WWII

VIchy France Coin 1944

Coins are one of the most basic ways governments have historically spoken to their people. Frequently, they tell you who is in charge. In the Roman Empire, money traveled faster than news. A change of portraits on coinage was how people often learned there was a new emperor. Many monarchies,Continue Reading

Advertisements
Bus in Crater, London Blitz

In the early 19th century, this grand city became the first in the modern world* to reach a population of one million, and over the next 100 years, that number multiplied six times over.  By the mid-20th century, London was home to over 8 million people. Not that you’d thinkContinue Reading

Sir Nicholas Winton, a quiet civilian hero of World War II, has died at the age of 106. In a time of considerable disinterest in the Jewish plight, Winton rescued 669 Czech Jewish children, most of whom would have otherwise perished. In pre-World War II Europe, Jewish living conditions variedContinue Reading

Auction house Vermot de Pas has cancelled the appearance of Nazi items in an April 26 auction after multiple groups objected.  Critics called the sale obscene and insisted the sale would give the items “unhealthy symbolic value that resembles cynicism and a form of moral indecency”. The Nazis and theContinue Reading

February 24 marked the death of the oldest living Holocaust survivor.  Certainly there are still survivors out there, but they are growing scarcer by the year.  Someone who was 15 in 1945 would be 83 today, and most people under the age of 15 didn’t survive the Holocaust at allContinue Reading

Almost 50 years after his death, Alan Turing is finally pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II. Turing was a pioneer in cryptography (most notably in connection with breaking the WWII Enigma codes) and early computing. He wrote on the possibilities of artificial intelligence, which he expected we would develop within fiftyContinue Reading

Map of Europe

I so wish I had this when I was teaching modern western civ this semester.  That course covers roughly the 16th through 20th centuries.  It’s only half the time frame of the map, but my other class starts at the beginning of time and runs up to the 16th century. Continue Reading

Sir Nicholas Winton

Studying history comes with both bad and good. It’s important we remember both, both as something to celebrate and something we try not to repeat. Modern history is not my thing, but of that era, the Holocaust is one of my interests, although it’s so awful I sometimes literally haveContinue Reading