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Tag: Second World War

Victims, Perpetrators, Bystanders and Collaborators: Conference Report

Written by Kate Docking. There has been a lack of meaningful scholarly engagement with the utility of the terms ‘victims’, ‘perpetrators’, ‘bystanders’ and ‘collaborators’ as historical concepts. Too often, the word ‘perpetrator’ is used by historians without any explanation as to its meaning. But what exactly makes a ‘perpetrator’? How do we define a victim? Have the connotations of these terms changed over time or been overly politicised? Is it the job of the historian…

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New Publication: David Welch, World War II Propaganda: Analyzing the Art of Persuasion during Wartime

World War II Propaganda: Analyzing the Art of Persuasion during Wartime. Published in 2017 by David Welch (Professor Emeritus and founder of the Centre for War, Propaganda and Society at the University of Kent), World War II Propaganda explores many of the key themes of the Second World War through primary source material. Examples of propaganda disseminated by both Axis and Allied nations are considered, contextualised by accompanying analysis. Breaking free of Euro-centric confines, the…

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New Publication: Linsey Robb and Juliette Pattinson (eds.), Men, Masculinities and Male Culture in the Second World War

Men, Masculinities and Male Culture in the Second World War. In this new edited volume, Linsey Robb (Northumbria University) and Juliette Pattinson (Head of the School of History at the University of Kent) bring together collected essays exploring British masculinities and male culture during the Second World War. Focusing on combatants, prisoners of war, and civilians, the volume tracks the gendering of war through its varied male experience. The volume also considers how male culture…

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Mapping the Future: The Diercke Atlas in the Third Reich

Written by Mike Anderson.

Cartography has only become a tool for historical research in the past few years. Traditionally, geography and history have been separated – the old adage ‘geography is about maps, history about chaps’ meant that there were few interdisciplinary crossovers. However, in recent scholarship maps have begun to be viewed as tools to understand the worldview of historical cultures and historical actors in and of themselves. When applied to Nazi Germany, this new perspective on cartographic agency reveals a hitherto largely ignored method of instilling propaganda. This article examines how the portrayal of the conquest of Lebensraum in Eastern Europe in geography classrooms and the Diercke Schulatlas für Höhere Lehranstalten, the most popular German school atlas, eclipsed any scholarly or factual analysis of the area.

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Occupations in the Age of Total War: Conference Report

Written by Oli Parken.

The Centre for the History of War, Media and Society welcomed colleagues across Europe and the US to the conference ‘Occupations in the Age of Total War: Micro Perspectives and Transnational Research’ in June 2017. The aim of the two-day event was to bridge the gap between structural and micro approaches to the occupational history of both world wars, pushing past conclusions made within national boundaries. The conference came in response to the publication of Nico Wouters’ monograph Mayoral Collaboration under Nazi Occupation: Belgium, the Netherlands and North France, 1938–46 (Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke/New York, 2016) (University of Ghent and CegeSoma). Thus, the papers given expanded on Wouters’ methodological innovation of approaching ‘occupations’ through the lens of the micro and macro in the age of ‘total war’.

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The Merci Train: Remembering the World Wars in 52,000 Objects

Written by Ludivine Broch.

It is well-known that France and the French are haunted by the Second World War. Numerous studies have shown how memories of resistance, collaboration and deportation have risen, fallen and clashed since 1945. Yet these studies generally explore memory through the lens of political, judicial and cultural elites. How did people feel at the grassroots level? Did the French Resistance dominate their history and memory of the war, like it did at the national level?

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When Propaganda (Studies) Began

Written by Stefan Goebel. It was during the First World War that the modern age of propaganda began. Propaganda has, of course, a much longer tradition, but the years 1914-1918 mark a watershed. Propaganda became a central plank of the war effort, pervading public (and private) life. Moreover, it was during this war that the contours of a new academic subject – propaganda studies – began to emerge. Official propaganda grew from being a sideshow…

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