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Encyclopedia > William L. Shirer
Shirer (at far left) after winning a National Book Award in 1961 for his The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, pictured with fellow authors and award winners Conrad Richter and Randall Jarrell. .

William Lawrence Shirer (February 23, 1904December 28, 1993) was an American journalist and historian. He became known for his broadcasts on CBS from the German capital of Berlin during the Third Reich through the first year of World War II. Image File history File links Shirer. ... Image File history File links Shirer. ... The National Book Awards is one of the most preeminent literary prizes in the United States. ... Conrad Michael Richter (October 13, 1890-October 30, 1968) was an award-winning American of German origin novelist whose lyrical work focuses on life along the American frontier. ... Photograph of Jarrell in 1956 Randall Jarrell (May 6, 1914 - October 15, 1965), was a United States author, writer and poet. ... February 23 is the 54th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1904 (MCMIV) was a leap year starting on a Friday (see link for calendar). ... is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... CBS Broadcasting, Inc. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


Shirer first became famous through his account of those years in his Berlin Diary (published in 1941), but his greatest achievement was his 1960 book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, published by The Ballantine Publishing Group. This book of well over 1000 pages is still in print, and is a detailed examination of the Third Reich filled with historical information from German archives captured at the end of the war, along with impressions Shirer gained during his days as a correspondent in Berlin. Later in 1969, his work The Collapse of the Third Republic drew on his experience spent living and working in France from 1925 to 1933. This work is filled with historical information about the Battle of France from the secret orders and reports of the French High Command and of the commanding generals of the field. Shirer also used the memoirs, journals, and diaries of the prominent British, French, Italian, Spanish, and French figures in government, Parliament, the Army, and diplomacy. Berlin Diary (1934-1941) is a first-hand account of the rise of the Third Reich and its road to war, as witnessed by the American journalist William L. Shirer. ... The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by journalist William L. Shirer was the first definitive history of Nazi Germany in English. ... The Collapse of the Third Republic, An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940 by William L. Shirer, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1969, deals with the collapse of the French Third Republic in 1940 at the outset of Hitlers Western invasion during World War II. Categories: | | ...

Contents

Early years

Born in Chicago in 1904, Shirer attended Washington High School (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and later Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Working his way to Europe on a cattle boat, intending to spend the summer there, he remained in Europe for the next fifteen years. Washington High School is a public high school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Mission Statement The mission at Washington High School, in partnership with families, is to provide a safe and orderly climate in which students may strive for academic excellence, participate in a variety of co-curricular activities, and celebrate... Coe College is a private four-year liberal arts college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ... Nickname: Location in the State of Iowa Coordinates: , Country United States State Iowa County Linn County Incorporated 1849 Government  - Mayor Kay Halloran Area  - City  64. ...


He was European correspondent for the Chicago Tribune from 1925 to 1932, covering assignments in Europe, the Near East and India. In India he formed a close friendship with Mohandas K. Gandhi. Shirer lived and worked in France for several years beginning in 1925. He left in the early 1930s but returned frequently to Paris throughout the decade. He lived and worked in the Third Reich from 1934 to 1940. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Gujarati: , Hindi: , IAST: mohandās karamcand gāndhī, IPA: ) (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948), was a major political and spiritual leader of India and the Indian independence movement. ...


Pre-war years

As a print journalist first and later as a radio reporter for CBS, Shirer covered the strengthening of one-party rule in Nazi Germany beginning in 1934. Shirer reported on Adolf Hitler's peacetime triumphs like the return of the Saarland to Germany and the remilitarization of the Rhineland. Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Hitler redirects here. ... Location Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2) Administration Country NUTS Region DEC Capital Saarbrücken Minister-President Peter Müller (CDU) Governing party CDU Votes in Bundesrat 3 (from 69) Basic statistics Area  2,569 km² (992 sq mi) Population 1,044,000 (11/2006)[1]  - Density 406 /km... The Remilitarization of the Rhineland by the German Army took place on 7 March 1936 when German forces entered the Rhineland. ...


Shirer was hired in 1934 for the Berlin bureau of the Universal News Service, which was one of William Randolph Hearst's two wire services. When Universal Service folded in August 1937, Shirer was first taken on as second man by Hearst's other wire service, International News Service, and then laid off a few weeks later. For other people named William Randolph Hearst, see William Randolph Hearst (disambiguation) William Randolph Hearst I (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American newspaper magnate. ... International News Service (INS) was a news agency founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1909. ...


On the very day when Shirer received his two weeks' notice from INS, he also received what was to be a fateful wire from Edward R. Murrow, European manager of Columbia Broadcasting, suggesting that the two men meet. At their meeting a few days later in Berlin, Murrow commented that he couldn't cover all of Europe from his London office and indicated that he was seeking an experienced correspondent to open a CBS office on the Continent. He offered Shirer the job on the spot, subject to an audition — a "trial broadcast" — to allow the CBS directors and vice presidents in New York to judge whether Shirer's voice was suitable for radio. April 8, 1956: CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow talking to reporters during a stop in Wiesbaden, Germany. ... CBS Broadcasting, Inc. ...


In spite of Shirer's fears that his reedy voice was unsuitable for radio, he was hired by CBS. As "European bureau chief" for CBS, Shirer set up headquarters in Vienna, a more central (and more neutral) spot than Berlin. Shirer's job was to arrange broadcasts and, early in his career with CBS, expressed his disappointment at having to hire newspaper correspondents to do the actual broadcasting; at the time, CBS correspondents were prohibited from speaking on the radio themselves.


Shirer was the first of the group that would be called "Murrow's Boys" — the groundbreaking broadcast journalists who provided outstanding news coverage during World War II and afterward. Murrow’s Boys, or “The Murrow Boys,” were the CBS broadcast journalists most closely associated with Edward R. Murrow during his years at the network, specifically the years before and during World War II. Murrow recruited a number of newsmen and women to CBS during his years as a correspondent...


CBS's prohibition on its correspondents talking on the radio — viewed by both Murrow and Shirer as "absurd" — ended in March 1938. Shirer was in Vienna on March 11, 1938 when the German annexation of Austria Anschluss, took place after weeks of mounting pressure by Nazi Germany on the Austrian government. is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ... German troops march into Austria on 12 March 1938. ...


As the only American broadcaster in the Austrian capital at the time — NBC rival Max Jordan was not in town — Shirer had a major scoop, but lacked the facilities to report the momentous events of the Anschluss to his CBS radio audience. He was not permitted to broadcast by occupying German troops controlling the Austrian state radio studio. At Murrow's suggestion, Shirer flew to London via Berlin — he recalled in Berlin Diary that the direct flight to London was filled with Jews frantically trying to escape German-occupied Austria. Once in London, Shirer broadcast the first uncensored eyewitness account of the annexation. Meanwhile, Murrow flew from London to Vienna to cover for Shirer. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York Citys Rockefeller Center. ... Look up scoop in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Berlin Diary (1934-1941) is a first-hand account of the rise of the Third Reich and its road to war, as witnessed by the American journalist William L. Shirer. ...


The next day, CBS's New York headquarters asked Shirer and Murrow to arrange and produce a "European round-up" — a 30-minute broadcast featuring live reporting from five European capitals — Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Rome, and London. The broadcast, arranged in a mere eight hours using the primitive telephone and broadcasting facilities of the day, was a major feat of journalism. As the first-ever news roundup, this broadcast established a formula used in broadcast journalism to this day. It also turned out to be the genesis of what became the CBS World News Roundup, which still airs on that radio network each morning and evening, and is network broadcasting's oldest news series. The CBS World News Roundup is a radio newscast that airs weekday mornings and evenings on the CBS Radio Network. ...


Shirer also reported on the Munich Agreement and Hitler's march into Czechoslovakia before going on to report on the growing tensions between Germany and Poland in 1939 and the German invasion of Poland that launched World War II on September 1, 1939. During much of the pre-war period, Shirer was based in Berlin and attended most of Hitler's major public speeches and other political or propaganda events like several of the massive Nazi party rallies (Reichsparteitage) in Nuremberg.. For the annual global security meeting held in Munich, see Munich Conference on Security Policy Chamberlain holds the paper containing the resolution to commit to peaceful methods signed by both Hitler and himself on his return from Germany in September 1938. ... Combatants Poland Germany, Slovakia, Soviet Union Commanders Edward Rydz-Śmigły Fedor von Bock (Army Group North), Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group South), Mikhail Kovalov (Belorussian Front), Semyon Timoshenko (Ukrainian Front), Ferdinand Čatloš (Field Army Bernolak) Strength 39 divisions, 16 brigades, 4,300 guns, 880 tanks, 400 aircraft Total: 950... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... September 1 is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years). ... Year 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Reichsparteitage (literally imperial party congresses) were annual rallies of the National Socialist German Workers Party during many of the years of Nazi rule in Germany. ... Nuremberg (German: ) is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. ...


Reporting the war from Berlin

From Berlin, Bill Shirer covered the outbreak of war in the West in spring 1940 — first the invasion of Denmark and Norway in April, and then the invasion of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, and France in May. As German armies closed in on Paris, he traveled to France with the German forces. In one of the biggest journalistic triumphs of the war, Shirer reported the signing of the German armistice with France on June 22, 1940 to the American people before the news had even been announced by the Germans. His commentary from Compiègne was widely hailed as a masterpiece of reporting. German battle cruisers in a Norwegian port in June 1940 The Norwegian Campaign, lasting from 9 April to 10 June 1940, led to the first direct land confrontation between the military forces of the Allies — United Kingdom and France — against Nazi Germany in World War II. The primary reason for... Combatants  France  United Kingdom  Canada  Czechoslovakia  Poland  Belgium  Netherlands  Luxembourg Germany Italy Commanders Maurice Gamelin, Maxime Weygand (French) Lord Gort (British Expeditionary Force) Leopold III (Belgian) H.G. Winkelman (Dutch) Gerd von Rundstedt (Army Group A) Fedor von Bock (Army Group B) Wilhelm von Leeb (Army Group C) H.R... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... The Second Armistice at Compiègne, France was signed on June 22, 18:50, 1940, between Nazi Germany and France. ... is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Compiègne is a commune in the Oise département of France, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ...


In peacetime, Shirer's reporting was subject only to "self-censorship". He and other reporters in Germany knew that if Nazi officials in Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry objected to their reporting, they could withdraw the reporters' access to the state-owned broadcasting facilities or expel them from Germany. Still, Shirer's early reporting was permitted more freedom than were German reporters writing or broadcasting for domestic audiences. At the beginning of the war, German officials established censorship; Shirer recalled that the restrictions were similar to wartime censorship elsewhere, and were concerned primarily with restricting information that could be used to Germany's military disadvantage by its enemies. Paul Joseph Goebbels (German pronunciation: IPA: ) (29 October 1897 – 1 May 1945) was a German politician and Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda during the National Socialist regime from 1933 to 1945. ... Censorship is defined as the removal and/or withholding of information from the public by a controlling group or body. ...


However, as the war continued and as Britain not only rebuffed Hitler's peace overtures to end the war, but began to bomb German cities (including Berlin), the tightening Nazi censorship became more onerous to Shirer and his colleagues. In contrast to Ed Murrow's live broadcasts of the German bombing of London in the Blitz, foreign correspondents in Germany were not allowed to report British air raids on German cities. Furthermore, reporters were not permitted to cast doubt upon statements made by the Propaganda Ministry and Military High Command. Reporters were discouraged by the Propaganda Ministry from reporting news or from using terms like Nazi that were liable to "create an unfavorable impression." For a time, Shirer resorted to subtler ways of attempting to convey his message until the censors caught on. Heinkel He 111 German bomber over the Surrey Docks, Southwark, London (German propaganda photomontage). ... The command flag for the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1938 - 1941) The command flag for a Generalfeldmarschall as the Chief of the High Command of the German Armed Forces (1941 - 1945) The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht or OKW (Wehrmacht High Command, Armed Forces High Command...


As the summer of 1940 progressed, the Nazi government put increasing pressure on Shirer to broadcast the official accounts which he knew were incomplete or false. As his frustration grew, he wrote to his bosses in New York that the tightening censorship was undermining his ability to report objectively in Germany and mused that he had outlived his usefulness reporting from Berlin. Shirer was subsequently tipped off by an acquaintance that the Gestapo was building a case against him, and began making arrangements to leave Germany, which he did in December 1940. The   (contraction of Geheime Staatspolizei: “secret state police”) was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Shirer managed to smuggle his diaries and notes out of Germany and used them as the basis for his Berlin Diary, which provides a first-hand, day-by-day account of events inside the Third Reich during five years of peacetime and one year of war. It was published in 1941. Berlin Diary (1934-1941) is a first-hand account of the rise of the Third Reich and its road to war, as witnessed by the American journalist William L. Shirer. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ...


He returned to Europe to report the Nuremberg trials in 1945. The Süddeutsche Zeitung announces The Verdict in Nuremberg. ...


Post-war years

The close friendship between Bill Shirer and Ed Murrow ended in 1947, in one of the great confrontations of American broadcast journalism, that culminated in Shirer leaving CBS. April 8, 1956: CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow talking to reporters during a stop in Wiesbaden, Germany. ...


The dispute started when J. B. Williams, maker of shaving soap, withdrew his sponsorship of Shirer's Sunday news show. CBS, of which Murrow was then vice president for public affairs, did not find Shirer another sponsor and allowed the show to keep running on a "sustaining" (non-sponsored) basis, which resulted in a loss of income for its moderator.


Shirer contended that the root of his troubles was the network and sponsor not standing by him because of his on-air comments, such as those critical of the Truman Doctrine, and what he viewed as an emphasis on placating sponsors instead of on journalism. Shirer blamed Murrow for his departure from CBS, at one time bitterly referring to Murrow as "Paley's toady." The Truman Doctrine was a proclamation by U.S. president Harry S. Truman on March 12, 1947. ...


The episode hastened Murrow's own desire to give up his network vice presidency and return to newscasting, and foreshadowed his own later misgivings about the future of broadcast journalism and his own difficulties with CBS founder and chief executive William S. Paley. William S. Paley (1901-1990) This article is about the broadcast executive. ...


Shirer himself briefly provided analysis for the Mutual Broadcasting System, then found himself unable to find regular radio work. His appearance in the Red Channels blacklisting barred him from broadcasting or print journalism, and he was forced into the lecture circuit for income. Times remained tough for Shirer, his wife Tess and daughters Eileen Inga and Linda until Simon & Schuster, Inc. published his book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in 1960. A best seller for many years, the book went through twenty printings in the first year after publication. Red Channels Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television was an anti-communist pamphlet published in the United States. ... A blacklist is a list or register of entities who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, or mobility. ... Jean-François Millet Le Semeur (The Sower) Simon & Schuster logo, circa 1961. ...


The friendship between Shirer and Murrow never recovered. In her preface to This is Berlin, a compilation of Shirer's Berlin broadcasts published after his death, Shirer's daughter Inga describes how Murrow, suffering from lung cancer that he knew could be terminal, tried to heal the breach with Shirer before his death by inviting the Shirers to his farm in 1964. During this visit, Murrow tried to discuss the breach so as to heal it. Though the two men chatted in a superficially pleasant manner, Shirer stubbornly steered the conversation away from the contentious issues between the two men, and the men never had another opportunity to air their grievances before Murrow died in 1965. Shirer's daughter also writes that, shortly before her father's own death in 1993, he rebuffed her attempts to learn the source of the breach that opened between the two journalists 45 years earlier. Lung cancer is the malignant transformation and expansion of lung tissue, and is the most lethal of all cancers worldwide, responsible for 1. ...


Death

Shirer died in 1993 in Boston. He was 89. [1] Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ...


Legacy

In 2001 a compilation of Shirer's CBS broadcasts from Europe, called This Is Berlin: Reporting from Nazi Germany, 1938-40 (ISBN 1-58567-279-3) was published. Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ...


References

  1. ^ "William L. Shirer, Author, Is Dead at 89", New York Times, December 29, 1993. Retrieved on 2007-07-21. “William L. Shirer, the author of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" and a foreign correspondent whose pioneering live trans-Atlantic radio broadcasts on the eve of World War II helped inform Americans about Nazi Germany, died yesterday at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 89 years old and lived in Lenox, Mass. His daughter Inga Dean of Lenox said he had been hospitalized since Dec. 5 with heart ailments, The Associated Press reported.” 

The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 202nd day of the year (203rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by journalist William L. Shirer was the first definitive history of Nazi Germany in English. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Massachusetts General Hospital (often abbreviated to Mass General or just MGH) is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and biomedical research facility in Boston, Massachusetts. ... The Associated Press, or AP, is an American news agency, the worlds largest such organization. ...

Books

Non-fiction

  • Berlin Diary (1941)
  • End of a Berlin Diary (1947)
  • Mid-century Journey (1952)
  • The Challenge of Scandinavia (1955)
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (1960)
  • The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler (1961)
  • The Sinking of the Bismarck (1962)
  • The Collapse of the Third Republic (1969)
  • 20th Century Journey (1976)
  • Gandhi: A Memoir (1980)
  • The Nightmare Years (1984)
  • A Native's Return (1990)
  • Love and Hatred: The Troubled Marriage of Leo and Sonya Tolstoy (1994)
  • This is Berlin (1999)

Berlin Diary (1934-1941) is a first-hand account of the rise of the Third Reich and its road to war, as witnessed by the American journalist William L. Shirer. ... The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by journalist William L. Shirer was the first definitive history of Nazi Germany in English. ... The Collapse of the Third Republic, An Inquiry into the Fall of France in 1940 by William L. Shirer, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1969, deals with the collapse of the French Third Republic in 1940 at the outset of Hitlers Western invasion during World War II. Categories: | | ...

Fiction

  • The Traitor (1950)
  • Stranger Come Home (1954)
  • The Consul's Wife (1956)

Fictionalized versions of Shirer

  • In the 1982 movie Gandhi the composite American Journalist character played by Martin Sheen is said to represent Shirer. [citation needed]
  • William Dreiser, the American reporter that appears in the first part of S. M. Stirling's alternate history WWII novel Marching Through Georgia (1988), is clearly based on Shirer. [citation needed]
  • In the 1989 movie Nightmare Years Shirer is played by Sam Waterston. The TV movie is based on Shirer's bestselling book, "The Nightmare Years" and covers the period from Shirer's arrival in Germany in 1934 until Shirer's fleeing from Berlin in 1940.

Gandhi (1982) is a multi-award-winning biopic film about the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (often known as Mahatma Gandhi), who was leader of the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. ... Martin Sheen (born August 3, 1940) is an Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning American actor. ... Stephen Michael Stirling is an American science fiction and fantasy author. ... Alternate history (fiction) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Marching Through Georgia is the first of three books of S.M. Stirlings Alternate history series, The Domination. ... Samuel Atkinson Waterston (born November 15, 1940) is an Oscar nominated American actor noted particularly for his portrayal of Jack McCoy on the long-running NBC television series Law & Order. ...

See also

Adolf Hitlers Mein Kampf. ...

External links

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William L. Shirer

 
 

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