One of the best questions a journalist can ask is: Really? That one simple question launched Karen Duffin into a story that took her over a year to research and produce — “Nazi Summer Camp,” Karen’s first story for Radiolab.
One day, Karen’s dad made an off-the-cuff remark about German POW camps in Idaho during WWII and she said “Really dad? Are you remembering this right?” He was. And off she went.
Karen interviewed experts, guards, prisoners, more experts, more guards…. She even spent a month sifting through documents at the National Archives. She became a kind-of walking Wikipedia page on the subject. Eventually, all of that information had to be whittled down to a half-hour radio story. Karen’s producer, Kelsey Padgett, said “If a gallon of water is Karen’s knowledge of this subject, I think we probably drank a small, eight-ounce glass from the gallon of water.”
Karen and Kelsey trace the fascinating and arduous path from a drop of water (Karen’s dad’s anecdote) to a gallon (Karen’s expertise) to an 8 oz. glass (the Radiolab story) on this edition of HowSound.
*Featured image courtesy of the Aliceville Museum, Inc., Aliceville, AL