Eyewitness History
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Author Describes Olympic Hero Imprisoned By The Nazis

January 02, 2024
00:00 31:09
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William Bonsall was captured and imprisoned by the Germans three months after landing in the second wave at Normandy during World War II. Bonsall later escaped to Poland and ultimately competed on the 1948 U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Olympic Team. Forty years later, he recorded his life experiences in a series of audio tapes that cover the decade between 1940 and 1950. THE VIOLENT YEARS, a nonfiction novel, is a creative account of Bill Bonsall’s transition from an impoverished urban neighborhood “hoodlum” during the Great Depression, to a scrappy 20-year-old dodging German bullets. The tale then follows his transformation from a passionate poet, wooing, losing, and regaining the love of his life, and rising to the epitome of athleticism and elegance as an Olympic gymnast—all in the span of a single decade!

Here, his daughter tells his story!

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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Josh Cohen is a journalist and commentator living out of the Midwest.

He has written for a number of reputable publications.

His fascination with history is in the story of our existence and how it is told. Keeping the tradition of storytelling alive in Eyewitness History is what drives him.
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