Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Truman Played Beethoven for Stalin and Churchill--Then Ordered Atomic Bombing
original news clipping on the night near the close of World War II--July 19, 1945--when President Harry S Truman sat down at the piano, at the pivotal Potsdam Conference, and played a little Beethoven at the after-dinner request of Stalin and Churchill. Then Truman ordered the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima (yes, I have written two books on that subject), which would kill over 100,000 civilians. Well, there are exceptions to the humanizing effects of Beethoven, as we admit in our new book. For example, Hitler loved the Ninth Symphony and it was famously played to mark his birthday during the war, even though he failed to show up.