Press Releases


May 17, 2012

MILWAUKEE, Wis., May 17, 2012 - PBS's HISTORY DETECTIVES will be in the Milwaukee area this weekend to investigate a story that dates back to a World War II spy scandal. On Saturday, May 19, the HISTORY DETECTIVES crew will be at The W.J. Niederkorn Library in Port Washington, where detective Eduardo Pagán will do some research. Later in the day, they'll interview a World War II toy expert who lives in the area.

The episode that brings HISTORY DETECTIVES to Milwaukee is "Nazi Spy Toys", which will air later this summer on Milwaukee Public Television. The investigation begins with a man's childhood memories from over 70 years ago. Growing up in Detroit during World War II, he played toy soldiers with his best friend, and he recalls the toys bore the mark "Lineol - Germany." He occasionally bought a toy soldier for a quarter and still has ten. In 1943, a Nazi spy ring was broken in Detroit and Dr. Fred Thomas, his best friend's father, was the ringleader. He never saw his friend again. Did a Nazi spy buy these toy soldiers?

The new season of HISTORY DETECTIVES will air on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. on MPTV 10.1 and 36.2 HD. The season premieres on July 17.

HISTORY DETECTIVES is devoted to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects. Traditional investigative techniques, modern technologies, and plenty of legwork are the tools the HISTORY DETECTIVES team of experts uses to give new - and sometimes shocking - insights into our national history. The hosts of the program are a high-energy group of renowned experts in the world of historical investigations. Their expertise ranges from architecture, popular culture and sociology to archeology, collectibles and genealogy. Eduardo Pagán is the Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History at Arizona State University.

HISTORY DETECTIVES is co-produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and Lion Television. For more information, visit

About MPTV
Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) is southeastern Wisconsin's premier non-commercial media organization. MPTV consists of two traditional television stations, WMVS and WMVT, and seven additional digital television services. The MPTV stations are the area's only over-the-air source for PBS and other national public television programs, and also offer a diverse schedule of their own award-winning local series and specials. The station is watched by over 900,000 viewers each week throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
For more information, visit

Erin Eaton, Publicist/Grant Writer
P: (414) 297-8229

Darlyne Haertlein, Manager-Community Relations
P: (414) 297-7518