Speaking is an opportunity to consider the lessons from history. George Santayana said it best; “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
David currently offers four speeches.
1. Putting the Atomic Bombs into the Context of the Last Year of the War in the Pacific - The use of the atomic bomb by the United States in the final days of World War II remains one of the most controversial events of the twentieth century. For many people, their awareness of these attacks may be little more than knowledge of the names of the cities victimized, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and they may be tempted, nearly seventy years after the fact, to view the employment of the bomb as an act state sponsored terrorism. The problem with this perspective is that it sees the utilization of the atomic bombs as isolated incidents in time rather than inside their historic framework. Thus, before the use of the bomb can be critically evaluated, it must be seen from within the fabric of the events and the decisions surrounding it. David's speech focuses on: the final and bloodiest year of the Pacific War, the Allies demand for unconditional surrender, the Japanese form of government, Japan’s war strategy, and the key decision makers on both sides during the final months of the war.
For several years now I have invited David Barrett to my Introductory Survey of World War class to discuss the historical context of the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Barrett’s knowledge of the subject is immense, and students frequently find his presentation to be the highlight of the course.
--Gabriel Finkelstein, Associate Professor University of Colorado at Denver
Putting the Atomic Bombs into the Context of the Last Year of the War in the Pacific was informative intriguing and entertaining all at the same time. David’s story telling style took us not only on a journey into the events of the war, but gave a tour of the behind the scenes of political, strategy and tactical planning on both sides. David was able to distill what could fill books into one hour. That was masterful.
I just wanted to say thank you for bringing in Mr. Barrett as the guest speaker. I spent 8 years in Japan and visited a lot of the areas that he talked about and it was great hearing him bring it all together. I could have listened to him speak a few more hours.
--Eddie L. Johnson, Marine Corps Ret.
Thank you so much for coming out and giving a great presentation for the GSA Denver Federal Center Memorial Day Event on May 21, 2015. I loved it! I learned so much about the end of WWII casualties and Japan's response to the bombing of Hiroshima . I consider myself a history buff and thought I knew a lot of WWII history. Well, I was thrilled to learn something new and interesting. I found your presentation to be both educational and entertaining. My husband Lanny was also in attendance and we had a great conversation about your presentation and WWII history.
--Debbie Rojas Cook, GSA
You are an excellent storyteller and really provided a descriptive overview and context for the final days of the war leading to its final end, despite Japan’s relentless strategy to never surrender. I found your descriptions of the leadership in Japan, along with the military strategies employed by both sides absolutely fascinating. Your presentation really highlighted the high cost of freedom and the tremendous suffering and sacrifice of our veterans during the Pacific War.
--Vickie Deal, GSA
2. The Importance of Oil: Natural and Synthetic in World War II - As a strategic commodity, even in peacetime, oil is essential to the smooth functioning of the world’s developed economies; in wartime, its critical nature is magnified many fold. This speech explores the decisions and actions associated with oil, natural and synthetic, during World War II in Germany, Japan, and the United States. While researching this topic David made a couple of unexpected discoveries. First, by 1943, at the height of its World War II production, fifty percent of German’s oil came synthetically from coal, and second, large corporations in Germany played an important role in helping Adolf Hitler come to power. I.G. Farben’s collusion in particular contributed so significantly, from 1933 to 1945, that after the war twenty-four of its executives were charged with War Crimes, the only company to achieve this dubious distinction.
3. The Comparative Atomic Bomb Programs in the United States, Germany, USSR, and Japan from 1938-1945 - Most people are probably aware of the Manhattan Project in the United States during World War II to develop the atomic bomb, and some may know of the Nazi Germany’s efforts to develop the bomb, but most may not be cognizant of the fact that the Soviet Union and Japan also had programs; the latter actually had two.
4. Japanese Biological Weapons Development and Use in WWII UNIT 731 - Most people familiar with Germany in World War II have at least some awareness of the human experimentation conducted by its doctors inside the Nazi Death Camps. Doctors like Josef Mengele, nicknamed The Angel of Death, have become synonymous with evil. But as horrific as the deeds of the Nazi doctors were, they were surpassed in scale and barbarity by their Japanese counterparts who were a part of the Unit 731, Japan’s biological weapons development effort headed by the notorious Dr. Colonel Shiro Ishii.