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  1. #1
    CottonBolus
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    What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I read a lot on world war II in grade 10, and I think the most interesting portion of it, at least for me, was reading various diaries and personal accounts of the event like the diary of Anne Frank and another diary which I can't recall the name of but I think it was something like Susanna's suitcase. Another thing interesting I found about World War II was that Hitler grew up in an abusive family. I think a lot of people (not all) like Hitler were created because they didn't receive love from their families.

    This is the song I always hear in my head when I think of world war II:


  2. #2
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I think the most interesting thing for me was this documentary and book based on a true story..from Palo Alto California....entitled The Third Wave

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave

    The original question posed by one of the female students...How could the German people let that happen?

    The teacher promised her an answer to her question by the end of the term...and that is what they all got...plus a valuable lesson. I don't think a week goes by when I don't think about that lesson....

    Group dynamics are important to understand....

    What I took from that....don't ever just go along with the crowd because they want or demand it. Be true to yourself. You have a voice and a conscience...use it.

  3. #3
    M10000
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Hitler escaped 44 assassination attempts. You got it give it to the guy . . . ok, maybe not

    There's a documentary about it. Its on Youtube, in 5 parts. He literally escaped by moments in one attempt that he escaped

    Link:

    Click on username for other parts or in 'related videos'

    (This post automatically embedded the video)

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I found the video if you want to see it...I think it has had a more profound effect in my life than just about anything else I have ever seen...


  5. #5
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    That a whole nation can be corrupted by a madman.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I was a big history buff, and now a huge fan of The History Channels and The Military Channels. WWII was Truly a World Wide war! It encompassed the entire globe, from Europe to The Pacific. And, many forget the U-boats off the U.S.'s Atlantic Coast, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Plus, everything that was going on in South American ports, too.

    "Never Forget!"
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by BENDERBOY View Post
    That a whole nation can be corrupted by a madwoman.
    ^ Fixed it...



    "The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him."
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  8. #8
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Well that explains everything Ron.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I dunno about WWII because i did not participate however the concept of hell is created by man and that applies to every atrocity I have ever seen. I am pretty sure it would apply to an event in which 60 million people died over six years.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I'll never understand why Hitler didn't cross the English channel. With the bombing raids he had England by the throat, but he never carried through thank the Universe.

  11. #11
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    My grandfather fought in WWI and survived despite being shot in the face. He lived through the wars that followed until he died in 1976.

    He wouldn't talk about his experiences, and when, by chance, he would hear other men talking of their experiences, he would cry.

    His silence told me a helluva lot more than anything else I've read or seen.

    By the way, I'm a Boomer and missed the wars, but I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis and that was scary enough for me. Few people these days have no idea how close we came to not being here now. I can vividly remember sitting outside at night, staring up at the sky - not to see the stars, but to see the missiles flying over our heads, either north to south or south to north. I knew that, if we saw them, we probably wouldn't see another morning.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    My mother is German (and Jewish); she and her mother escaped Hitler's Germany pretty much as the doors were closing, so to speak, in 1938. Two of her aunts weren't so lucky; one died in a concentration camp, and the other was so traumatised by her experiences that she killed herself not long after the war finished.

    -T.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I was born during the war. My father was a pilot but never discussed it.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    .




    My father was a pilot. P-38 Lightnings in the Pacific theater. He never really talked about it.

    My uncle was in the infantry and participated in the Battle of Okinawa. He never ever talked about it.

    Nuff said.

  15. #15
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Was not around. Can only tell you what I see through the lens of history.

    Despite the fighting being far away, it must have affected US society when 17 million Americans were called to serve in WWII, about 13% of the US population at the time. Manufacturers/suppliers employed millions more. In 1943, only 139 cars were made in the US.

    I wonder what the initial reaction was like when the details of the Holocaust unfolded.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    My dad is the son of a Quaker minister. But, as soon as he could, he volunteered for the Army, and entered as a Conscientious Objector (because of my grandfather) in 1944. By the time he was trained, as a radio operator, and sent overseas, the war was winding down. His rank was corporal, and he was mainly a driver, Jeeps, etc., for various officers. He acquired the nickname of "Rabbit". He has only talked a little bit about all he saw, and experienced.

    He was initially stationed in France, then on to Germany, not far from Dachau. He was also part of the logistics team during the Berlin air lift. In 1963, our family went to Europe, and he showed us all the places he had been. Still ... he was only "touching the surface" when telling us about it all.
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  17. #17
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    What I know about World War II, I first learned from my parents, who both grew up during that time. My Mom was born in 1929, and my Dad in 1931. They experienced the US Great Depression and World War II. Then, of course, we studied it in detail, in Grade 8 Social Studies Class.

    My parents told me that.....

    Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the greatest President of the United States, because he provided strong leadership through both the Depression and the War. (based on my own admiration,self-study of FDR, and a visit to Hyde Park, I believe that). If he did not have the expertise for something, he would seek out the best person for the job and hire them.

    Adolph Hitler has serious mental problems. he seduced an entire nation and people into believing his twisted vision of the world, and in the process tried to destroy another group of people (the Jews).

    Josef Stalin may have been a malevolent dictator in the USSR, but Roosevelt couldn't have achieved a victory over Hitler with him.

    Sir Winston Churchill was the intellect, FDR was the mover and shaker, and Stalin was the muscles.

    One of my Italian cousin ancestors who fought in the Italian army, was captured by the Allied forces and brought to the US as a prisoner of war, at a barracks near Watertown, NY. My grandparents would make regular trips up there to see their cousin and bring him things like food, soap, and cigarettes.

    The war in the Pacific, in my opinion, was a bigger struggle than the war in Europe. Fighting on water is way different than fighting on land.

    That is what I know...
    Last edited by ronboy; January 1st, 2013 at 12:18 PM.


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  18. #18
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    My family who lived through it didn't talk about it. And from the scholarly writing about WWII I've seen, that is very very common.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I don't know much about the war, but I have heard some about the home front. People who didn't actually go to war worked long hours six days a week in the United States. Most production was geared to war production so civilian products were scarce. People patched their tires to make them last as long as possible. There were no new cars made during the war. Gasoline, meat, and other things were rationed. Ration stamps were issued to families to turn in along with money to buy some products. Other things were in short supply because the military had first choice of supplies. When my grandfather died, my grandmother didn't order coal for her home furnace early enough and had trouble getting any. My father would ride in the streetcar with a box of coal on his lap which he would scrounge from relatives to give her some coal to burn in her furnace. The things I remember hearing were in short supply were: gasoline, tires, coal, meat, building supplies, and silk stockings for women. People used public transportation as much as possible to save on gas.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    it still goin

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Another aspect of WWII was millions of women entering the domestic work force, in promoting the war effort, on a scale never seen before. And, the World hasn't been the same since!
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    My great grabdfather was in the RAF.
    My grandmother told me they had a refugee living with them at the time.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    One thing about WWII that I enjoyed learning about years ago was how the Nazis intentionally set out to obliterate the city of Warsaw in 1944. I don't know if you guys are aware, but the citizens of Warsaw had staged an uprising against the Nazis in 1944. The uprising lasted for about 3 months, and the Poles unfortunately lost. In retaliation for the uprising, Hitler ordered the complete destruction of Warsaw (which was already very badly damaged due to both the 1939 blitzkrieg and the 1944 3-month uprising). The citizens of Warsaw were expelled from the city, and many of the buildings were intentionally blowtorched and blown up with dynamite. The classic looking buildings in modern-day Warsaw are actually a thorough reconstruction.


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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Both my mother's brothers fought in WWII. One was in Europe, participated in D-Day, managed to survive, spent the next year fighting his way across France and Germany, met and fell in love with a French woman, deferred his discharge so he could stay, court, and marry her. His wife, btw, was from Strassbourg in Alsace, so she had a front row seat for six years of war, including being bombed by both sides and a brutal German occupation under which the French language was banned.

    The other brother fought in the Pacific, including the reconquest of the Philipines. Both went MIA at the same time in 1944. Neither the Army nor the Red Cross knew (or would tell) where they were. I can only imagine how my grandparents must have felt, not knowing whether their sons were dead or alive for four very long months.

    One of my dad's brother's was stationed in England in the medical corps, and a dear friend's husband was a bomber pilot in England, flying raids over Germany from 1942 to 1945. He took part in the hellish firebombing of Dresden, proving that one does not need nuclear weapons to wreak unimaginable horrors on one's fellow human beings.

    None of them would talk about the war except tagentially, although my maternal uncle who served in Europe did open up one night about a year before he died. Just the little bit he was willing to say reduced one of the strongest, toughest men I've ever known to tears.

    I do know all of them suffered nighmares about the war for the rest of their lives. They were all so young--18 and 19--when they were drafted or volunteered. My aunt was only 15 when the Germans invaded France, the Wehrmacht marching right through her town, chasing the retreating French troops toward Paris, with the Luftwaffe raining down bombs and aircraft fire ahead of them to clear the way.

    On the homefront, my mom recalls friends of my uncles, and friends of their friends, camping out on the living room floor while on leave. Apparently, this was common, especially in Los Angeles, as it was a major point of departure for troops being deployed to the Pacific Theatre. There was also rationing here at home, restrictions on travel, huge recycling and scrap drives to fuel the war effort, and endless bond drives to pay for the war. Yes, the government actually believed in paying for the war in real time. Contrast that with recent history. We also had censorship, and the government monitored the mail coming to and from the soldiers.

    It's weird that such a brutal period in world history is also so fondly remembered by the dwindling few who still can recall it. I will say I appreciate movies like "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "Saving Private Ryan" a lot more for having known my uncles. I also understand what songs like this meant to them.



    I miss them all.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    ^ The music of the time period was fantastic.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Yeah it was. Growing up with parents who were born in the 1930s (1930 and 1933), and all their friends and relations who were even older, I got a full dose of it. I still love it, and hearing those songs makes me think of all of them and all the good times we had when I was little. Especially this one, as it was my Uncle Austin and Aunt Yvonne's "signature song".


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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    ^ I've seen a lot of French people praise this (American) duo's cover of the song. Maybe you'll like it:


  28. #28
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Mostly what I know of the war was what I learned in school. My Father fought in the South Pacific and was part of the occupation forces in Japan after the war. I also had a 3rd cousin who many would know from my mothers side that fought in Europe, his name is Gen. Omar Bradley. Only met him twice in my youth, mostly at relatives funerals.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    All of my childhood was influenced and moulded by the events of WWII. My mother's family experienced it in Holland in very immediate and often frightening ways and my father's life on the farm was defined by it.

    I still have the first box of matches that the Canadians gave my grandmother after they liberated Holland. I still have the handwritten memoirs of my mother and grandparents, the photo albums...

    For anyone too young, you need to watch The World at War....or one of the other amazing multi-part programs that explains the entire thing.

    The one thing I will say...WWII was the almost inevitable collision between the medieval world of Imperial Europe and the Industrial Revolution.

    Who would even imagine an entire world at war? Who of you can imagine rationing? Or blackouts? Or war crimes that became the defining parameters of mans' inhumanity to man?

    The Cold War was the twisted, crippled child of WWII and it is arguable as to when the war ended.....or whether, as in the last 4,000 years we are all just on hiatus from the never ending conflict.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    My parents were born in 1929 and 1930, so they saw the war through children's eyes. Most notably was how poor and frugal they lived, and how the currency changes mean people lost their money through hyperinflation and the roving bandits that stole to eat because so many were displaced during the war. The Japanese were feared, although in the midst of their tyranny, my mother recalls once encountering with great fright two Japanese officers with swords at their sides asking her for something. She went to get her cousin who through communicating writing in Chinese characters managed to understand that they simply wanted to know where to get thin bamboo so they could make a fishing rod.


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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I only recently learned about the fate of the SS Cap Arcona:
    That when the Nazis knew the war was lost, they purposefully shifted concentration camp survivors onto that ship, and packet it with explosives, in the hope that the Allied forces would bomb it, and thereby be "responsible" for the fate of the victims onboard. Miraculously some people did survive it.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    For those who mentioned parents or other relatives being a part of the war but never speaking about it.

    Go out and ask them. Take a piece of paper or your notebook and write it down. Share it with the rest of the family, with your partner, nephews kids and and. The events need to be kept in mind as part of our colloquial memory. Not just as TV shows. Many people will not care about TV shows but if you hear first hand experiences from your siblings, it's quite a different deal. And this not only applies to WW2 but for any war. War needs to be more than a TV ****** By not talking about war, it is made less personal, less real and less cruel. And in the end people will agree with their nation going to war about issues that they don't even understand.
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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corny View Post
    Go out and ask them.
    I quickly learned not to ask. The stories died with my grandfather. All I know is that he fought at Vimy and was shot in the face. The bullet went in at the left side of his nose, down into his mouth where it blew out most of his teeth, out through his tongue and lower pallet, and into his upper chest. He never talked about it, but the scars remains. My mother told me about how he got them.

    He went to Germany with my mother in the late 60s to visit my older sister and her husband. They were stationed in Lahr. They visited some battlefields, but Grandpa wouldn't go in. He stayed in the car.

    You can only hear the stories from people who are willing and able to tell them. Grandpa wasn't.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    The best accounts of the second world war came from people who were there , all my family took part. I was also lucky enough to work with an ex-Royal Marine who went in to Belsen the day it was liberated. Its to easy to forget the real horror of war.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corny View Post
    For those who mentioned parents or other relatives being a part of the war but never speaking about it.

    Go out and ask them. Take a piece of paper or your notebook and write it down. Share it with the rest of the family, with your partner, nephews kids and and. The events need to be kept in mind as part of our colloquial memory. Not just as TV shows. Many people will not care about TV shows but if you hear first hand experiences from your siblings, it's quite a different deal. And this not only applies to WW2 but for any war. War needs to be more than a TV ****** By not talking about war, it is made less personal, less real and less cruel. And in the end people will agree with their nation going to war about issues that they don't even understand.
    I did. I had to do it for school, actually, an interview with someone who lived through WWII. I got very very very indirect general answers you could get by watching a movie about the time period. Mostly they tried to stick to the happy stuff and the very general info everyone knew, and didn't talk about the personal element of it. Pointedly.

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    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    That is kinda sad. My grandfather never talked much about it, either. And he had his reasons. But when I asked, he invited me for the other day and shared his story over a couple of hours. You could see that this, to this day, was a deeply troubling experience for him. But it was more important to him, that it won't be forgotten.
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  37. #37

    Re: What have you heard about World War II? Did you live though World War II? What part did you find the most interesting about it?

    I reckon that the 1939-45 war was SO big, SO devastating, it affected almost every continent on earth. It was the last of the big conflicts of man-on-man fighting, and it climaxed with the Atomic Bomb.


    (I heard the Atomic Bomb was superseded by a Hydrogen Bomb but I don't think that has been put to use yet. )

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