Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Candy Bombers by Andrei Cherny

If your patriotism is a little rusty in light of "Scandalpalooza" and celebrating Independence Day is feeling a little marred, this is the book for you. The Berlin Airlift was one of America's finest hours.
After the Allies defeated Nazi Germany in a total war, Berlin was a heap of burned rubble. When Germans heard the sound of American planes, they cowered. Americans and Germans were afraid of each other and there was a lot of hate. It is important to understand that in the recent war every American had lost a son, father, best friend, husband or brother to the Nazi's and America's anger ran deep. The Germans were crushed in every possible way.
Then, the Berlin Blockade: (from Wikipedia.12 May 1949 "was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany;  the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies; railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin; under Allied control. Their aim was to force the western powers to allow the Soviet zone to start supplying Berlin with food, fuel, and aid, thereby giving the Soviets practical control over the entire city.") This was literally a fight for the German Soul, would they turn to Communism and Slavery or would they begin to understand Republican government and choose liberty?
Enter, Hal Halvorsen who meets some starving German children near a fence while the children are watching the planes. He realizes that these children are so poor, that the pack of gum in his pocket could make their day. Breaking rules that could have had him court martialed, he promises to drop them some sweets. Realizing that dropping candy from a plane could literally make it dangerous, he devises little parachutes from his collection of handkerchiefs. Operation Little Vittles is born.
It is kindness that wins the hearts of the German people who suffer greatly through the days of the air lift and it is kindness that changes the city from the crime capitol of the world to something else entirely.
As you read the letters to the Candy Bomber from Germany's children and even some of their parents, you will weep and you will remember what a great nation America used to be and I believe, can be again.
 Fun NPR Story: HERE...

My car is in Mobile, all my handkerchiefs are in Berlin, and my heart is in Utah 
~Hal Halvorsen

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Ooh. I can't wait to read this book. Halvorsen visited my children's school last September and dropped candy from a helicopter. I'm so glad I got to meet him.

I wrote about the experience here: