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October 14th Lecture




LTC Carl Witte (USA Ret) and Thomas J. Reed, Esq, present the compelling story of Hitler's plan to destroy key aluminum plants and railroads in 1942. The planning and execution of the operation was personally told to Witte by the former head of the saboteur team, George Dasch. Neal Cortell, PBS Producer, and historical author David Allan Johnson both told Witte that he is the only person still alive, that they know of, who actually knew Dasch and heard the story firsthand. The saboteurs were arrested by the FBI. J. Edgar Hoover took full credit. But did he deserve it? The arrest and trial by a Military Commission of the eight "would-be saboteurs" has historical significance in terms of the ongoing debate of civil liberties vs. national security. Reed links the 1942 Supreme Court decision of the trial of the saboteurs with other Supreme Court decisions made during the Civil War (1866) and current cases.


Thomas J. Reed, is a Marine Corps veteran and Professor Emeritus, Widener University Delaware Law School. He established the Veterans Law Clinic that provides free counsel to veterans. He is a Civil War historian who has published three books on the Civil War. His publications also include: Two Constitutions: The Treatment of Dissenters in Time of War which examines the legal implications of trying the German saboteurs by military commission rather than by a civil court. He is a member of the Military Order of the World Wars, the Civil War Round Table of Wilmington, and the Battlefield Preservation Trust. He is an active volunteer at the Delaware Military Museum cataloging thousands of books, and the lead in development of the Civil War era room.


Carl Witte served as a Regular Army Officer in the Medical Service Corps, retiring in 1990. Carl has been a Perpetual Member of the Military Order of the World Wars since 1983, serving in Command and Staff positions at the Chapter and Region levels. Carl is the Vice Chair of the Delaware Military Heritage & Education Foundation (DMHEF) and is an active volunteer for the Delaware Military Museum.



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