Woman in famed Times Square kiss photo dies

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Very sad!

Source: Woman in famed Times Square kiss photo dies Greta Zimmer Friedman was a 21-year-old dental assistant when she kissed a sailor to celebrate the war’s end.Alfred Eisenstaedt’s iconic image »

” Polish leaders threaten fate of nearly finished WWII museum” – Daily Reflector

The Museum of the Second World War may be a casualty of Poland’s rightward turn. Only a Polish-centered museum will do for this nationalist government. This would be unfortunate. As the historian Timothy Snyder points out, “the government’s concept of a museum focusing solely on Westerplatte and Poland’s military struggle in 1939 would result in a narrowly focused exhibit that would not appeal to a wider international audience.”

Read the entire story here: – Daily Reflector

“World War I’s Iconic, Ironic Battle” – The New York Times

“It’s the centennial of Verdun. But what exactly are we commemorating?”

Paul Jankowski ‘s answer: “To a historian 100 years later, Verdun does yield a meaning, in a way a darkly ironic one. Neither Erich von Falkenhayn, the chief of the German General Staff, nor his French counterpart, Joseph Joffre, had ever envisaged a climactic, decisive battle at Verdun. They had attacked and defended with their eyes elsewhere on the front, and had thought of the fight initially as secondary, as ancillary to their wider strategic goals. And then it became a primary affair, self-sustaining and endless. They had aspired to control it. Instead it had controlled them. In that sense Verdun truly was iconic, the symbolic battle of the Great War of 1914-18.”

I don’t disagree with that, but I think the commemoration of Verdun offers an opportunity for all of us (not just historians) to contemplate war itself. Too often war is glorified, Verdun should be a reminder of the horrors of war. It should make us think deeply about how, when, and why we fight wars.

To read Jankowski’s entire article go here: World War I’s Iconic, Ironic Battle – The New York Times

Abusing History: “Japan’s way of remembering World War II still infuriates its neighbours” The Conversation

In light of the earlier discussion on war crimes and apologies, here’s more on the consequences of Japan’s failure to apologize for (or recognize) its WWII war crimes: Japan’s way of remembering World War II still infuriates its neighbours.

“While Germany has managed to build holocaust education into its curriculum and is now at the centre of the European project, Abe and his predecessors have never acknowledged that relations with Korea and China would be greatly improved if there were a push for education and discussion about this terrible history. As things stand, no matter how the militaristic and nationalistic Abe handles the memory of the war in this anniversary year, Japan’s relations with its former adversaries are set to keep festering.”

epa04354254 Japanese people wearing imperial navy costumes raise a rising sun flag as they visit the controversial Yasukuni Shrine to mourn for victims of World War Two in front of a torii gate at the shrine, Japan, 15 August 2014, marking the 69th anniversary of the end of World War Two. More than 2.5 million Japanese soldiers who died in the service are enshrined at Yasukuni, including convicted war criminals from World War II. EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

” Japanese people wearing imperial navy costumes raise a rising sun flag as they visit the controversial Yasukuni Shrine to mourn for victims of World War Two in front of a torii gate at the shrine, Japan, 15 August 2014, marking the 69th anniversary of the end of World War Two. More than 2.5 million Japanese soldiers who died in the service are enshrined at Yasukuni, including convicted war criminals from World War II.” EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA

History News Network | Did Bombers Win the War in WW Two?

Robert Huddleston, who served as a combat pilot in World War II, dispels the popular assumption that air power won the war against Nazi Germany. “The Allied strategic bombing campaign did not produce victory as propaganda promised: Defeat of the enemy came from a combination of sea, air, but mainly ground forces.”

History News Network | Did Bombers Win the War in WW Two?

Allied bombing WWII

History News Network | More than 80,000 People Died and Hardly Anyone Paid Attention?

On March 10, 1945 the Japanese in Tokyo awoke to what would become a nightmare. It was the beginning of what was the single deadliest non-nuclear bombing campaign during World War II (between 80,000 to 100,000 civilians were killed).  It was part of a larger firebombing campaign undertaken by the U.S. in which 66 Japanese cities were targeted in an effort to break the morale of Japanese civilians in the hopes that they would press their leadership to surrender unconditionally. This strategy had been largely rejected by the US leadership on the European front in contrast to their British allies. But under the leadership of Curtis LeMay the morale bombing strategy was pursued in Japan despite its failure in Germany. These firebombing campaigns never broke the morale of the Japanese people.

The firebombing of Tokyo has been overshadowed by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the enormity of the suffering that occurred during World War II across the globe. But Saotome Katsumoto, director of the Center of the Tokyo Raids and War Damages, is trying to preserve and memorialize this event: “Through the living testimonies of these ordinary people I have strived to present a clear picture of that night of indiscriminate firebombing. The recounting of these experiences was painful for both the speakers and the listener, but for the sake of those who bore this pain and for all those who lost their lives, I have attempted to faithfully record the events of March 10, 1945.” This is a worthy goal. We should all  remember and reflect on this tragic event.

History News Network | More than 80,000 People Died and Hardly Anyone Paid Attention?

Tokyo Air Raid (March 10, 1945)

Tokyo Air Raid (March 10, 1945)

History News Network | Why Now Is the Time to Remember the Thousands of Frenchmen Who Volunteered to Fight for Hitler

The historian Robert Zaretsky makes an interesting comparison between the Frenchmen who volunteered to fight for Hitler during WWII and the Frenchmen who are volunteering to fight for ISIS today. I think it’s a useful reminder that this kind of thing is not new.

Zaretsky writes: “Drawing these parallels between France’s past and present is more than a simple parlor game. Instead, they offer lessons that are both sobering and comforting. From one generation to the next, there will always be those susceptible to the siren call of millenarian movements that offer a heightened sense of purpose, along with the weapons and language to pursue it. Moreover, just as historians rightly underscore the extremely small percentage of Frenchmen who joined the Charlemagne ranks, future historians will no doubt do the same in regard to the French contingent in ISIS. Finally, that the parallels should recall to France, whose large Muslim community already and unfairly serves as a lighting rod for many discontents and disappointments, that Islam is no more responsible for the bloody-minded recruits to ISIS than liberalism was for those who flocked to the colors of the Charlemagne Division seventy years ago.” Read his entire article at:

History News Network | Why Now Is the Time to Remember the Thousands of Frenchmen Who Volunteered to Fight for Hitler.

ISIS flag II