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Who Determines What Becomes History?
A Witness' Reflections

George Wittenstein

The Munich-based White Rose consisted of a group of friends, predominantly medical students, who appealed to the German people to defy both Hitler's dictatorship and the apathy of their fellow citizens. It was the only German group specifically to condemn the extermination of European Jews. Six members convicted of high treason were executed.
Already a member of the German armed forces, George Wittenstein escaped apprehension by the Gestapo by volunteering to serve on the front line—the only place the German secret police would have no jurisdiction over him. He was assigned to the Italian front to serve as a physician. There he collected the weapons of wounded soldiers and contributed them to a secret arsenal maintained by Freedom Action Bavaria, a resistance group of military officers in Munich.

Wounded in 1945, Wittenstein immigrated to the United States a few years later and continued his surgical training at Harvard University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Colorado. A Santa Barbara resident for almost 50 years, he has worked in private practice, as a professor of surgery at UCLA, and as chair of the Department of Surgery at the UCLA-Olive View Medical Center.

Program recording date & length: 5-12-09 • 59:30

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