Archive for May 2011
The Second World War: While often remembered as “the Good War” in Western historical memory, it sure had a lot of not so good things happen in it. Contentious debate has arisen over the memory of the war (what we learn in school, and what we see in Steven Spielberg productions) versus what actually happened. For example:
From the top: An invading Nazi army? Nope, that’s the Red one – heading into Poland in 1939 to help Hitler carve up the country. Stalin was, of course, an ally of Nazi Germany until the Soviet Union was invaded in June of 1941. The next one: A starved civilian in German or Japanese occupied territory? Nope, that’s an image from the famine in British India in 1943. And the next: That’s the German city of Hamburg after the Allies bombed it to bits. The bottom picture is from Berlin in 1945, after Germany’s surrender.
“Is World War II Still ‘the Good War’?”
By ADAM KIRSCH
May 27, 2011, The New York Times
In 1970, a young American composer named Martin Bresnick traveled to Prague to present a short film. He had written its score. As a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and a musician, Bresnick was no stranger to the relationship between politics and music, especially directed towards protest of the Vietnam War. Behind the Iron Curtain, he experienced this relationship again – in a city that had shorty before suffered a harsh reprisal for attempts at liberalization.
“Prague 1970: Music in Spring”
By MARTIN BRESNICK
May 25, 2011 The New York Times
The above picture is from 1969, and highlights a tragic, and far too common form of protest: “people of what was then Czechoslovakia paid tribute to Jan Palach, a student who had set himself on fire to protest Soviet occupation.” (thanks nytimes)