Tag: WWII

Good morning.  I know you are all puzzled about why you have been invited here today. All will become clear very soon.

But first of all I must tell you that what you learn today may surprise, shock and even horrify you. I ask only this: listen and try and reserve judgement until you have had a chance to process what you hear. This will not be easy. (More…)

After watching Dunkirk, you’ll likely spend some time silently processing the film. The interwoven timelines, the high pressure soundtrack and the constant threat of death can easily captivate the viewer. (More…)

The career of the Defendant Rosenberg embraced the entire history of National Socialism and permeated nearly every phase of the conspiracy. In order to obtain a full conception of his influence, it is necessary to review his political history, and to consider his political activities which stretches from the inception of the Party in 1919 to the defeat of Germany in 1945. (More…)

If Mecca is the most holy site in Islam, Germany assumes a similar significance for fascists. So ferocious were the talkbacks on right-wing websites following Monday’s attack on a Berlin Christmas market, it was as though a pig had been set loose in a mosque. (More…)

In his magisterial War Without Mercy, John Dower convincingly describes how prewar anti-Japanese feelings were driven by populist American fears of Japanese immigration and actual military contingency planning, though military planners consistently underestimated the Japanese in racist terms. (More…)

It rained yesterday morning. The first rain of winter. The air was sharp, cold and grey. The grey light of days gone by. The wet street a deep blue-black. The grey of winter recalls what I have left behind. (More…)

It ought to be a positive. To have their situation constantly referred to as “the worst crisis since World War II,” today’s refugees ideally ought to be shown the courtesy accorded to persons engulfed in a similar disaster. Why not invoke that era? Aside from the scale of the crisis, it should be an immediate guarantee of empathy, because Europeans all know what the last global conflict was like. (More…)

Few countries agonize more about sending their troops to war than Germany. That doesn’t prevent foreign deployments, however. German forces have been sent abroad for over twenty years nows, beginning with the war in Bosnia. But the ongoing debate highlights the persistence of pacifism in the country, crossing political boundaries in a manner unheard of in the United States. Given German history, one can understand why. (More…)

Jerusalem for hipsters. San Francisco in exile. New York, when it was still cool. Berlinistan, to its Middle Eastern inhabitants. Poor but sexy, according to its former mayor. The German capital is many things to many people, the majority of reasons of which are decidedly unglamorous. For a major European city, it’s still relatively inexpensive. (More…)

By 1948, black troops, for so long limited to a few job categories, could be found in a majority of military occupational fields. The officer corps was open to all without the restrictions of a racial quota, and while a quota for enlisted men still existed, all racial distinctions in standards of enlistment were gone. (More…)

The most important trend in recent historiography of the Cold War has been an expansion in interest in subjects outside tthe politico-military, and the economic. Twenty years ago, when Heide Fehrenbach published Cinema in Democratizing Germany, the perception that cultural issues were secondary was still widespread among scholars (particularly historians) of the postwar era. (More…)

He was running across our rows for the first time. He was creating a new block out of us, the “zugangs” (new arrivals.) He was seeking, among unknown people, some men to keep order in the block. Fate willed it that he chose me, he choose Karol Swietorzecki (a reserve officer of 13th cavalry regiment,) Witold Rozycki (a good fellow from Warsaw,) and several others. (More…)