International – On Wisconsin https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com For UW-Madison Alumni and Friends Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:07:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Deadly Cold https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/on_campus/deadly-cold/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/on_campus/deadly-cold/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 17:33:09 +0000 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=23722 A chimpanzee sits among green leafy plants

Richard Wrangham

It wasn’t poachers or predators who killed some of the wild chimpanzees living in Uganda’s Kibale National Park — it was the common cold.

UW researchers made the startling discovery when investigating a 2013 outbreak of severe coughing and sneezing among a community of 56 chimps. Five of them died from the human cold virus known as rhinovirus C, including a two-year-old whose body was quickly recovered and autopsied after her death.

“It was surprising to find it in chimpanzees, and it was equally surprising that it could kill healthy chimpanzees outright,” says Tony Goldberg, a professor in the UW’s School of Veterinary Medicine who for years has worked in Uganda tracking viruses in animals. Goldberg was featured in the spring 2017 issue of On Wisconsin.

The findings, says Goldberg, are a cautionary tale about human interactions with wild apes. In Africa, people encounter chimpanzees and other apes when human settlements expand into habitats and when the animals leave the forests to raid crops.

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Jessica Weeks https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/conversation/jessica-weeks/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/conversation/jessica-weeks/#respond Mon, 27 Aug 2018 17:33:09 +0000 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=23724 Head shot of Jessica Weeks

Jessica Weeks is fascinated by the “dark side” of international relations: dictatorships. But her award-winning research combats the black-and-white view of authoritarian regimes and democracies. Dictators at War and Peace, published in 2014, classifies regimes to better understand them: bosses/strongmen, with an unchecked personalist leader; juntas, with influential military elites; and machines, with influential political elites. Weeks, a UW associate professor of political science, spoke to members of the U.S. intelligence community in Washington, DC, last year as they grappled with how to contain North Korea.

How do authoritarian regimes differ?

Who is inside the regime really matters. Boss and strongman regimes have the stereotypical dictator, like Saddam Hussein, Mao, Stalin, Hitler. One person has a lot of power and, because of that, can make decisions without too much concern that people within the regime will disagree or try to get rid of him. But when you don’t have people helping you make a decision or [holding you accountable], that often leads to suboptimal outcomes. These leaders tend to fight really risky wars, start more wars, and lose a lot more frequently. … Machines, I argue, are the most peaceful kinds of regimes. These include the Soviet Union after Stalin and China after Mao. They don’t fight as many wars and tend to have much better outcomes when they fight. Juntas are more likely to [engage in war] because the military officers are more likely to see force as a viable option and policy tool. They end up falling in between the machines and the bosses.

According to your book, machine regimes are just as risk averse as democracies when it comes to initiating force — and are just as successful when they do go to war. Why?

It’s because of the risks that the leader would face if they undertook foolish foreign-policy decisions. A leader in a democracy needs to think about what the electoral consequences would be if they lost a war. You don’t pick wars that you can’t win. You have the same dynamic going on in these machines. The leader knows — they’re not thinking about the public, per se — but they know that if they start a war and it goes badly, then they could be ousted by the other top people in the regime. The accountability is coming from other people within the regime rather than the public at large.

How do nuclear capabilities fit into this discussion?

I have [research] that finds that boss and strongman regimes are more likely to pursue nuclear weapons than machines and juntas. It’s similar dynamics. These leaders face fewer constraints. When a country tries to pursue nuclear weapons, it often faces a lot of costs from the international community. But the leaders don’t really internalize those in the same way. So you end up seeing that the same regimes that fight a lot of wars are often also trying to acquire these weapons.

What did you think of the summit with North Korea?

I think the U.S. [needs] to be extremely cautious about any promises [from] North Korea. … If Kim [Jong-un] made a promise and then went back on it, there are going to be no domestic consequences for that — because there’s no one to criticize him. It’s the quintessential boss regime.

Interview conducted, edited, and condensed by Preston Schmitt ’14

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Peace Out https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/on_campus/peace-out/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/on_campus/peace-out/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 14:24:08 +0000 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=23125 A collection of international flags serves as a buffet table centerpiece

A collection of international flags serves as a buffet table centerpiece during a Global House Party event at the University Club. Jeff Miller

The UW sent 85 Peace Corps volunteers around the world in 2017 — the most among large universities.

Mozambique 5
Senegal 5
Tanzania 5
Uganda 5
Thailand 4
Cameroon 3
Colombia 3
Namibia 3
Nicaragua 3
Paraguay 3
Peru 3
Togo 3
Benin 2
Costa Rica 2
Dominican Republic 2
Ethiopia 2
Gambia 2
Georgia 2
Guinea 2
Liberia 2
Mongolia 2
Morocco 2
Albania 1
Armenia 1
Belize 1
Botswana 1
Cambodia 1
China 1
Comoros 1
Fiji 1
Ghana 1
Indonesia 1
Kyrgyz Republic 1
Madagascar 1
Malawi 1
Mexico 1
Moldova 1
Myanmar 1
Panama 1
South Africa 1
Swaziland 1
Tonga 1
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Origins https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/exhibition/origins/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/exhibition/origins/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 14:24:07 +0000 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=23105 UW–Madison researchers in South Africa are at the heart of work that is unraveling the mysteries of the universe, determining when and how life on Earth began, and identifying the origins of humankind. A team from University Communications — videographer Justin Bomberg ’94, photographer Jeff Miller, and science writer Kelly April Tyrrell MS’11 — traveled to Johannesburg to capture those stories in words and images that now appear in a vivid project published at origins.wisc.edu. The journey begins at one of the world’s largest optical telescopes, which gazes into the dark skies over Sutherland, South Africa (pictured above), to help astronomers understand how planets, stars, and galaxies form and behave. It continues with geoscientists looking at rocks to find the earliest signs of life on Earth. And it concludes with a closer look at anthropologists who have unearthed some of our earliest known human ancestors. The takeaway: the beginning can be the most captivating part of a story.

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Alex Frecon ’09 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/recognition/alex-frecon-09/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/recognition/alex-frecon-09/#respond Wed, 23 May 2018 14:24:07 +0000 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=23230 Alex Frecon and teammate wearing hockey gear pose on ice rink with hockey sticks

Courtesy of Howe International Friendship League

When Alex Frecon ’09 left his home in Minnesota to play hockey against the North Korean men’s national team in Pyongyang in March 2017, he didn’t tell his parents — or anyone else except for two close friends.

“I didn’t want to hear everyone’s opinion,” Frecon says. “I wanted to do it for myself.”

Frecon had read and admired Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance” as an English major at UW–Madison after transferring from Connecticut College his junior year. And today, working in advertising in Minneapolis, he retains the nonconformist, seize-the-day spirit the campus gave him. Which might explain how Frecon ended up spending a week on skates in one of the world’s most notorious dictatorships.

In late 2016, Frecon came across an internet link to the Howe International Friendship League, which promotes goodwill sports trips around the world. One of them was an opportunity to travel to Pyongyang and play hockey against the North Korean national team.

“It looked like a real trip,” Frecon says. “But I had no intention of going, originally. It was just so crazy.”

Still, he was intrigued. Frecon had played hockey growing up in Minnesota and recreationally as an adult. He emailed Scott Howe, the league’s founder, and peppered him with questions. Was it even legal for an American to go to North Korea? Could he take his GoPro camera? Yes and yes. Frecon signed up.

In Pyongyang, the visitors were met by English-speaking guides, who were a constant presence during the trip. “If you’re not provocative, they’re very polite,” Frecon says. “They were curious about life as an American.” Frecon found the city to be modern with respect to auto traffic, though lacking in electric stoplights and indoor heat.

The tourist team was outclassed on the ice, but the camaraderie with the North Korean players was the highlight of the trip. Although the Friendship athletes typically competed against their hosts, they did play one game mixing the visitors with the North Koreans. With everyone wearing Friendship League jerseys, laughing, and scrambling after the puck, it might have been an outdoor rink in Minneapolis.

“We knew we had the love of the game in common,” Frecon says. “A government doesn’t always represent its people.”

Afterward, Frecon traveled to Beijing and called his parents.

“They were in a state of shock,” he says. “But I think they came to realize it was a profound experience — a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

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58 Frozen Landmarks https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/58-frozen-landmarks/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/58-frozen-landmarks/#respond Fri, 03 Nov 2017 23:02:37 +0000 https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=21664 Illustration by UW–Madison Cartography Lab | Research by Marie Dvorzak, C.K. Leith Library of Geology and Geophysics

Badgers have made their mark on Antarctica, thanks to the UW’s long history of research and exploration of the continent. This map shows the known Antarctic features named for UW–Madison faculty, staff, and students. The names include glaciologist and geophysicist Charles Bentley, who spent 25 consecutive months in Antarctica beginning in 1957 and made at least 15 trips to the continent over seven decades. He died in August at age 87. Mount Bentley, the highest peak in what are now known as the Ellsworth Mountains, and the Bentley Subglacial Trench, an ice-filled trench the size of Mexico, are named in his honor. In 2008, Bentley told an interviewer: “I claim to be the only person with a hill and hole named after him.”

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The Voice https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/the-voice/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/the-voice/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:28:36 +0000 http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=20714 A scrum of reporters crowds around Carlos Martinez, the staff ace and $51 million man in the St. Louis Cardinals’ pitching rotation. Today’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers was his sixth start of the 2017 season, but only his first win. As the reporters launch their questions, they direct them not at Martinez, but at the woman standing at his side: Alexandra Noboa-Chehade ’09, the Cardinals’ Spanish translator and international communications specialist.

Had Martinez been working on his sinking fastball? How did the movement of his sinker during his warmup set his game plan for the night? Noboa-Chehade translates each question into Spanish and listens intently as Martinez responds in the rapid-fire style of Spanish spoken in his native Dominican Republic. Noboa-Chehade doesn’t look at Martinez’s face. Instead, she gazes down or into the distance as she focuses on his every word, nodding repeatedly in affirmation and encouragement before giving the English translation.

The last question brings a quick smile to her face: “How much has he been waiting for a night like tonight?” As she shares Martinez’s response, the words that Noboa-Chehade speaks could easily be her own story: “I have been working really hard. I always had faith in myself and my team. I knew it would come eventually, but I really worked hard for this, so it feels great.”

She graduated from UW–Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies, political science, and Spanish literature — hardly the credentials a ball team would look for. But her upbringing in a Spanish-speaking family with a father obsessed with baseball — as well as her subsequent bilingual media training and experience — made her the right person, with the right skills, at the right time when Major League Baseball mandated last year that all teams with Spanish-speaking players hire full-time translators.

“Many people only wish they could do this,” Noboa-Chehade says, as she pulls open the doors to the Cardinals’ locker room and strolls in before another early season game. Songs from AC/DC and the Scorpions are blasting on the sound system. A couple of players chat at their lockers. Martinez — today’s starting pitcher and her main translation “client” — strolls through the locker room, but makes no eye contact with Noboa-Chehade or anyone. “No one talks to the starting pitcher,” she says. “That’s the rule.”

Noboa-Chehade is one of five women working as major-league translators. Her presence in the locker room is a given now that she has been on the job for a year, but that wasn’t the case at first. “There was that initial feeling of intimidation, walking into a clubhouse with 20-plus men and being the only woman,” she says. “I had to remind myself, ‘Yes, I have the qualifications and the skills to be here.’ ”

“Code switch” is the current buzzword for her skill, the ability to fluently switch between languages within a single conversation. Noboa-Chehade performs nimbly for the Cardinals’ 162 regular-season games, plus spring training, public appearances, and (fingers crossed) the post season. “You eat, sleep, and dream baseball,” she says. The truth, however, is that Noboa-Chehade was code switching long before the term was coined.

Born in Puerto Rico to a Dominican father and Colombian mother, she was not even a year old when her family moved to Middleton, Wisconsin, so that her mother, Nayla Chehade MA’90, PhD’99, could pursue her PhD in Spanish literature at the UW. Outside their front door, it was an English-speaking world; but at home, her parents spoke to her and her older sister, Nadia Noboa-Chehade ’03, JD’09, only in Spanish. “I remember coming home and wanting to speak English, and my parents wouldn’t let me or respond to any of my questions,” she says. “When we would travel to Colombia for the summer and then come back to Wisconsin, I would forget English. I’d sometimes make words up. I grew up with this duality, living this double life.”

To tweak a famous line from the movie Field of Dreams, one constant amid the dueling languages in Noboa-Chehade’s childhood was béisbol. Her father, Diogenes “John” Noboa, had been a promising player in his youth in the Dominican Republic and continued to play in recreational leagues in Middleton. The family’s TV was constantly tuned to baseball games.

“We didn’t so much follow teams as players,” Noboa-Chehade recalls. Pedro Martinez on the Red Sox. Sammy Sosa on the Cubs. They were definitely not Cardinals fans. “They beat everybody — they were too good,” she says with a laugh. The family’s favorite player was, well, family: cousin Junior Noboa, a utility player who spent eight seasons in the majors.

When it came time for her to choose a college, Noboa-Chehade admits that, as a local, she initially resisted attending the UW. But she came into her own identity during her time on campus. As a freshman, she joined Lambda Theta Alpha (LTA), a Latina sorority that her sister had helped to form a few years earlier. “Through LTA, I was able to bring cultural awareness to campus and be a part of a bigger movement that empowers Latinas in higher education,” she says.

That year she also took professor Francisco Scarano’s class on Latin American history. “I found it so interesting, to understand where I am from,” she says. “He inspired me and added so much to who I am today, to be bilingual and bicultural and to gain so much knowledge about both cultures.”

After graduation, Noboa-Chehade struggled for a year to find her path: she tried acting and modeling in Los Angeles and translated for social service agencies that served children and families in Madison. Then she firmly set her sights on a career in broadcast communications. She took a public speaking course in Colombia to polish her broadcast Spanish, then moved to Miami to complete a master’s degree in Spanish-language journalism and multimedia at Florida International University. “It was in Miami that I came to appreciate my UW–Madison education,” she says. “Compared with my fellow grad students, I realized how well formed I was in terms of my study habits and my level of accountability.”

In Miami, she connected with her family’s favorite player, Junior Noboa, now an executive with the Arizona Diamondbacks. “He became a mentor for me,” she says. He encouraged her to consider baseball as an outlet for her skills. When she called home to tell her parents she’d landed a job as a social media reporter for MLB.com, her father was thrilled.

For two years at MLB.com, Noboa-Chehade coordinated the Spanish-language Facebook and Twitter feeds for several East Coast teams. “You have 140 characters in English, but Spanish is so much longer when it’s written out, so that job made me a concise writer and thorough reporter,” she says. She relished the work trips to the World Series and All-Star Game, but MLB.com’s large-scale operations and the isolation of working from home weren’t the best fit for her outgoing personality.

“I wanted something smaller; I wanted to be with one club,” she says. When the Twitter announcement for the league-wide Spanish translator mandate crossed her desk, she saw her opening. “The fact that I am a native speaker was a big advantage,” she says. “I am able to understand the players’ culture and where they are coming from.”

That mutual understanding is greatly appreciated by the Cardinals’ players. “She has helped us tremendously since she came,” says Aledmys Diaz, the Cardinals’ Cuban shortstop. “When we don’t understand the question, she helps us to elaborate more when it comes to our response. Especially now that there are young Latino players coming up, the work she is doing is fundamental.”

  While Noboa-Chehade never has to make translation trips to the pitching mound — manager Mike Matheny is fluent in Spanish — the Cardinals call on her language and broadcast skills in many other ways. Behind the scenes, she helps players with everyday issues such as tax forms, housing deposits, travel arrangements, and ticket requests. For the Cardinals’ weekly TV show, she’s recording a series highlighting all the diverse backgrounds — Korean, African American, Hawaiian, and more — represented on the team.

During games, as the crowd cheers and the wave ripples around the stadium, she follows the action — especially Martinez’s performance — from the surprisingly quiet press box with her communications staff colleagues. With each major play, she updates the Cardinals’ Spanish-language Twitter and Facebook feeds, which she launched last year. “Our Spanish-speaking players have such a passionate following,” she says. “Any time I want to do an interview for our Spanish-speaking fans, the players always say, ‘I am so there — I’ll do it.’ ”

And when the players need her translation skills — signaled by a quick shout of “Ale” or a subtle nod — she is right there, at their sides. “What I most love about having Alexandra as my translator is that when I make a mistake in the interviews or I didn’t have a good game, she always helps me show my best side,” Martinez says. “She makes the interviews fun and helps me keep my cool. She truly helps me as a person on and off the field.”

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Kabul Restaurant https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/destination/kabul-restaurant/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/destination/kabul-restaurant/#respond Wed, 23 Aug 2017 19:28:35 +0000 http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=21033 Editor’s note: Kabul closed in June 2018

Kabul, nicknamed “Wisghanistan” by patrons, reopened in 2014, with faculty, students, and city residents flocking to its dining room and bar overlooking State Street to savor flavorful Afghan and Mediterranean dishes. Hamed Zafari manages Kabul, which his father, Ghafoor, started in 1989. The restaurant was one of a handful on State Street serving more adventurous fare, and it was the first to offer outdoor seating. Kabul relocated across the street to the second floor of 540 State Street, the building once occupied by Gino’s Restaurant. Gino Gargano served his last pizza on October 31, 2013, after 50 years in business. A 12-story luxury student apartment building called The Hub — complete with a rooftop pool, sand-volleyball courts, and other amenities — stands on the block of State Street that Kabul previously called home.

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Our Man in Berlin https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/our-man-in-berlin/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/our-man-in-berlin/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 17:47:49 +0000 http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=20050 Louis Lochner 1909 was dumbfounded when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to London and trumpeted “peace for our time” after signing a pact in Munich that allowed Germany to annex the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia. The mood outside 10 Downing Street on September 30, 1938, was euphoric, and Chamberlain recommended that the assembled crowd “go home and sleep quietly in your beds.”

Lochner, the bureau chief for the Associated Press in Berlin, couldn’t understand the naïveté behind appeasement — he knew better than anyone that Adolf Hitler would not stop until he dominated all of Europe. That night, as Britain slept, the Nazis marched into Czechoslovakia.

Six weeks later, Lochner filed this story for the AP:

Berlin, Nov. 10 — The greatest wave of anti-Jewish violence since Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 swept Nazi Germany today and Jews were threatened with new official measures against them.

Millions of dollars worth of Jewish property was destroyed by angry crowds. Jewish stores were looted. Synagogues were burned, dynamited or damaged in a dozen cities.

Sounds of breaking glass and shouts of looters died away only near midnight. Hundreds of Jews voluntarily spent the night in jails fearing worse violence as reports of burning and looting continued to come in from many cities.

Those three paragraphs were the first that many in the English-speaking world read of Kristallnacht, a nationwide pogrom that killed dozens of Jewish people and led to the systematic persecution and murder of six million.

During two decades as a foreign correspondent, Lochner filed stories about the rise of the Nazis and knew long before many Americans had heard of Hitler that Germany was headed for war. Before the U.S. entry into World War II, he was among a handful of journalists credentialed to cover the German army in battle. He also managed to tick off Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister for the Third Reich, and was interned by the Germans following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Lochner returned home and wrote a book detailing the rise of the authoritarian regime, in which he eschewed his wire service objectivity and let his emotions flow: “I want the reader to feel as burning an anger as I do at the perversion of civilization that Adolf Hitler is trying to foist on an unwilling world.” • • •

Lochner was the son of German immigrants — his father was a Lutheran minister — and he grew up in Milwaukee speaking their native language at home. He went on to study journalism at the UW, after switching his major from Greek and Latin, and his senior thesis was on Wisconsin’s primary elections. He was active on campus as director of the German Glee Club, secretary of the junior class, a writer for the Badger yearbook, a Daily Cardinal reporter, and a member of the International Club.

“I place my association with students from all parts of the world ahead of my book learning and technical training I acquired,” Lochner wrote in his memoir, Always the Unexpected. “It was certainly splendid preparation for my later life’s work as a foreign correspondent. I learned to cultivate the ‘international mind.’ ”

As a student, Lochner became active in the peace movement, and in 1909, he attended an international meeting of students in Holland. There, Lochner recalls in his memoir, British journalist and pacifist William Stead, editor of the journal Review of Reviews, told the students that modern wars had become so costly and destructive that countries would never risk “unleashing the terrifying instruments of death which technology has developed.” Stead’s words resonated with Lochner, who had no inkling he would later cover a war that would unleash instruments of death that killed millions of people.

Later that year, Lochner graduated, and he served as editor of the Wisconsin Alumni Magazine (the predecessor of On Wisconsin) for six years. He continued to travel abroad and play an active role in international pacifist organizations, including working for auto tycoon Henry Ford’s failed Peace Ship expedition to Europe in 1916 — experiences that he said influenced his work as a journalist in Germany. “I could never persuade myself that any nation is made up of preponderantly bad people,” he wrote.

His first wife, Emmy, died in 1920, a victim of the Spanish flu epidemic, and in 1921 Lochner moved to Berlin, where he later met and married a German woman, Hilde De Terra. He wrote for a labor press service and freelanced stories to daily newspapers and trade union publications. He also worked as a literary agent for Maxim Gorky, helping the Russian writer find a publisher for his books in Japan.

• • •

Joining the Associated Press in Berlin in 1924 was a dream come true.

“It was Big League journalism whose gates I had crashed. I was now working for the world’s largest news-gathering association, whose daily dissemination of information covered events in every corner of the globe and was read by millions of readers,” Lochner wrote.

As a reporter for the AP in Berlin, and later its bureau chief beginning in 1928, Lochner’s words and photographs documenting the rise of the Third Reich were transmitted around the world. He interviewed Hitler shortly after his release from prison in 1925 and the publication of Mein Kampf, the first of many interviews as he began his rise to power.

Whether by cultivating sources, old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting, or assiduously reading German newspapers and periodicals for tidbits of information that could lead to a bigger story, Lochner was adept at his job — one that became more difficult when Hitler became chancellor in 1933. All German journalists needed government- issued permits to work and could lose them for writing or saying anything not in line with the Nazi regime. Losing a job and livelihood at a time when much of the world was in an economic depression meant there were few dissenting voices in Germany.

Many newspapers closed and publications that remained all printed the same news — hand-fed by Goebbels and the propaganda ministry. Foreign journalists working in Germany faced restictions that were not quite as draconian, but they were kept under surveillance — their phones tapped, mail opened, and conversations monitored. A daily terror was suffocating Germany, and Lochner witnessed Brown Shirts beating people in the street. He heard the anguished cries from Gestapo headquarters on Berlin’s Prinz Albrecht Strasse. He repeatedly requested to visit concentration camps — pleas that the Nazi propaganda office rebuffed.

In the book Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else, a chapter about foreign correspondents describes the difficult position Lochner often found himself in: “Reporters in Nazi Germany had to walk a tightrope — especially important for news agency staffers because of their thousands of clients — in balancing the need to cover the story with maintaining access to officials and avoiding expulsion. Almost inevitably, there were accusations, which AP consistently fought, that Lochner was pro-German.”

In 1939, Lochner won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage, which often went without a byline, as was the custom for the wire service. When he returned to the United States to pick up the award that June, he visited his hometown and stopped by the Milwaukee Journal. Staffers in the newsroom asked Lochner where and when Hitler would strike next. Though Lochner’s comments were off the record at the time of his visit, a story the Journal published on October 24, 1942, recounted the AP newsman’s prescient remarks: Hitler probably would not make a move until late August, and the crisis might involve border disturbances or trouble concerning a minority of Germans living in another country. He also told the newspaper’s reporters and editors not to underestimate Hitler.

After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, under the pretext of retaking land disputed between the two countries, Lochner was among the foreign journalists who followed German troops as they swept through Poland, followed by Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece. He cabled thousands of words from the front lines and witnessed the French surrender in June 1940 in Compiègne — in the same rail car where Germany had signed the armistice that ended World War I. He was in Paris when Nazi troops marched down the Champs-Élysées. • • •

Lochner knew his days working freely in Berlin were numbered once Germany declared war on America, but he didn’t think they would come to an end until spring 1942 at the earliest. On December 7, 1941, he was dining with top Nazi officials in Berlin when a telephone call from New York interrupted his dinner with an urgent message: Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor and the AP needed reaction from German officials. Lochner returned to his dinner companions, asked questions, scribbled some notes, and phoned them in to the bureau. Two days later, the FBI arrested German newsmen in the United States. He knew, under the German system of reprisals, American journalists in Germany faced a similar fate.

The next day Lochner showed up for the daily press conference at the propaganda ministry, where a Nazi official told him and the other U.S. journalists to go home, which meant house arrest, until further notice. But Lochner didn’t go straight home — this was news, and he needed to file a story. He wrote and sent his last Berlin dispatch, called the city’s other AP journalists and told them not to come into the office, and thanked the bureau’s German staff.

Lochner was among 115 Americans interned for almost five months at a hotel near Frankfurt, unable to file any stories home. In a scrapbook, now housed among Lochner’s papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society on the UW campus, the newsman affixed souvenirs of his internment at a chateau in Bad Nauheim. Black-and-white photos show prisoners performing daily calisthenics, and a pamphlet lists classes Lochner and his fellow internees taught at the “University in Exile” they established to stave off boredom. (His subjects were American geography and German military history.)

“Lochner is behaving in an especially contemptible way. His attacks are directed above all against German propaganda and he aims at me personally,” a frustrated Goebbels wrote in a May 19, 1942, diary entry. “I have never thought much of Lochner. We made too much fuss about him. We can now see what happens in time of crisis.” (The diary was found in the courtyard of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda in Soviet-occupied Berlin in 1945, and Lochner was the one who did the translation after its discovery.) The propaganda minister was furious that while German journalists wrote what they were told, he couldn’t control foreign reporters.

By late May, the Germans released the American reporters in a prisoner swap. • • •

When Lochner returned to U.S. shores on June 1, 1942, an AP colleague met him at the dock and slapped him on the back with the greeting, “What about Germany?” For the next 30 days, the question was repeated with increasing insistence from colleagues who thought he should write a book about his experiences there. Lochner hesitated, because the material he was able to bring home from Germany was incomplete and, in a way, he felt he was too close to the events that took place during his more than two decades in the country. But he ultimately decided the task was too important, and he finished work on it five months later.

“I had to assume that a copy of such a book would fall into Nazi hands — in fact, I hope it will. I know the methods of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, but I can face, with considerable equanimity, his efforts to discredit it,” he wrote in the foreword to What About Germany?

The book succinctly and eloquently outlined how Hitler managed to take over an entire country and twist Germans to subscribe to his obscene ideas, and it examined why no one stopped the dictator before it was too late.

Hitler recognized that the common man can grasp an idea better if it is presented to him in concrete symbols rather than abstract, Lochner wrote. And the dictator knew that in order to “remain virile,” a movement needs not only its own ideology but an opponent against whom it can match wits (Jews and Communists in his case). He also had a remarkable faculty for being all things to all people.

“Hitler merely had to unleash the proper emotions in each crowd, show sympathy and understanding for its problems, and the case was won,” Lochner wrote. “Apparently no one bothered to expose the inconsistencies in his arguments.”

Lochner returned to Europe in 1944, this time reporting on American troops as they fought against the German army he had followed into battle just a few years earlier.

“I had gnashed my teeth many a time in impotent rage when I saw how Hitler was overrunning Europe,” he wrote in his memoir. “Now I was retracing my steps, this time with an army determined to restore freedom to Europe. It made all the difference in the world to me.”

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Festival of Colors https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/on_campus/festival-of-colors/ https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/on_campus/festival-of-colors/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 17:47:49 +0000 http://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/?p=20228 Holi_color_fest17_3077

Jeff Miller

Hundreds of students participated in the spirited Hindu tradition of throwing bright colored powder during Rang de Madison, hosted by the Madison Hindu Students Association in collaboration with UW–Madison’s India Students Association and Indian Graduate Students Association. Holi, celebrated by Hindus around the world, celebrates the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil. Revelers traditionally fling the bright colored powders at both friends and strangers.

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