Richard Santos – In Memoriam

Richard SantosMy friend, Richard G. Santos, passed away in his sleep February 22, 2013, in Pearsall, TX. I first met him in the fall of 2011. I had begun my senior thesis for college when he introduced me to many of the internees that we have been lucky enough to interview for the Children of Internment film. The "voice" of the German internees was a huge part of his agenda as a historian. I have attached an email he sent to me on his recollection of two incidents at the First National Reunion of the former WWII internees in November 2002. I will miss him dearly. Kristina

RECOLLECTION OF TWO INCIDENTS AT FIRST NATIONAL REUNION OF FORMER WWII INTERNEES IN NOVEMBER 2002
1) At the end of the memorial function by the water irrigation tank – swimming pool, I was approached by a group of German Americans. I was asked what I wanted "for having put the reunion together". I politely and tactfully answered that I hoped I was not being insulted or being offered financial consideration. They immediately apologized and said they felt they "should do something to show their appreciation". I asked them to sing Lili Marlene in German. Much to my surprise, to a person they said they did not know it in German but could sing it in English. Later after they had boarded on the bus, I was called to attend to an emergency on the bus. I ran fast as I could and on boarding the bus, the German former internees HUMMED Lili Marlene. I was very, very touched and thanked them. I walked to my car and played Lili Marlene by Marlena Dietrich (in German) at full blast in appreciation of their effort(s). Eb Fuhr later sent email saying a group was practicing the song in German and would sing it at next reunion.

2)  In relation to the above, one of the German Americans told me their favorite sing-along song was "DON'T FENCE ME IN". I asked the local Crystal City radio station to play the Bing Crosby and Andrew Sister recording (which was popular during WWII and which I already had on tape) and every time I hear it (even today) I think of the U. S. born internees singing the very appropriate and relevant "Don't Fence Me In". I hear not Crosby and Andrew Sisters but my friends the former internees. Eb did not offer to sing this song and I have teased him about it.
 

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  1. Richard G. Santos earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University in History and English and a Master of Arts degree in English from Trinity University. While still an undergraduate at St. Mary’s, Richard’s first book, Santa Ana’s Campaign Against Texas, was released by Texian Press of Waco in 1968 and reprinted by R & D Books of Salisbury, North Carolina in 1981. It remains the unchallenged keystone for anyone doing research or interested in the military history of the Texas Revolution and Battle of the Alamo. Since then, Richard has authored, co-authored and written introductions for 34 books, over 1,000 articles [published in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, and Japan], and released two albums and two audio cassettes of Tejano folk music. He has also written and produced 12 film documentaries, and has appeared in numerous documentaries including The West, released by PBS nationally in September 1996 and Remembering The Alamo by The History Channel. Nine of his books have been used as supplementary readers by a number of school districts and universities in Texas and the Southwest, with some reprints issued by the Texas Education Agency.

    Along the way, Richard served as the first Archivist of Bexar County [Texas], Office of County Clerk. Thereafter, he taught full-time and served as Director of Ethnic Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University, and has taught part time at Trinity University, Palo Alto Community College, and the School of Aero Space Medicine at Brooks AFB, all located in San Antonio, Texas. His last teaching assignment was at the Crystal City Campus of the Southwest Texas Community College He has also served as consultant and lecturer for the Texas Education Agency, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Labor, and numerous school districts and universities throughout Texas and the Southwest. Apart from doing radio programs in English for WOAI and in Spanish for KBUC, Richard was also a weekly columnist for the San Antonio Express-News from 1988 to 1993 and since 2002 has authored a weekly column for the Zavala County Sentinel. Being multidisciplinary, Richard was hired by Rio Bravo records to translate hit songs by Garth Brooks, Leeann Rimes and Leroy Parnell for the Spanish speaking market.

    Richard began to lecture and publish articles on the Sephardic New Christians and Crypto Jews of Texas, Mexico and the U.S. Southwest as early as 1968, when the topic was considered controversial. Within ten years, the mistrust of both the Hispanic and Jewish communities had been overcome and Richard was sharing the podium at Trinity University with renown Jewish scholar Seymour Liebman. Later, Richard became a feature speaker at Jewish Historical conferences in San Antonio, El Paso, and Galveston, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico as well as Temple Beth El in San Antonio. He has also conducted a mini-course on the Crypto Jews and the Mexican Inquisition at the Jewish Community Center of San Antonio. Autos de Fe of the Portuguese Conspiracy held by the Holy Office of the Inquisition of Mexico City 1646-1648 was released as a tester in 1999. It was followed by SILENT HERITAGE in 2000 and is the latest contribution of Richard G. Santos to the field of Crypto Judaic studies.

    Richard is a member of the Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association. He is also a founding member of the Nacimiento del Camino Real Association. Although Richard G. Santos has two book manuscripts pending publication, he is looking forward to Mockingbird Films and Canal Studios of Italy filming and releasing his screenplay on the trial of Nuevo Leon founder Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva by the Mexico City based Inquisition. Titled Yzabel, the film is scheduled for release in late 2009.

    Richard G. Santos provided this biography to Bea McKinney, February 2008.

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