Q: Was Charles Lindbergh a hero?|
AF: Charles Lindbergh was a great hero. And this was his value
to the isolationist movement. He was the most idolized man in their entire
group, which is why he became so important. It wasn't what he was offering in
terms of substantive political position. Senator Wheeler, Senator Nye,
Congressman Fish...there were a dozen who were far more learned in the politics
of the situation. But none were more popular and more readily accepted as a
great American hero. I think he spoiled his own reputation.
Q: So as a hero, did he fall?
AF: Oh, I think he did. Oh sure. No question about it. They
tried to rehabilitate him after the war. I think it was President Eisenhower
who gave him an assignment after the war to go over into Europe and to look at
some industrial air situations. They did a lot to try to rehabilitate him.
Because by the time we had gotten into the war and it was clear where he had
been in the initial stages, and was wrong as in effect, a pro-Nazi.
Q: Did he ever admit that he was wrong?
AF: I doubt it. I don't remember ever seeing it. I think he
argued that he was right. But the way the powers fell into line, the side that
he thought should win couldn't win. That didn't make him wrong.
Q: Did he change in his later life?
AF: No. He offered, I think to Harcourt Brace, don't hold me to
it, his notes, his diaries. And it came out early in the seventies, as I
recall it. And if you read his minutes, his notes, his diary notations, you'll
find right down till the last day, he blamed the same forces--the Roosevelt
Administration, the British, the Jews and others for pushing the United States
into war improperly and for making the wrong side win--our side.
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