The Legacy Collection

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A Promise to my Father

We re-trace the steps of Holocaust survivor Israel Arbeiter as he returns to Poland and Germany for the final time to look for items buried in 1939 in the basement of his old home in Plock, Poland as the German army advanced. We also travel with “Izzy” to Treblinka death camp where he parents and younger brother were murdered and to other camps, most notably Auschwitz-Birkenau, where “Izzy” used the motivation of his father’s final words to him to stay alive. He is also reunited with those who, at great risk, helped him to stay alive. A somewhat strained impromptu meeting with a former German soldier is also chronicled. Airing on American Public Television.

World War II: Saving the Reality

Narrated by Dan Aykroyd. Tells the story of an individual who owns the largest private collection of World War II artifacts in the world. Over 50 interviews with veterans and survivors of the war help tell the story of the meaning of the over 7,000 individual items in the collection of Kenneth W. Rendell. Airing on American Public Television.

4-4-43

Lt. Col. William Edwin Dyess and The Greatest Story of the War in the Pacific Narrated by Dale Dye (Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Band of Brothers)-April 4, 1943, ten American prisoners of war and two Filipino convicts executed a daring escape from one of Japan’s most notorious prison camps. The prisoners were survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March and the Fall of Corregidor, and the prison from which they escaped was surrounded by an impenetrable swamp and reputedly escape-proof. Theirs was the only successful group escape from a Japanese POW camp during the Pacific war. Escape from Davao is the story of one of the most remarkable incidents in the Second World War and of what happened when the Americans returned home to tell the world what they had witnessed. Airing on American Public Television.

Uncle Jack

Manhattan Project and Beyond: The Manhattan Project in World War II was an enormous undertaking that required the efforts of many of the world’s most brilliant scientists. Thousands of physicists, mathematicians and engineers were needed to design, build and test the world’s first atomic weapon. The United States government did everything in its power to attract these individuals to the top-secret program. For me it was personal: One of those assigned to the project was my uncle, John Edmund Gray. I called him Uncle Jack. The eventual goal of the Manhattan Project was to find a way to end World War II, a conflict in which an estimated 60 million people were killed during the years 1939-1945.

My Uncle Jack was one of those the American government relied on, not for his ability to fire a rifle, rather for his brainpower. After the war, John Gray went on to serve American presidents and become one of the leading advocates in the world for the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. Along the way, he became a close colleague of famed Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of America’s Nuclear Navy. Ironically, my Uncle Jack’s work in the atomic field included consulting with the Japanese as they rebuilt their post-war society. John Gray was regarded as a pioneer in the field of nuclear energy and was front and center as the evolution of that power from wartime use to peaceful means came to fruition. My Uncle Jack’s account is just one of 16.1 million American stories that had its roots in World War II. Maybe your family has its own?

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World War II: Saving the Reality

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Narrated by Dan Aykroyd

A Promise to My Father

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Narrated by Tom Kane

4-4-43

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Narrated by Dale Dye

Uncle Jack: Manhattan Project and Beyond

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Narrated by Tim Gray

Survivors of Malmedy: December 1944

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Narrated by the star of NBC’s Chicago P.D. Jason Beghe. This documentray shares the story of the World War II massacre of 84 American soldiers in the Malmedy, Belgium area on December 17, 1944, during the opening days of the famous “Battle of the Bulge."