In Der Fuehrer's Face

During WWII President Roosevelt spent $100K to produce a deck of dramatic, colorful propaganda-poster playing cards that never saw the light of day. They remained hidden until 2002 when 500 decks were privately printed with help from the Library of Congress. Few historians even knew of the Anti-Axis program until now. A new interpretation that time gives them is fascinating to students of WWII.

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About Bill Schroeder

Bill Schroeder:
… Was the kind of geek kid in your sixth grade class who wrote the science page in the school newspaper.

… Could see the Empire State Building from his bedroom window on the Jersey side of the Hudson River, and went to New York City every chance he could. Usually, it was to the many museums on weekends.

… Never missed a football or a basketball game … never went to one and never missed it.

… Loved black and white television in its infancy. He was both envied and ridiculed in high school when he appeared with a friend on the John Reed King Show with their pet ducks in 1950. But no one else did anything similar at the time.

… Became an office boy in New York just because it put him a half a block from the New York Public Library. He spent all his lunch hours there reading and doing his homework from Rutgers University Evening Classes.

… Built a genuine log cabin without power tools on weekends in the woods of central New Jersey with two friends, using a book he borrowed from in the NY Public Library.

… Lost his student exemption from the Korean Draft after dropping a college course. The Army taught him to type and take shorthand for a job in the CID. They shipped his ass to a remote base in North Korea to write reports for men who could not write declarative sentences.

… Returned to Rutgers full time on the GI Bill to major in English and Creative Writing. He appeared on the Rutgers educational TV channel, representing the student body.

… Became an advertising copywriter, public relations hack, and executive speech writer for a major Defense Contractor.

… He married Pat Christopher, a woman of genius intelligence, who won college scholarships in music, art, and English. Their union resulted in six gifted and talented children.

… Assumed the role of what The Wall Street Journal calls a “Corporate Gypsy.” He worked as Public Relations Director for several Blue Chip Companies until contracting a near-fatal illness, forcing his ultimate return to the company where he started out.

… Had a change of life goals and sought new areas of expression. He was offered the position of Producer-Director of The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s Shakespeare Program. However, he also needed to have a second talent: he chose Tarot Card Reading. First he was billed The Mad Monk, later he became Prince Ali-Ba-Boon (Knows nothing tells much!)

… Pursued “life upon the wicked stage” as a hobby for the next few years in local theater groups. He played a variety of roles: Lt. Brannigan (Guys and Dolls), Mayor Shinn (The Music Man); Merlin (Camelot); The Prime Minister (The King and I); the Arab Sheik (Don’t Drink the Water); and The Chinese Detective (The Butler Did It!).

… Took early retirement from the Defense contractor to go into the retail business. Harking back to his childhood love, in Washington DC’s Restored Union Station he recreated a small museum named Schrader Scientific” where he sold the things The Smithsonian displayed (Dinosaur bones, Fossils, Gems, Taxidermy, Anthropological Artifacts). At the same time he opened playing card stores both in DC and Baltimore.

… Found that as much fun as it was, retail stores were not profitable. So, he moved on to running a “Welfare to Work” program in Maryland for three years. He was asked to leave after his unsuccessful unionizing attempt.

… Took this opportunity to pursue his most deep-seated desire to write books. The first was “John Frum, he come” which was about an American missionary and a young Solomons Islands shaman during World War II. It centered on Cargo Cult beliefs and the huge Navy ships full of unimaginable wealth.

… Wrote his second book about a secret propaganda program put together by President Roosevelt and Nelson Rockefeller. Just when the plan was ready to go into action, FDR died of a stroke, Mussolini was strung up on a lamppost, and Hitler offed himself in a Berlin bunker. The war was over in Europe and there was no reason to complete the plan to flood Central and South America with decks of propaganda playing cards. He wrote “In Der Fuehrer’s Face” to accompany a limited private printing of the lost deck with the cooperation of the Library of Congress. He made a public presentation of the book at one of the LOC’s Meet-the-Author book signings.

… Had been collecting everything he could find abut the assassination of President Garfield in 1881, when Kennedy took the spotlight in Dallas. He continued gathering details for decades on Charles Guiteau, the man who shot Garfield, and recently published “The Innocent Assassin,” explaining why he was not guilty of murder.

… Followed up with “Seven Decks You Will Never Play Poker With.” As a Cartomancy (Playing Card) Historian he wrote a number of magazine articles about decks of cards that qualified as rare historic anomalies. He re-edited them into a book of interest to card players (and non-card players) alike for the Random House Book Fair in 2009.

… Most recently turned his attention toward developing the Genuine American Flag Movement after discovering that China has sold us $69 Million dollars worth of inaccurate copies of Old Glory. Their influence is so pernicious as to make it more likely than not you will see flags on TV and in public that no longer follow the design of the Eisenhower Flag that became legal on August 21, 1959. He has established a detailed, informative website explaining how to get a flag made in the USA by American workers.

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