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Welcome to our after the show show former secretary of state Madeleine Albright first female secretary of state joins us right now you've -- is -- your fourth book.
Fifth finished I find it fascinating that you chose to wait until your fifth -- to tell maybe the most personal and painful story.
But -- what happened in my memoirs and madam secretary which was the first book.
I started in on the story and get what they want -- in that book obviously was some of the record as secretary of state that I began this story.
-- then I wrote a book about the role of god and religion and foreign policy and then I wrote a book called memo to the president elect and I no idea who that person was what I read a book about my pins.
And but in the -- time I was doing a lot of research on this this was a very complicated story.
And I wanted to get it right.
And I do we did a lot of work researching material and then traveling to both England and again to the Czech Republic to look at the various places.
And and you grew up and thinking that you were one religion but then somebody just before you were about I assume a great positions that -- -- -- genealogy.
-- -- -- -- more even inch single that what happened was when I.
Went as ambassador the United Nations it was the first time I really would have -- visible public figure people started to write to me.
In in decipher able handwriting and languages and nobody at my staff could read -- -- read some letters like that area who's -- and and they -- weird I mean they'd say you know I need money or any of these or.
And then as you're reading those web to the best of liability when -- -- time and if I could read them.
And then people would say well I knew your father in high school in 1915 which -- be impossible since he was born in 1909.
And then -- that kind of like November December November 96 I got a letter from somebody that had all the information I mean the names of my.
Parents and the towns they came from and the dates were right and they sent.
And we know that they were came from -- Jewish families.
So it was just as I was getting vetted to be secretary of stating you are brought into the White House counsel and they ask you all kinds of questions about taxes and various things and you -- you -- bad things like that and then -- Said is there anything about you that we didn't ask that you think we should know.
And I said well it's perfectly possible that -- of Jewish background and they -- so what the president is not anti Semitic.
So over the holidays I've talked to my three daughters and I went through all that with them and I said this is perfectly possible like the youngest -- -- -- do we were talking about all the various aspects of it.
And it was not until there was a reporter from the Washington Post and an -- an -- when he noticed that you're not allowed to talk to the press.
Between the time that your name and then you confirms.
So we gave him some names of people and he is the one who then -- -- I was confirmed.
Have confronted me win in the information it's one thing to find -- you're Jewish it's another thing to find out how many people died.
In concentration camps and that was that horrific aspect.
So was your family were they practicing Jews before you move to -- Great Britain because then.
You became a Catholic right so it was your fat -- your family of one faith and then changed as a way of trying to avoid what was happening well this.
This is the issue and as far as I know they -- not practicing.
They weren't Czechoslovak Jews from the research that I've done most of them were very secular.
And from what I've been able to find out they were not at all practicing or religious.
They then did we -- all baptized when we were in England in 1941 and I've speculated about that so this is what I think.
Is that they didn't do it to escape the Holocaust because minority in England.
They didn't do it to fill their friends because they're friends already knew.
And I think that what happened was my mother was very spiritual in many ways she had a very good friend they were friends in my family's.
Who were Catholic and I think that that is what persuaded them but I do not know that is -- -- -- -- can only speculate about.
And my thought is that.
If they had -- like five years if -- five years later when they knew how many Jews had died they would not have done it I'm sure because they were very.
Humanistic and had the right principles but I don't know the answer and -- speculated.
Pick and he's but -- spent a couple hundred pages thinking about it and room and -- on there and I -- write a book is very cathartic you've done -- now.
How do you feel.
Well I feel unbelievably.
Well first of all very sad because this is a very sad story but I also feel.
I I found a great deal of resilience in this is that people who underwent such terrible things.
I'm not not just -- has been generally the people that I write about.
In terms of kind of coming back and being strong and and I did this through any number of reasons one to find out the story.
But -- because I think I owed it you know in in terms of honoring and remembering.
And then putting it within its historical context.
And then also trying to draw some lessons about.
How good lessons -- leadership and you know what's this is just an accident that I have been involved in some task force is to prevent genocide.
And made some suggestions with former secretary of defense Bill Cohen about what our government can do that would be better.
In terms of setting up warning signals.
And two days ago President Obama put added directive making sure that some of the suggestions we -- -- now embedded in the system but the -- so you're so kind thank you very much.
It's great it's a fascinating.
Book and and you've been a fascinating life and people should check it out thank -- winter thank you voters head of state Madeleine Albright.
Now treat about it as well have a great -- everyone's great we'll -- his book as well let's say.
That okay great.
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