cochere of the Bel Air Kasserine Hotel. Jack and Danny carried their own suitcases into the lobby. A number of Vichy French officers were milling around, smoking, drinking, laughing and giving the impression of relaxing in an upper echelon military retreat. There appeared to be no evidences of a war zone.
Danny, admiring the art nouveau décor, said, “This is more like it. I would enlist in this Frog army—if I could speak the lingo.” Continue reading “Farewell My Country, Ch 33”
Northwest Africa, spring 1942
Danny, somewhat short of stature, jittery and quick-moving, with ruddy cheeks and closely-cropped hair, came from a farming community near Elyria, Ohio. He maintained a constant stream of nervous chatter, complaining about the weather, their driver and his vehicle. His youthful exuberance at times, Jack thought, could be refreshing albeit wearying.
Because of his aptitude in telegraphy, he was plucked out of basic training and sent to O.S.S. His expertise gave him military importance, which was recognized by Bill Donovan. Continue reading “Farewell My Country, Ch 32”
The old Kresty prison, a foreboding five story structure consisting of two buildings in a cross shape, occupied an entire city block. Its solemn reddish-brown brick walls bespoke the sadness of those who languished and perished there. On the prison compound, rising above its walls, was the scalloped white-capped apse of the Alexander Nevsky cathedral that rose in defiance of the godless activities within the prison. Continue reading “Farewell My Country, Ch 8”
Jack’s pulse quickened every time he saw the big ships at dockside…like leviathans resting before their next great ocean-going voyages. He watched as the diminishing waves slapped against the barnacle-laden piers, and he welcomed the clean pervasive smell of creosote from the harbor timbers. He moved cautiously among the crane operators and stevedores handling cargo. This was the world where he belonged, where real men made real things happen. Here he found excitement and contentment.
His assigned freighter, the Danish Prince, built before WWI was loading wooden crates with stenciled names like John Deere and Fordson tractors plus bales of cotton and pallets of canned beef and pork products. Continue reading “Farewell My Country, Ch 7”
Monday, October 18, 1953 New York County Courthouse
Dr. Jack Sargent Harris, with the stride of a military man, walked into the smoke-filled senate chamber crowded with reporters and photographers whose light bulbs flashed at him. Undisturbed by the tumult, he walked toward the front of the chamber and sat next to his attorney, Leonard Boudin. Both men sat solemnly as the speaker seated on a raised platform with seven others, struck a gavel to bring the hearing to order.
Senator Patrick McCarran of Nevada cleared his throat, leaned into a microphone and pointed his stubby finger at the accused. “All right, Dr. Harris, you know why you’ve been called to this hearing. You have been accused of being a Communist, a traitor to your country. You can make matters much better for yourself by giving me the names of five people you know who are or were Communists. That’s all you have to do. Give me five names. After that you can get back to whatever you do at the United Nations. If you don’t give me those names, I promise you, you’ll lose your job at the U.N., and you’ll never teach in any American university again.” Leaning closer to the microphone, he said, “Do I make myself clear? You’ll be blacklisted, branded a Communist, a traitor to your country. You have forty-eight hours to decide.” Continue reading “Farewell My Country, Ch 1”
Based on the true story of a patriot/hero wrongly accused of being a communist. This man born of immigrant working-class parents achieved high scholarly stature and was an associate professor at the University of Chicago before World War II. Despite his loyalty and sacrifice, he was labeled a traitor and deprived of everything including his country.