From Kristallnacht to Watergate

Memoirs of a Newspaperman by Harry Rosenfeld

“What an American journey! Harry Rosenfeld rises from a nine-year-old Jewish refugee become a pivotal Washington Post editor in charge of the Watergate story and overseeing Woodward and Bernstein...His story is America‘s story in the last half century.”
—Joseph E. Persico


“A great and moving tale.”
—Carl Bernstein

“A terrific memoir by one of the great newspapermen of the era.”
—Bob Woodward

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“A great American story... [an] inspiring saga.” -Tom Brokaw

WAMC Roundtable with Joe Donahue

September 15, 2013

Tags: Interview

On Friday, I sat down with Joe Donahue of WAMC, Albany's public radio station, for a roundtable discussion of my book. I enjoyed our talk immensely.

If you'd care to listen, the conversation is available at WAMC's fine website, the conversation is available at WAMC's fine website, in two parts.

Here's Joe's written introduction to Part 1 of the interview:

"Harry Rosenfeld worked for years as an editor at the New York Herald Tribune and the Washington Post, two of the greatest American newspapers in the second half of the turbulent twentieth century. After playing key roles at the Herald Tribune as it battled fiercely for its survival, he joined the Post under the leadership of Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham as they were building the paper's national reputation."

Here's a link to Part 1 of my conversation with Joe Donahue.

Here's Joe's written introduction to Part 2 of the interview:

"As the Post's Metropolitan editor, Rosenfeld managed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they broke the Watergate story, overseeing the paper's standard-setting coverage that eventually earned it the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service.

"He writes about his life in his book, From Kristallnacht to Watergate: Memoirs of a Newspaperman. In the memoir, he also shares his story of growing up in Hitler's Berlin. He saw his father taken away by the Gestapo in the middle of the night, and on Kristallnacht, the prelude to the Holocaust, he witnessed the burning of his synagogue and walked through streets littered with the shattered glass of Jewish businesses."

Here's the link to the audio for Part 2 of my conversation with Joe Donahue.


  1. September 15, 2013 10:33 AM EDT
    Worth listening to to hear Rosenfeld explain why chose the NY Herald Tribune for his daily paper at Stuyvesant High -- because it annoyed him that all the liberal teachers and student chose the NYT. Haven't gotten to Part 2 yet.
    - Paul
  2. September 15, 2013 12:38 PM EDT
    Joe Donahue did a great job interviewing Harry Rosenfeld. It most touching to hear of painful early experiences in Nazi Germany when he lost a beloved friend and almost his Dad. It was touching as well to hear how he became an American and a stellar newsman.
    - anne
  3. September 15, 2013 4:32 PM EDT
    Wonderful insights into an amazing time in American journalisn. Rosenfeld's recounting is riveting. Can't wait to read the book.
    - Amy
  4. September 15, 2013 4:36 PM EDT
    It is fascinating to hear the inside story of historic times--- from Nazi Germany to Watergate-- from an acclaimed journalist with first hand insights and unique perspective.
    - Dan
  5. September 16, 2013 5:56 PM EDT
    I enjoyed listening to both of Joe Donahue's interviews with Harry Rosenfeld. The impact of the Watergate story on journalism at that time, and the risks that were taken to uncover the story, are captivating. I look forward to reading the book.
    - Kay
  6. September 20, 2013 12:15 AM EDT
    I enjoyed listening to the insights of this seasoned journalist. Looking forward to reading the book!
    - Sue
  7. September 21, 2013 9:28 AM EDT
    Listening to Donahue's interview on NPR, I was moved by Mr. Rosenfeld's recounting of his childhood under Nazi Germany and his hard work in becoming a successful journalist in the United States. I look forward to reading Mr. Rosenfeld's book. Mr. Rosenfeld mentioned that when selecting his career, he did not want to be involved in fur trade like so many other people from his Jewish community. That sentiment echoed my own feelings as a new Chinese immigrant in the '80s. I didn't want to be in the Chinese restaurant business as were so many Chinese immigrants, including my own father. I thought this was the World View of the Chinese people, and I wanted something different for myself.

    Hui Hui
    - Hui Hui