The Heretics’ Hour: Interview with Wilhelm L. Kriessmann, PhD

March 15, 2010

Carolyn talks with World War II Wehrmacht veteran and Luftwaffe bomber pilot Wilhelm Kriessmann about the political climate in Austria during his youth in the 1920s and ’30s; then his wartime and post-war experiences. Kriessmann was incarcerated in the British concentration camp for political prisoners at Wolfsberg for nine months after his return to his family home in Sept. 1945; then for a further eight months at Camp Wetzelsdorf before being released in 1947 and continuing his education.

About Wilhelm Kriessmann

Wilhelm Kriessman

Listeners can learn more about Wilhelm Kriessmann’s WWII experiences here and here.

Dr. Kriessmann became Austrian Trade Commissioner for the U.S. west coast in 1953, which led to his eventual move to California. In more recent years he turned to writing, publishing many, many articles and features in German-American periodicals. He has always been an avid sportsman, with an especial fondness for the ski slopes, long biking trips and tennis.

13 MB / 32 kbps mono / 0 hour 56 min.

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6 Responses to “The Heretics’ Hour: Interview with Wilhelm L. Kriessmann, PhD”

  1. Edwin R on March 19th, 2010 12:48 am

    With all due respect — here is a guest who is a rare Axis veteran of WWII, who is WILLING to speak on the matter, and at ninety years old a genuine piece of “living history” — and his story is not written down in a memoir or the like? If so, why not break the format and let the man talk for as long as he wishes?

    And while commercials bringing in revenue would be understandable, does interrupting programs with these ‘news segments’ add value? They will not only they make the programs sound dated in the near future but they typically present non-sequiter material that often clashes with the show topic. There are many places to get the latest news but very few places to hear these special programs featuring high level informational presentations and discussions with unique individuals.

  2. Mike Conner on March 19th, 2010 3:34 pm


    To address your points:

    Dr. Kriessmann can and hopefully will come back for future shows. An hour is a good chunk of his time to start with.

    There is a link in the post above, which points to a memoir of his wartime days.

    VoR is moving towards a regular format because the shows are broadcast in real time, as well as podcast, and all real time broadcasts require intermissions & station IDs.

  3. Carolyn on March 20th, 2010 12:40 pm

    Dear Edwin R,

    Thank you for expressing your appreciation for the value of Dr. Kriessmann’s testimony. He is indeed “living history” and remains in complete control of his faculties and in good health.

    I want to do more interviews with him in a more conversational style, but I am concerned whether there is interest from this audience. Those who would like to hear more from Dr. Kriessmann, please say so. And yes, he has written a memoir, but it has not been published … yet.

  4. Edgardus de la Vega on March 23rd, 2010 7:02 pm

    The good doctor was simply captivating. I had to stop preparing dinner, in order to hear his experiences. I do hope you can have him back on the air soon (his schedule permitting of course).

    A great programme.

  5. Chris Sergent on March 26th, 2010 11:16 pm

    Hello Carolyn,
    Servus Dr. Kriessmann.

    Dr. Kriessmann in fact has a fan following all around the world. I was sent a link to this page from a friend in Seattle, I live in Australia and of course don’t receive your radio broadcast here. But already the chat forums have exploded with links to this page and I have had emails from friends in England, Germany and Argentina just today telling me about this page.
    Carolyn, we would certainly love to hear lots more from Dr. Kreissmann, the world rarely hears the “other side” of the story,
    It will be refreshing to hear from a respectable source the truth of how life was in WW2 Germany.
    I will be closely watching your page for any further broadcasts from Dr. Kriessmann as will a lot of other people I am sure.

  6. Carolyn on March 27th, 2010 10:31 am


    You have said the magic words. Dr. Kriessmann will be returning in a couple of weeks.