Erik Durschmied


Erik Durschmied

Erik Durschmied is an author, military history professor and a former war correspondent for BBC, CBS."Newsweek" called him a "supremly gifted reporter who has changed the media he works in", while "The New York Times" wrote "he has seen more wars than any living general". Durschmied is best known for his book "The Hinge Factor" (since retitled "How Chance and Stupidity Have Changed History"). For the sum of his literary work, (his books are published in two dozen languages) he received the honorary citizenship of Austria.

Biography

Born in 1930 in Vienna, Austria, Durschmied got his first taste of war firsthand as a child when the Germans entered Vienna, and the Allied bombers reduced his neighborhood to rubble. In 1952, Durschmied emigrated to Canada and attended McGill University. As a war correspondent, he reported on the ground during every conflict from Vietnam to Afghanistan. He reported for BBC from 1959 to 1971. Durschmied interviewed many international figures, including John F. Kennedy, Salvador Allende, David Ben Gurion, and Saddam Hussein.

He also worked as a cinematographer, covering various conflicts. In 1958, he shot the only film about Fidel Castro, on-site in the Sierra Maestre mountains. In 1964, Durschmied was part of the first North American film crew to be allowed to shoot inside the People's Republic of China, filming the documentary "The Seven Hundred Million" for the CBC series "This Hour has Seven Days". The following year, he shot "The Mills of the Gods: Vietnam" for the CBC series "Document"; this episode won two Canadian Film Awards, Film of the Year and TV Information Certificate of Merit. In 1968, Durshmied shot the CBS special report "Hill 943" in which reporter John Laurence followed three soldiers in Alpha Company as they tried to capture Hill 943 in Vietnam. [ [http://www.loc.gov/rr/mopic/findaid/vietnam.html Vietnam on Film and Television: Documentaries in the Library of Congress] ] He also developed the television series "Die Welt des GEO" for Germany's UFA.

Of his work, "Newsweek" wrote "Durschmied is a supremely gifted reporter who has transformed the media he works in" and in "Le Monde": "He's survived more battles than any living general." [ [http://www.countrybookshop.co.uk/books/index.phtml?whatfor=0340821779 Countrybookshop.co.uk - From Armageddon to the Fall of Rome: How the Myth Makers Changed the World ] ]

In later years, he has served as Professor of Military History at the Military Academy of Vienna, and has been a guest lecturer at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Durschmied lives with his family in France.

Bibliography

*"Shooting Wars: My Life As a War Cameraman, from Cuba to Iraq", Pharos Books, 1991. ISBN 0-88687-623-0
*"Don't Shoot the Yanqui", HarperCollins Publishers, 1992. ISBN 0-586-20919-0
*"How Chance and Stupidity Have Changed History: The Hinge Factor", MJF Books, New York, 1999. ISBN 1-56731-738-3 (This book has also been printed under the title "The Hinge Factor".)
*"Whisper of the Blade: Revolutions, Mayhem, Betrayal, Glory and Death", Hodder & Stoughton, London, 2001. ISBN 0-340-77083-X
*"The Hinges of Battle", Hodder & Stoughton, 2002. ISBN 0-340-81978-2
*"The Weather Factor: How Nature has Changed History", Arcade Publishing, 2002 ISBN 1-55970-624-4
*"From Armageddon to the Fall of Rome", Coronet Books, 2003. ISBN 0-340-82177-9
*"Blood of Revolution: From the Reign of Terror to the Rise of Khomeini" ISBN 1-55970-656-2
*"Unsung Heroes : The Twentieth Century's Forgotten History-Makers", Hodder & Stoughton, 2004. ISBN 0-340-82520-0
*"Whores of the Devil:Witch-Hunts and Witch-Trials ", Sutton Publishing, 2005 ISBN 0-7509-4007-7
*"Attenti Al Dragone" (The China Factor), Edizione Piemme, 2006

Filmography (as cinematographer)

*"National Geographic Special", 1964 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057775/fullcredits IMDb]
*"The Seven Hundred Million", 1964 [http://www.filmreferencelibrary.ca/index.asp?layid=44&csid1=531&navid=66 Film Reference Library]
*"Hill 943", 1968
*"The Mills of the Gods: Vietnam", 1965 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0236500/ IMDb]

References

* [http://www.uni-potsdam.de/u/einsteinforum/html_docs/prog04_mitgefuehlabs.htm Brief bio]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0244385/ IMDb entry]


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