History doesn’t have the best memory

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

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Explore posts in the same categories: Debunk an Academic Myth, Debunk an American Myth, Matters of Debate

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2 Comments on “History doesn’t have the best memory”

  1. MVH Says:

    Compelling!

    I’m very curious as to how the interpretation of the past will evolve over the course of ours lives. Particularly as the generation of those involved in WWII leave this world and we look back with fresh eyes.

  2. William Gilgan Says:

    There are no ‘Good’ wars. There are just wars.


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