Tuesday, March 7, 2017

All of the Father Devlin materials were returned and now reside at the University of California Irvine as part of their SE Asian collection.  Thank you for all the help and support in retrieving these items on behalf of our late father.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Update and Request for Help in the return of missing Vietnam archives intended for donation by Larry Engelmann

We hope to host a memorial in San Jose for Larry Engelmann. We will post details in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, his archives, photos and Vietnam materials were taken by someone and we have been unable to retrieve most of them for donation to a SE Asian archive. It seems that this individual believe there is monetary value in his collection and therefore refuses to return it to his family. We encourage anyone who knows Linda Lee aka Da Hua Li aka Linda Lee Engelmann (yusi0606@hotmail.com) to return the items, most notably the Father Joe Devlin trunk containing personal writings and photographs to her attorney (Tim Henry, San Jose) for donation to an archive selected by Larry before his death. Thank you for your support in this awkward and unfortunate situation.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

In Loving Memory of Larry D. Engelmann

On April 1, 2015, our dad passed away after a medical procedure related to his recent diagnosis with brain cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme. We intend to continue to honor the spirit and voice of our dad through his blog in time. Thank you for your support and friendship!

We will host a memorial in San Jose in the coming months and we hope that you will join us. Sincerely, Marya and Kiki


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hiroji Kubota photographs of the Fall of Saigon 1975

(久保田 博二 Kubota Hiroji?, born 1939) is Japanese photographer, a member of Magnum Photos who has specialized in photographing the far east.

Born in Kanda (Tokyo) on 2 August 1939, Kubota studied politics at Waseda University, graduating in 1962.[1] In 1961 he met the Magnum photographers René Burri, Elliott Erwitt, and Burt Glinn.He then studied journalism and international politics at the University of Chicago, and became an assistant to Erwitt and Cornell Capa, in 1965, a freelance photographer.

Kubota photographed the 1968 US presidential election and then Ryūkyū islands before their return to Japan in 1972. He then photographed Saigon in 1975, North Korea in 1978, and China in 1979–85, and the USA in 1988–92, resulting in books and exhibitions

Kubota won the Mainichi Art Prize in 1980,[ and the Annual Award of the Photographic Society of Japan in 1981.[3] Three of his publications won him the first Kodansha Publishing Culture Award in 1970: "Black People", and essays on Calcutta and the Ryūkyū


Friday, December 5, 2014

The The Rise and Fall of German-American Bund


Robert Rockaway and Larry Engelmann

On the night of February 20, 1939, President’s Day in America and five months before the Soviet-Nazi pact dividing up Poland, the Baltic states and Finland, and six months before the German Blitzkrieg in Poland and the UK’s declaration of war on Germany, an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 22,000 gathered in New York City for a massive indoor demonstration glorifying Nazism. Banners as big as bed sheets bearing the slogans "Smash Jewish Communism" and "Stop Jewish Domination" had were nailed high the walls of the Madison Square Garden where the rally was held. The crowd of conservatively attired men and women –this might have been mistaken for delegates at a national nominating convention for either of America’s two major political parties, the males in suits and ties and the women in fashionable dresses -- hummed with anticipation as they waited for the program to unfold. A few, eager to see the opening ceremonies, stood on the seats of their metal folding chairs and gazed toward the commotion at the back of the auditorium. Precisely at the appointed hour the pounding of drums began just outside the rear entrances to the hall and washed over the crowd. The volume of the drums increased quickly and a few moments later hundreds of brown-shirted men, their arms extended in the formalized Fascist salute, marched down the aisles behind the drummers and a forest of red and gold swastika flags.
The crowd went wild! Everyone in the auditorium started cheering and chanting, "Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!" The noise continued until the marching drummers, flag bearers and various dignitaries arrived on the stage. Speaker followed speaker to the podium after that, stood beneath the thirty-foot tall portrait of George Washington, and each more shrill, loud and excited than his predecessor, emitted the same message of hatred and warning against “Jewish world domination,” "Jewish-Marxism," and "Jewish Bolshevism." Franklin Roosevelt was denounced as “Franklin D. Rosenfeld” and the New Deal was referred to as “the Jew Deal.”
Except for the language of the speakers and the crowd – English -- the event could easily have been mistaken for a mass rally in Nuremberg or Munich. The message was the same. The tone of the speakers was the same. The posturing of the dignitaries and the crowd was the same, the saluting was the same, the flags were the same, with the exception of the sprinkling of the stars and stripes among the swastikas, and the crowd and speakers alike virtually swooned at the mention of German National Socialism and the Fuhrer Adolph Hitler. Fascist bliss and bluster ruled the hall.
The rally was sponsored by the German-American Bund, the largest, most influential and outspoken Nazi organization in the United States. At its peak the Bund never enrolled more than 20,000 members. But its spectacular rallies, ability to manipulate and manufacture publicity, and the extensive media coverage given to its pro-Nazi activities provoked nationwide hostility and fears that the group posed a serious threat to American democracy.
The Bund's birth can be traced to the years after World War I. Between 1919 and 1933 around 430,000 German immigrants arrived in the United States. Most were fleeing the catastrophic post-war economic collapse in Germany. Some had become members of the fledgling National Socialist Party before they left Germany. Others were embittered veterans of the Frei Korps, right-wing paramilitary bands who believed that Germany had been tricked out of victory in World War I because of treasonous activities by Jews and Marxists at home. Still others came to the United States for the express purpose of raising money for German causes.
Many of these immigrants openly expressed their conviction that their stay in America was a temporary exile. They intended to return to Germany when economic conditions improved. But their plans changed after Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January 1933. By then the United States was itself mired in economic depression and many of the immigrants found themselves unexpectedly unemployed, short of money and with time on their hands. Their own economic misfortune now fed their unhappiness and sense of isolation. They became the critical mass with which Germany Fascists and nationalists hoped to start a powerful chain reaction of a pro-Nazi German-American political movement. They were, for agents of international fascism, capitalism’s crippling Fifth Column.

Even before the emergence of Hitler in Germany, however, several young German emigrants to America, most in their early twenties, had established extreme right-wing and pro-Nazi factions. In 1922, German immigrants living in the Bronx section of New York City founded a cell of the German National Socialist Party. Two years later, German immigrants in Detroit founded the Teutonia Association. Teutonia evolved into the first significant expression of organized Nazism in the United States. It irregularly published a newspaper, sent small contributions to the Nazi Party in Munich, and worked hard at persuading non-affiliated German immigrants to support Nazism. The party propagated the view that Germany was in the hands of "Eastern Jews and communists controlled by Jewish Moscow," and only Adolf Hitler could save the Nation and the People. Although it never had more than a few hundred members and never prospered financially, Teutonia served as the prototype for the pro-Nazi groups that followed it.
As a consequence of internal disputes, rivalries with other pro-Nazi groups, and the changed political situation in Germany, ironically, Teutonia disbanded after 1933. With vocal encouragement and financial support from the Nazi government and the German consul in New York City, however, leaders of Teutonia created a new organization, the Friends of the New Germany, around a hard core of former Teutonia members. Based in New York, the group published a daily and weekly German language and bi-lingual (English-German) newspapers to publicize its views and the irresistible and glorious Nazi ideology.
The organization’s persistent in-your-face efforts at disseminating and defending the National Socialist ideology among German Americans in New York City, its open, defiant and aggressive anti-Semitism, along with a series of violent confrontations and incidents in which it was involved aroused a ripple of public protest and brought the group to the attention of the United States government.
In 1934, the House of Representatives created a special committee, the McCormick-Dickstein Committee, to investigate Nazi activities in the United States. Samuel Dickstein, a Jewish congressman from New York, was the moving force behind the establishment of the committee. He became a relentless opponent of homegrown Nazism throughout the 1930s. The McCormick-Dickstein Committee was the forerunner of the House Committee Investigating Un-American Activities in 1937 which became the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1946.
The McCormick-Dickstein Committee exposed the Nazi character of the Friends of the New Germany. It uncovered evidence that Germany provided financial and ideological support to the organization and that German consulates helped the Friends spread Nazi propaganda within the United States. When the relationship became public, the State Department protested to the German government. Worried about its diplomatic relations with the United States, the German government recalled a number of its consular officials and severed public ties between the Friends and the Third Reich.
The Friends hated Dickstein, of course. They asserted that he persecuted them because he was a Jew and their newspaper portrayed him as an evil and satanic Bolshevik, who was nothing more than a "loud-mouthed Jew." But the propaganda of the Friends also alienated many German Americans who saw considered themselves not citizens of the Reich but rather loyal American citizens. The negative publicity against the Friends, the nation's growing anti-Nazi sentiment, government scrutiny, internal dissension, and a loss of favor with Nazi Germany's government, led to the group's reorganization and reemergence as the German- American Bund under a new leader, Fritz Julius Kuhn.
Born in Munich in 1895, Kuhn served in the German army during World War I. After the war, he joined the Free Corps and the new Nazi Party. He studied chemical engineering at the Munich University. Following graduation, unable to find work, he left Germany for Mexico in 1923. In Mexico, he worked as an industrial chemist until 1927, and then he accepted a position at the Ford Hospital laboratory in Detroit and later at Ford's River Rouge assembly plant. He remained at Ford till 1935.
Kuhn became an American citizen and joined the Friends of the New Germany. He quickly rose to become leader of the Detroit local and the Midwest district. At a convention in 1936, Kuhn took the remnants of the Friends and a number of splinter groups into the new organization which he named the Amerika-Deutscher Volksbund, or the German American Bund. He stated that the name represented the Bund’s devotion to promoting friendship between the United States and Germany. His real goal, however, was to advance the cause of National Socialism in the United States.
Kuhn was a forceful and dynamic organizer and speaker and he was able to revive and restore the Nazi movement in America. He considered himself as a great leader, a "historical personality," and the leader of "united Germandom in America." His opponents saw him differently. They characterized him variously as a liar, swindler, adulterer, braggart and boor. The German ambassador to the United States, Hans Heinrich Dieckhoff, called him "stupid, noisy, and absurd."
The Bund divided itself into three regional corps: East, Midwest, and West. The national headquarters was located at 178 East 85th Street in the heart of New York City's German-American community of Yorkville. The East region operated out of New York office. The Midwest region was headquarters in Chicago, and the West region in Los Angeles. Although the Bund claimed members in every state but Louisiana, the organization's membership came primarily from the northern and eastern urban areas of the nation.
Anyone might become a Bund card carrying member provided he was of Aryan stock, free of black or Jewish blood, and accepted the imperative leadership principle –complete submission of members to the decisions of the Bund leader. Accordingly, Demographically the Bund was dominated by recently naturalized German-Americans, second generation Americans of German descent, and German nationals. The Bund was unable to attract more than a few persons of professional standing, higher education or wealth. They had virtually no representation in Hollywood, where writers and stars who watched developments in Europe were more likely to join or sympathize with the Communist Party and follow the leadership of Joseph Stalin, perceived as an anti-Fascist until his troubling pact with Hitler in 1939, than to side with the Bund and follow Hitler. The Bund was always a metropolitan lower-middle-class movement. Naturalized Americans who had fought for Germany in World War I comprised a majority of the members. Although some members could easily be dismissed as alienated misfits, traditional anti-Semites, fanatical Fascist True Believers, thugs or all four, many Bundists considered themselves mainstream Americans and convinced themselves that their Bund represented at heart a patriotic American organization whose goal was to "save" the US from domination by Jews. Yet despite these transparent proclamations of patriotism, Bundists, without any disconcerting sense of irony, still swore complete allegiance to Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich.
The main elements of Bund ideology were German racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Communism. The outstanding feature of this ideology was its insistence upon race as the basis for uniting Germans in America. In the Bund view, all Germans outside Germany were united in a racial community and bound to the Fatherland by common blood. Germans everywhere were Germans first and secondly citizens of a particular country. Kuhn stressed that German Americans were "first of all, Germans by race, in blood, in language." In fostering this doctrine, he and the Bund stressed the importance of National Socialism for German-Americans. Kuhn asserted that just as the Nazis had forged a new unity in Germany, so would the Bund create a racial alliance among all Americans of German blood. He proposed “to build an Aryan movement under the swastika to liberate America from the Jews.”
The Bund formed a special strong-arm division known as the Ordnungsdienst (Order service), or OD, a paramilitary unit patterned after the Nazi Party's early paramilitary organization, the Storm Division, or SA. Members of the OD donned fascist uniforms, including swastika arm bands, engaged in military drills and rifle practice, paraded at Bund gatherings, served as guards and flag bearers, and functioned as the Bund's private police force.
Bund propaganda employed Nazi themes and applied them to America. It declared that a state of war existed in the United States between Aryans and Jews. The Bund newspaper, Weckruf, and its pamphlets blamed Jews for Bolshevism, for the economic depression and for influencing or controlling all important institutions of American life, especially the press, the motion picture industry, the theater, and politics. During the 1936 presidential election, the Bund accused President Roosevelt and the Democratic administration as being in the hands of Jews.
Kuhn headed the Bund from 1936-1939 and ran the organization like a little dictator with absolute and unrelenting power over its affairs. He mediated grievances, appointed or removed officers, revoked memberships of Bundists whenever he saw fit, convened conventions, and interpreted Bund regulations. He exercised full power over Bund property and controlled all of the Bund’s subsidiary organizations.
Kuhn consciously mimicked Hitler’s mannerisms by strutting about in a Nazi-style uniform with black leather boots, his thumbs fixed in his belt, his chest thrust forward, shoulders back and chin up. He monotonously reiterated his allegiance to Hitler and seemed convinced he had been chosen by the gods to unify his racial brothers in America and bring National Socialism to the United States. In 1936, Kuhn traveled to the Berlin Olympics with two hundred of his followers. He received the thrill of his life when he was invited to the Reich chancellery and have his picture taken with Hitler.
But when those same photographs appeared in newspapers across the United States, Americans reacted with anger and indignation and the government intensified its surveillance of Kuhn and the Bund. The Hitler meeting not only outraged American Jews but also organized labor, liberals, conservatives, and innumerable Americans who viewed the German-American Bund as an insidious subversive and anti-American group controlled by Berlin.
Under Kuhn the Bund became more militant, aggressive and sensationalist than the Friends of the New Germany had been. Kuhn's technique involved the use of elaborate displays, Nazi regalia, and exaggerations of the group's size and importance. Kuhn's insatiable desire for publicity, flamboyant style and pro-Nazi statements, together with the Bund's extremist propaganda, brought him and the Bund widespread exposure in the press and made the government and the average interested American more aware of fascism and Nazism and more negative to them.
Kuhn's personal life contributed to his notoriety. Although married with two children, He frequented nightclubs along Broadway and beer halls in Yorkville with his girlfriends, one a former Miss America who had been married seven times. Like a boy scout from Hell, he wore his uniform everywhere and some observers wondered if he even slept in it.
Kuhn was a practitioner of hyperbole. He claimed to have nearly a quarter of a million men in his organization, who were armed and ready for action. Martin Dies outdid Kuhn and suggested that there were nearly half a million Bund members and associates in the country. In addition to his members, Kuhn claimed alliances with sympathetic fascist groups in the US including the Silver Shirts, Mussolini-supporting Brown Shirts and of course the white-sheeted Ku Klux Klan. In fact, reliable sources indicate that the peak membership of the Bund was probably around 25,000.
Kuhn let it all go to his head, as often happens to leaders of fringe organizations. Although he had an endless capacity for drinking his own bathwater, the men who should have been his greatest allies abhorred him. The German ambassador to the US described Kuhn as “stupid, noisy, and absurd” and Hitler told his closest associates after meeting Kuhn in 1936 that he never wanted to see him again.
The Bund's sources of revenue consisted of sales of its newspaper and publications, monthly membership dues, and admission charges to Bund events. Bund rallies were generally noisy affairs designed to impress members and outsiders. They included marching bands, fascist salutes, stamping feet, rousing applause, booming "Sieg Heils," and the singing of Nazi songs. Recreational camps run by the Bund provided another source of income. The two largest camps were Nordland at Andover, New Jersey, and Siegfried located at Laphank, Long Island. Both these camps contained overnight accommodations, a restaurant, meeting hall, parade and sports ground, and streets named after Nazi leaders, such as Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering.
Bund social activities revolved around mass rallies and camp gatherings. Camps were established not only for adults but also for the youth division, upon which they placed primary importance. Modeled after Germany's Hitler Youth, the Youth Division aimed to instill racial pride and indoctrinate National Socialist values in German American youngsters. Youth Division members learned German, German history, and the Nazi philosophy. The sight of children and young adults dressed in Nazi-style uniforms singing "Deutschland, Deutschland uber Alles" (Germany, Germany, above everything), shocked camp visitors. The Un-American Activities Committee characterized camp activities as the "four Hs: Health, Hitler, Heils and Hatred."
Opposition to the Bund coincided with the hardening of American attitudes toward Nazi Germany. By 1937 Congress and the Justice Department had mounted investigations into subversive activities by leftist and rightist organizations in the United States. Intellectuals, labor unions, business, and religious groups publicly opposed Nazi Germany and Nazi organizations in United States; and American Legion members, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and anti-Nazi groups and individuals began disrupting Bund rallies and meetings. They picketed the meetings places, booed speakers off the stage, bombarded the conference halls with bricks and rocks, and fought on the streets with Bundists.
Attacks against Bund meetings became especially violent in New York City and Newark, New Jersey. In New York, Jewish mobsters organized by the gangster Meyer Lansky broke up Bund rallies in Yorkville. Years later, Lansky recounted one of the onslaughts. "We got there in the evening and found several hundred people dressed in brown shirts. The stage was decorated with a swastika and pictures of Hitler. The speaker started ranting. There were only fifteen of us, but we went into action. We attacked them in the hall and threw some of them out the windows. There were fistfights all over the place. Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up, and some were out of action for months."
In Newark, a former boxer named Nat Arno organized Jewish prizefighters and street thugs into a group called he called the "Minutemen." They used fists, clubs, and baseball bats to oppose the local Nazis. Max "Puddy" Hinkes, a former boxer, gangster, and member of the Minutemen, recollected one of the attacks he participated in. The incident took place at Schwabben Hall bordering the German neighborhood in Irvington, New Jersey. "The Nazis were meeting one night on the second floor. Nat Arno and I went upstairs and threw stink bombs into the room where the Nazis were. As they came out of the room, running from the odor of the stink bombs and running down the steps to go out into the street to escape, our boys were waiting with bats and iron bars. It was like running a gauntlet. Our boys were lined up on both sides and we started hitting, aiming for their heads or any other part of their body with our bats and irons. The Nazis were screaming blue murder. This was one of the most happy [sic] moments of my life. It was too bad we didn't kill them all."
Because of the attacks, Kuhn and Bund officers and members demanded police protection. In New York, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, whose mother was Jewish, complied. He sent black and Jewish policemen to guard Bund rallies. The mayors of Chicago, Syracuse, Newark, and other communities also sent police to guard Bund meetings. La Guardia concluded that the Bund was not so much an organization as a “racket.”
The Bund came apart after 1939. This resulted from public denunciations, popular revulsion, widespread opposition from the larger German American community, federal and local investigations, and the investigation into Bund finances by New York's Mayor LaGuardia and the crime fighting district attorney, Thomas E. Dewey. In the end Fritz Kuhn was indicted, tried, and sent to prison for forgery and larceny. His conviction splintered and weakened the movement. After the war, Kuhn lost his American citizenship and was deported to Germany where he lived in obscurity until his death in 1951.
By 1940, Bund membership had declined to two thousand. The organization was bankrupt and had lost most of its appeal. Local and federal government action damaged the organization even further. After Pearl Harbor, the Bund's executive committee voted to disband the organization.
Living in bombed-out Munich in 1951, Kuhn is said to have asked no one in particular, "Who would have known that it would end like this?"

3552 words in text

ROBERT ROCKAWAY is an associate professor in the Department of Jewish History at Tel-Aviv University. He has authored The Jews of Detroit: From the Beginning, 1762-1914 (1986); Words of the Uprooted: Jewish Immigrants in Early 20th Century America (1998); and But He Was Good to His Mother: The Lives and Crimes of Jewish Gangsters (2000), as well as numerous articles on American history, American Jewish history and modern Jewish history.
LARRY ENGELMANN is professor of history at San Jose State University in California. He is the author of six books.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thomas Polgar Remembers Tucker Gougleman, CIA Agent, MIA Vietnam, April 30, 1975.

coming Soon.

The Wikipedia entry for Gougleman reads:

Tucker Pierre Edward Power Gougelmann was a United States Marine Corps captain, World War II veteran, and a Central Intelligence Agency officer in their Special Activities Division who was killed in Vietnam in 1976.

World War II and entry into the CIA.

During the war he served in the Pacific, participating in battles such as Guadalcanal. During the Solomon Islands campaign he suffered a severe wound as the result of being shot in the right leg by a Japanese sniper while he was helping to move his fellow soldiers who were wounded out of danger.

Although the military doctors told him that his leg would have to be amputated as part of his treatment, Gougelmann was intent on returning to service and therefore refused to give his permission for the doctors to proceed with the amputation. He wound up keeping his leg but as a result his convalescence lasted for two years. During this time he was decorated with a Purple Heart in recognition of his having sustained the injury in combat.

By the time he had recovered and was returned to active duty the war was drawing to a close. Regardless, Gougelmann remained in the Corps until his honorable discharge in 1949. Wanting to continue in service to his country, Gougelmann joined the then nascent Central Intelligence Agency, which had been created from the embattled Central Intelligence Group ("CIG") following the National Security Act of 1947 which Truman had signed into law only two years earlier.

Although the CIG had a track record of difficulty with attracting "the best and the brightest," the newly formed CIA had no such difficulties in its early years. It was in fact a magnet for many of the nation's privileged youth who were recent graduates of top educational institutions, such as Ivy League universities. It was viewed as presenting a unique set of challenges, interesting work, and the opportunity to serve the country at the beginning of what would ultimately become known as the Cold War.

Cold War service

Gougelmann's first assignment was to Korea during the Korean War from 1950–1953. There he participated in covert operations, including helping agents to infiltrate the North. His experience in covert operations was subsequently put to use in the CIA's attempts to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba during the mid/late 1950s and early 1960s. Gougelmann may have been involved in the botched Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961, although this is not confirmed. Following the CIA's failed attempts to remove Castro from power, and the public relations problems that it caused for the Kennedy Administration, the CIA's role with respect to Cuba was severely curtailed as Cold War's active theater moved from Cuba back to other parts of the world, including Southeast Asia. Gougelmann's assignments during that time took him to Afghanistan as well as various locations in Europe.


In 1962 Gougelmann was assigned to South Vietnam. He continued to specialize in covert paramilitary operations work, coordinating Swift Boat raids against the North using Taiwanese nationals posing as civilians. Following the conclusion of the Swift Boat raiding program, Gougelmann was assigned to the CIA's Saigon Station where his knowledge of covert operations methods was put to use in the domestic counter-intelligence work of a local governmental entity. Being settled in a location for the first time in a long while, Gougelmann began a family life there with a local woman.

Gougelmann departed South Vietnam in 1975 before the final military capitulation and was living in Bangkok, Thailand as a civilian. When his family could not be evacuated from Saigon prior to the impending Vietnamese victory, he returned on his own. Once there, he established contact with his family, but had difficulty finding a way to get them out of the country. In the environment of that time, his continued presence was very unsafe, as an American CIA Officer would be a prime catch for the triumphant Vietnamese.

Although he tried his best to hide, including stuffing himself into an alcove behind a refrigerator, he was eventually found during a search conducted by the police on the advice of a local Vietnamese.

Capture, interrogation and torture[edit]
He was immediately taken into custody and kept in the main prison of the area, Chi Hoa Prison. A French reporter had witnessed his arrest and he was reportedly seen by Vietnamese prisoners in Wing ED, where he was being kept. The Vietnamese government denied that they were holding him, despite being presented with evidence to the contrary. Details of his imprisonment are limited and unconfirmed, and his treatment by the Vietnamese during his captivity is based on examination of the evidence after the fact.

Gougelmann was removed from the prison several times to be taken for interrogation, and government officials believe he was tortured during this time. The Vietnamese government continued to deny that they were holding Gougelman for the remainder of 1975 and 1976, but in 1977 they released his remains to U.S. authorities. Postmortem examination by U.S. government officials revealed that Gougelmann was tortured during his captivity, as evidenced primarily by a very large number of broken bones which appeared to have been broken and re-broken after healing.

After death

Before leaving Bangkok for Vietnam, Gougelmann asked a friend to try to get his family, including his youngest son, Edward who was born after Gougelmann's's arrest, out of Vietnam and to America if he ran afoul of the Vietnamese authorities. After contacting American government officials in the CIA, Congress, and other high-ranking government offices, the friend succeeded in obtaining visas which allowed the family to emigrate to the United States.

After Gougelmann's remains were returned to the United States, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His grave is located next to that of Francis Gary Powers, a CIA operative who had became famous in 1960 when he was shot down over Soviet airspace and captured while working as a pilot for the CIA as part of their U-2 high-altitude espionage program. (Powers was exchanged in 1962 for Soviet KGB Colonel Vilyam Fisher in a well-publicized spy swap at the Glienicke Bridge in Berlin.)

Though not serving in an official capacity at the time of his arrest in 1976, the CIA decided that Gougelmann's death was a result of the official CIA activity that he had been involved with previously in Vietnam and granted him a star on the CIA Memorial Wall at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia which commemorates those CIA staff who died in the line of duty.

Monday, August 4, 2014



by K. L. Billingsley
from the San Diego Union Tribune(February 27, 1994)

At this year's Academy Awards, there were no prizes for Oliver
Stone's epic, "Heaven and Earth," which audiences avoided in
droves. This may indicate that the American public has had its
fill of pop culture's dreary demonology and flagellation over
Vietnam. On the other hand, unalloyed praise for the movie's
sources suggests that, among the nation's idea-elite, myths about
Vietnam remain alive and well.

Le Ly Hayslip, a Vietnamese and former resident of San Diego and
now of San Francisco, is the author of two books: the 1989 "When
Heaven and Earth Changed Places" and the 1992 "Child of War,
Woman of Peace." These volumes were the basis for Stone's films
and enjoyed a worshipful reception, especially the first.

"This is the book for those who want to know what the war was
like," said Frances Fitzgerald, author of "Fire in the Lake." "
A wonderful, wondrous book by a remarkable woman," said Amy Tan,
author of "The Joy Luck Club." The New York Times called
Hayslip's first book a work of "unflinching honesty."

The Washington Post said that "No one who reads it will ever be
able to think about the Vietnam war in quite the same way again."
Moreover, "When Heaven and Earth Changed Places" became a History
Book Club Selection and a Book of the Month alternative. Similar
acclaim greeted "Child of War, Woman of Peace," described as a
"rich memoir," brimming with "sharp, honest, lively words" by
Cosmopolitan. [When the Los Angeles Times ran a very favorable
review of the book that included a single passing complaint about
Hayslip's lack of specificity -- of dates of certain events -- T. T. Nhu,
a columnist for the San Jose Mercury News and an outspoken friend
of the current Vietnamese governmental regime, wrote to the paper
that she found the review "criminally misleading"].

This was all high praise for books with scant literary merit.
The first book was not only turgid and confusing, but also
revealed a very strange attitude toward the truth. "The
same facts were there for everyone to see," writes Hayslip , "and
truth, in this war, was whatever you wanted to make it." That
confession should have put critical skepticism on full alert.

From age 12 to 15, Hayslip writes, "I loved, labored and fought
steadfastly for the Viet Cong against American and South
Vietnamese soldiers." But after two Viet Cong raped
her, she fled to Saigon and Da Nang and became a street hustler
.(Later Hayslip told a Washington Post reporter that she should
thank the Viet Cong for raping her, since, had they not done
that, "there would be no movie.")

After living with a succession of American soldiers, she married
a civilian contractor, Ed Munro, in her description a "wheezing
old giant" who was old enough to be her father, and moved to San
Diego. Munro died in 1973, and three years later Hayslip married
Dennis Hayslip, who died in 1982. Money and investments from
these marriages left her, by her own account, a millionaire. A
new-age enthusiast, Hayslip also claims to be a psychic and a
fortune teller.

In 1986 Hayslip visited Vietnam to see her family. That year
Amnesty International estimated the socialist republic of Vietnam
still held 7000 people taken into custody in 1975-76 and held
without trial. The time many of these had spend in "re-education
camps" Amnesty wrote, "already exceeded the prison sentences
that might have been imposed."

Freedom House still ranks Vietnam among the world's 20 most
repressive regimes and there have been recent reports of
Buddhists burning themselves to death in public protests. But
this is not the profile that emerges from Hayslip. Her books
include no criticism of the Vietnamese government, in which her
brother Bon Nghe has served, in her account, as a "responsible

Asked in a recent interview if the Vietnamese regime has done
anything since 1975 with which she disagrees, Hayslip responds:
"I disagree with many hotels, many new cars, many big buildings.
I want to see a school, health care. I care about the people of

Apparently she does not mind if her people lack all the rights
and freedoms she now enjoys in the West as long as they have
schools and health care.

When asked why she does not talk about the re-education camps,
Hayslip says, "I would talk about them if I had any information,
but I don't." However in 1986 Hayslip told the San Diego Tribune
that her brother-in-law had returned from a re-education camp
unharmed. So she did know about the camps, after all. Hayslip
also had to know about the atrocities at Hue, where the
communists executed several thousand(3,000 is the accepted figure
by historians) people, because she let slip that "one of my
foster children's best friends, in fact, had lost his parents in
this massacre." Asked about the massacre, she says, "some say it
was set up by the South Vietnamese or the Americans. I still
don't know."

Hayslip is sometimes asked why she didn't write about the boat
people, stark victims of oppression and among the most destitute
refugees of our time. In the second book she replies: "I didn't
write about the boat people because I didn't come over on a

Such glib indifference is one reason why many Vietnamese in
America will have nothing to do with Hayslip and sometimes take
to the streets in protest of her appearances. They believe that
Hayslip has cut a deal with the Vietnamese dictatorship in which
they let her visit(she has made 16 trips to Vietnam since 1986
and was able to bring her mother and sister here for the opening
of her movie) and establish her medical clinic. Her critics
believe in return for such cooperation, she has maintained
silence on Vietnamese human-rights violations and lobbied for the
lifting of the US embargo.

Author David Chanoff, once slated to co-write Hayslip's book,
says that such charges against Hayslip "have some validity" and
Hayslips co-author Jay Wurts concedes that she "avoids stepping
on the toes" of the communist regime. Over 50,000 Americans died
to keep South Vietnam free from that regime. At no times does
Hayslip show any gratitude for their sacrifice.

Hayslip does, however, ask for understanding from those who once
considered her an enemy. Yet her second book includes this
confession from Cliff Perry, who claims to have been an American
soldier with special duties: "I wound up killing a lot of
people, Ly...sometimes three or four a night, and occasionally as
many as 20. Mostly we used knives, because we didn't want to
make noise. We'd slit their throats like chickens and leave them
to die in the jungle. But that wasn't the worst of it .
Sometimes we'd torture the target first--not to get information,
but just because we hated those bastards so much." Parry says he
got so good at his deadly work that "I was reassigned to the CIA"
which was then into "drugs, gun-running, white slavery, you name

For Hayslip this assassin was "in one person, the whole war."
Then, amazingly, the author admits that Cliff Parry was "a
professional swindler, a pathological liar and a con man," and
that she doesn't know if he was ever in Vietnam. But the
obviously bogus passage stayed in the book, thus conveniently
reinforcing popular culture's most dog eared stereotype about
Vietnam: the American GI as a racist, homicidal rape machine and
a hopeless pawn of an imperialist government. That is also the
view of Oliver Stone, whose "Heaven and Earth" takes all the
faults of Hayslip's many lovers and crams them into the walking
atrocity story named Steve Butler.

In Stone's film version, an American officer supervises Hayslip's
torture at the hands of the South Vietnamese. Asked about this,
Hayslip says she was not aware of an American present. When
South Vietnamese soldiers pour honey on women prisoners and
leave them to the ants, the honey comes from a can that says "A
Gift from the People of the United States." Hayslip doesn't know
about this subtle touch either.

"What Stone really wants is to reach out to the presumptively
guilty American audience, slap the popcorn from our piggy mouths
and make us suck that rag," said the Union-Tribune's David
Elliott. "Stone," added Elliott, "is a crank crusader on a
self-scripted mission for History. He needs a wooden soap box in
a park, surrounded by drunks--not a huge multiplex podium,
propped by pious reviews. "

Hayslip's admirer Frances Fitzgerald has written that many of
Fidel Castro's foreign supporters "performed a kind of surgery on
their critical faculties." It seems clear that the critics,
including Fitzgerald, have wielded the scalpel again in this
case. The tragedy is that, in so doing, they missed the real

The 1973 US pullout led to the massive 1975 invasion by the
Stalinist North, which led over a million Vietnamese to flee the
brutal regime in any leaky vessel they could find. Countless
thousands perished from starvation, drowning, disease, or at the
hands of vicious Thai pirates. But many refugees prevailed
against great odds and international indifference, particularly
from those who believed that a US pullout would lead to peace.

The stories of these brave people are far more dramatic and
compelling than that of the unreliable Le Ly Hayslip who by
comparison travelled first class. But unfortunately, these
stories also suffer from a fatal marketing problem. They
explode the myths held by the sixties alumni who now dominate the
dream factories and the prestige press.

That is why Le Ly Hayslip's story received such acclaim and a
lucrative film deal. That is why the boat people's stories
remain unpublished and unfilmed, a silent testimony to the
staying power of Vietnam mythology.

From the San Diego Union Tribune.