History and Hollywood with Robert Matzen

Veterans Radio Ann Arbor Michigan

This week’s guest on
Veterans Radio is author Robert Matzen. Mr. Matzen takes a different approach to the traditional Hollywood biography, in part using storytelling skills honed as a feature documentary filmmaker. He also makes a commitment to get in the middle of the action and experience the subjects of his books.

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Robert’s latest book, Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II, takes audiences to a place Audrey never dreamed they would go: inside the wartime life of a ballerina in Arnhem under Nazi occupation. This time Robert traced Audrey’s footsteps in the Netherlands and dug deep into research archives in The Hague. With a pro-Nazi mother at war’s outset, and a father imprisoned for his fascist beliefs, Audrey Hepburn experienced war close-up. Matzen learned that she served as a doctor’s volunteer aide and as a runner for the Dutch Resistance. New interviews, research in top secret archives, and an alliance with Audrey’s son Luca Dotti led Robert on a fascinating voyage of discovery into experiences Audrey felt she needed to keep secret her whole life.

Dutch Girl Robert Matzen
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The second half of the program is going to be a replay of our interview with Matzen in September 2018 about his previous book, Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe. In that one he took to the air in the cockpits of B-17 and B-24 World War II heavy bombers to get a glimpse of life in the air as experienced by the fliers of the Eighth Air Force. Mission reveals bomber pilot Stewart as a real-life action hero through 20 often-intense B-24 combat missions. Upon his return home, Jimmy Stewart went into production of the beloved It’s a Wonderful Life while still suffering the effects of what we now know as PTSD.

Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert Matzen

Matzen’s media tour raised awareness about PTSD, which became a focus of many interviews, with Glenn Beck and Veterans Radio.

All Gave Some. Some Gave All. Always Remember.

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