MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Irmgard Hunt biography

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Irmgard Hunt

Irmgard Hunt

Irmgard Hunt Biography

Irmgard A. Hunt has been an executive at a number of environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Partnership for Central Europe, a project of the German Marshall Fund. After years as a consultant to several international not-for-profit organizations, she retired and began to write her memoirs. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University (which she earned at age fifty-two) and an M.P.A. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She lives in Washington, D.C., and has two children and two grandchildren.



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Interview

Are there similarities between today's societies and Nazi Germany, and could a leader such as Hitler come to power in modern day USA? Irmgard Hunt believes the answer to both these questions is yes; find out why in this thought provoking interview.

Patriotism generally has positive connotations of love and loyalty to one’s country. What does patriotism mean to you now?
Patriotism is one of the most misused terms in our political vocabulary and thanks to my childhood experience I am always suspicious of its use. Hitler and the swastika flag aroused fervent "Vaterlandsliebe" (love of the fatherland) in Germans, including myself at times during my childhood. These symbols are used to motivate citizens to sacrifice their lives or even kill others in the name of patriotism. Feeling pride in one’s culture and roots is obviously acceptable, but, unfortunately, leaders of all ilks easily exploit these feelings in order to obtain blind support for highly questionable objectives. Citizens in a democracy have a duty to object if, in the name of patriotism, their government tries to dismantle laws that assure freedom.

In addition to documenting the German people’s way of life during WWII, what can people today take away from your memoir?
Most pertinent to today’s situation, in reflecting on my Nazi childhood on Hitler’s mountain, I learned that–even in the United States–freedom and democracy must not be taken for granted. Threats ...

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On Hitler's Mountain jacket
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