9 Nov 2007
This is an interview with Tom Riggle, a teacher at Amistad High School. He will tell me some about hi rots, where did he came from and some of his history. How he was related to the Nazis, nod directly but his mother.
My name is Jesse and I am going to interview Mr. Riggle. Can you just tell us something about history.
Mr. Riggle: I was born in Germany and I always have appreciated history. I did not really want to be a history teacher, but later on I ended been one and I enjoy it now. I know that every wherever you are you have lots of history. Tell you that my mother was, she was several things, she was a nurse and she also worked in the intelligence for the Nazi. That sounds worse than it is because at that time people who lived in Germany did not know all the bad things about the Nazis that we know today. All she knew at the time was she was a person who made the country a better place, after having suffer a lot in 1920. It was not until later on that people found out the other part about what Hitler did was not acknowledged first. That is why I like history because history the more you know what happened it gives you more inside what is happening right now because it is a cliché but history really does repeated so in some ways but not always. It is always a mistake to say, oh! This remains of for instance was going on right now in Irak oh this reminds me at Vietnam, but is not at Vietnam it is different In one ways is to say, but in other ways is different.
How do you think your mother change the country for a good?
Mr. Riggle: Well you know I do not think she even thought about that as much about thinking about changing the country. She felt that the country helped her to be a better person, because what happened was : you know when you are a high school age if you are a girl you do not have much in the way opportunities over there. She was able to because of the Hitler… I forgot the name of the program, but she was able to go to work program were she goes to a different part of Germany and she helps out hard thing. She does about gross, discosting, menial work, but she learned some good values and those friends that she made there. She made lots of friendships and that is why I was born in that time, because she made friends there.
Do you think that changed your life or your way of thinking?
Mr. Riggle: Yeah it did, I think that even to this days there is some things that she may have blank thoughts about that part of Germany history. Lots of Germans have that problem, because they do not see it from the out side point of view, they just see it. You know they are Germans, I am half German I can be more critical . Is the same as if somebody will say something against what is going today. If you are American better lots of Americans to the wrong way because like you know they are making fun of America. A foreign as ha good opportunity to look into was going on and have a better perspective of the problem of the country. So, my mom I think she still has that blank spots, so I don’t bring it up, there are some things that I have ask and she would no say anything.
Do you think it is different from here the U.S. to Germany
Mr. Riggle: Now all countries seem becoming together thanks to the internet: and thanks to the American culture, but even now there are back flash in Germany about the real Nazis and I think they are taking it so far that they are making it. There is recently a professor who said that Jews died as people beliefs, 6 million Jews that he was getting the penalties for saying that. It almost like a “holy cow” thing.
-A girl interrupted the interview.
Mr. Riggle: I did said that people from other countries they have way of understanding the country more than a person who is in love with his own country. It is for example to go to Mexico and say critical things and they will say “What does that ‘gringo’ knows? I am saying that because of my mother and my wife that has several customs.
it is like somebody likes their country and they don’t want to be saying bad things about it. Do you think it will be border later, borders that separate like all the countries or they are going to get together?
Mr. Riggle: I think they are, but you know I think that what is going to happen is the old borders are going to come down and there is going to be new borders: but not so much the ones that are in the maps. But for instance here to Mexico and U.S. the border between us here a few miles south I think that is going eventually get a lot more pores. It would not be a problem to cross. This is what I think, but I think truly north were we do not have that much of Hispanic influence it is going to be more like the old America for good or bad. I think things will shift.
Do you think that something would happen with the Nazis? It is going to come back? As you said history repeats.
Mr. Riggle: Yeah! I am afraid so, it is going to be different, if knew I would not be matter of history and not be a prophet. Sometimes for instance wars are started because of made up reasons, a pretext. A lot of times are interesting how many wars have started because of some ship blowing up or some building blowing up whatever… our country has done it several times. I should not said that, but for instance the Spanish American War originally the cause for that was a boiler blowing up in Maine. They did no sad it was a boiler first, the idea was savatized. It was the Spaniards that did it. It turn later on it was cover up, but it turn out that it was a malfunctioning most likely a malfunctioning boiler. On the boiler ship that blow up, but that started war, by that already started, this problem solve lift the graph and show the ship blowing up, bodies in the air, and this famous officers. Suppose to make think that, well, how can they do that to America and so that is how it start. Of course Granold Hurst took advantage of that and sold lots of papers because of that. “ The old you get the more cynical you are.
I think that the United States is like the most powerful and that no body can do anything to it.
Mr. Riggle: Yeah, but Things are always tend to be find out. The Vietnam War another ship was blow up, not blow up but it was an incident in the Gulf of Dunkin. President Johnson did more than you really should of. That became the reason of the war or became the pretext for the war. A war that we have never wanted to have. When I was your age I was taught, actually younger tan you are because you are a college. High school junior, junior high I was taught that if Vietnam falls then is going to be louse, there is going to be the Philippines, there is going to be Australia and we need to contain communism in Vietnam for good, but that turn out that was not the case at all and that we should just let Hossi men to have Vietnam and his style of communism, because his communism was at odds with Mussethum. If we will let it happened, it would be same that happened in Yugoslavia we have Marshall Tito. Who was a communist , but he was sore of free spirited individualistic communist and because of Tito communist could not go any further, a whole region, just where he was. But, we do not learned from this country hardly enough, but if we would learned that we would save lots of American lives and Vietnam lives.