In this short, 9-line poem, author M. Jean Prussing reacts to the Nazi invasion of Poland on September 1st, 1939. This poem, however, was written the day after the invasion on September 2nd and reflects Prussing’s feelings towards it. As a citizen of Poland at the time, Prussing expresses fear and disdain towards the Nazi regime. For example, she opens the poem by stating “what we have feared assumes a dimension and a name.” In other words, the invasion that was feared by many has become a reality. Prussing’s fear of the invasion reflects the feelings of many Poles at the time, as they also feared the oppressive Nazi regime. At the end of the poem, she says “the twisted stick becomes the snake”. Since many people mistake sticks for snakes, this line shows that the harmless stick turned into a threatening snake. In the context of the invasion, the harmless thought of a German invasion (the stick) turned into an actual attack (the snake). In conclusion, Prussing’s thoughts on the German invasion of Poland reflect the thoughts of many people against the invasion and how surprised they were that it actually happened. Prussing, M. Jean. “September 2nd, 1939.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,
The following speech was given by the prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, Winston Churchill, one day after the German army surrendered in May 1945. Delivered to the House of Commons and the general public through a radio broadcast, Churchill’s famous speech began by summarizing the recent events of the German surrender and stating that they must stop fighting or else they would be obliterated. Churchill also summarizes the course of the war and praises the Russian army for fighting on the Eastern Front. Additionally, he celebrates the entire Allied effort but warns that they still have to fight the war in the Pacific against Japan. Churchill’s end-of-war speech is quite moving, as he sums up the course of the war and provides rejoice to the British people. Also, the news that it provided was long-awaited by many people and caused a large amount of happiness and relief. Churchill also makes a smart move by extending his audience to the people of the other Allied countries by thanking them and calling it a collective effort. It also reflects Churchill’s characteristics of a strong leader, as he thanks other countries and gives thanks to the entire British population. Churchill, Winston. “The End of the War in Europe.” 8 May 1945, London, House of Commons.
This painting by war artist Tom Lea depicts a U.S Marine during the Battle of Peleliu in 1944. In the painting, the soldier has a blank stare on his face and stands with a smoking battlefield in the background. In addition, there is a tank on the ground and a fleet of bombers in the air. Lea’s painting is a moving work of art, as it strongly depicts the effects of war on those that are fighting in it. The constant trauma during battle caused many soldiers to sometimes stare motionlessly into the distance with a blank stare on their face. Soldiers began to call this the “2000-yard stare”, as the atrocities of the war caused many soldiers to exhibit this behavior. Lea, Tom. 2000 Yard Stare. 1944, United States Army Center of Military History, Washington, D.C.
The photo gallery chosen consists of 22 photos from different phases of the war. Most of them are photos straight from the battlefield, however others capture moments from the American “home-front” and Adolf Hitler’s massive rallies in Germany. There are also a few photos of soldiers leaving for and returning from war with their loved ones. In addition, most of them are black-and-white, while a few are in color. These images are very significant, as they capture many of the most important moments of the war. They also do a decent job of telling the entire story of the war over a span of 22 photos, and capture some of its most important figures. The black-and-white coloring of many of the photos adds a nostalgic feeling to them, while also hiding some of the potentially graphic content. The color photos, however, seem more modern and realistic, giving the viewer a better understanding of the situation. Cosgrove, Ben. “World War II: Photos We Remember.” Time, Time, 19 May 2013
In the article, author Ruth Ben-Ghiat expresses her opinion on the importance and legacy of World War II. She states that the war was more than a “war to enslave humanity”, as its atrocities created a new world order that still exists today. Additionally, she provides clear evidence of how the war strengthened many people around the world and saw many acts of courage among individuals and entire populations. Another main aspect of the article is her statement that the war continued beyond the days in which the fighting stopped because it continued to change the world’s order. I tend to agree with Ben-Ghiat’s statements, as I also believe that there was a lot more to the conflict than its unthinkable atrocities. However, the negative aspects of the war tend to be remembered easier, just like how the news focuses more on the bad stories rather than the good ones. I also partially agree with her statement that the war ended long after the fighting stopped. Yes, the war caused a change in the world’s order, but in my opinion the start and end of a war lies within the time period of fighting. The peace treaties cause conflict, but they are not significant enough to be considered a war. Ben-Ghiat, Ruth. “From the Ashes of World War II's End (Opinion).” CNN, Cable News Network, 7 Dec. 2015
The article is a first-hand account of the Allied invasion of D-Day on June 6th, 1944 from author Donald MacKenzie, a news reporter that witnessed D-Day firsthand. In the article, Mackenzie describes his experience at Normandy with a battalion of American soldiers. Recording everything about the day from the weather to the noises, MacKenzie paints a picture of what it was like for American and British soldiers on the beaches of Northern France. In addition to the first day of the invasion, he describes his experiences on the few days that followed in which Allied forces began to push beyond the beaches of Normandy and into the French mainland. MacKenzie’s account of D-Day is a very useful source, as it provided a vivid description of soldiers’ experience during one of the most important days of World War II. It shows a response to the war because it was released to the public and intended to make readers further understand what soldiers had to go through during war. In addition, MacKenzie recorded his experiences because he knew that D-Day would be a very important day in the war; it would either be a great success or a daunting failure. It can argued that this account would have never been released to the general public if the invasion was a failure, as it possibly would have sparked fear among many and added humiliation to the armies involved. However, the invasion proved to be a massive success and the account was released with pride after Allied victory in World War II. MacKenzie, Donald. “D-Day Invasion: Reporter's Firsthand Account on June 6, 1944.” NY Daily News, New York Daily News, 4 June 2015.