World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

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Metal detector finds

If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series.

Holocaust: Teaching, Study, Education

Holocaust: Teaching and Education - Resources and tools.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: WWII-era Photos, Upsetting Nazi SS Uniforms, WWII-era Living History: Reenactment, WW2 Documentaries, WW2 Footage.

The Hundred Day Winter War: Finland`s Gallant Stand Against the Soviet Army
Gordon F. Sander has written an account of a relatively forgotten chapter of WWII military history, the 1939-40 Winter War in Finland. "The Hundred Day Winter War: Finland`s Gallant Stand Against the Soviet Army" was published in June by the University Press of Kansas. "The Winter War was Finland`s proudest hour. When I first went to Finland 30 years ago, there was no good single comprehensive history of the war." When the Red Army invaded the small Scandinavian nation in 1939, many believed it would be over quickly. Instead, the Finns held off their attackers for 105 days, besting the larger army with superior knowledge of their home terrain and their sisu – "their toughness, their grit. The Finns basically skied rings around the Russians." While outnumbered, the Finnish ski troops destroyed several Red Army divisions and methodically took out lines of Soviet tanks.
(cornell.edu)

Israeli High School student steps in ashes of Jews exterminated while touring Majdanek death camp
An embarrassing incident occurred during a High School tour of the Majdanek extermination camp mausoleum (Mountain of Ashes) in Poland. The mountain contains the ashes of tens of thousands of Jews who were exterminated in the camp during the Holocaust. As the group stood near the mountain receiving a briefing on the death camp and its horrors, one of the students walked into the site and treaded on the ashes in spite of the fact that to do so is clearly prohibited. The guides and members of the educational team that were on site grabbed him and removed him from the site.
(ynetnews.com)

Online tool featuring video testimonies of Holocaust survivors debuts at UN
Students everywhere will have the opportunity to learn more about the Holocaust thanks to a new online educational resource that debuted at United Nations Headquarters and showcases video testimonies of survivors of one of the world`s greatest tragedies. IWitness – produced by the Shoah Foundation Institute at the University of Southern California – provides teachers and students access to the video testimonies of more than 1,000 Holocaust eyewitnesses from the Institute`s archive of nearly 52,000 testimonies.
(un.org)

Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)

Every Polish Town Had Own Holocaust - Teaching the Truth About Destroyed Jewish Communities
Every Polish village had its own Holocaust. That`s what Zuzanna Radzik wants hildren to learn. Her task is not easy. Although Polish children are taught about the Holocaust, they don`t learn what happened in their own towns. The killing did not just happen in the Nazi death camps that they are taught about, it also took place in little known towns like Stoczek Wegrowski where 188 Jews were shot to death on September 22, 1942. Jews comprised as much as 70% of the population in some villages in prewar Poland. "We bring history to children in towns and villages who have never met a Jew or seen a synagogue. When we show them where the ghetto was in their town and that Jews were killed there, it all becomes real."
(forward.com)

Lord Baker: Stop teaching about the holocaust so that children see modern Germany in a better light
British schools should no longer teach children about the Nazis because it makes them think less favourably of modern Germany, Lord Baker of Dorking, the architect of the National Curriculum, has claimed. He said that schools should concentrate on teaching "the story in our own country" rather than the events of the WW2 and the Holocaust. "I would ban the study of Nazism from the history curriculum totally. It`s one of the most popular courses because it`s easily taught and I don`t really think that it does anything to learn more about Hitler and Nazism and the Holocaust. It doesn`t really make us favourably disposed to Germany for a start, present-day Germany."
(telegraph.co.uk)

Teens in Italy, which was Nazi Germany`s ally, to study about Holocaust
Italian schools will include the Holocaust in their study program, an agreement signed between Israel and Italy has concluded. Italian teachers will undergo annual training at the Yad Vashem center in Jerusalem.
(ynetnews.com)

Finding your War War II roots - How to research family history
With a generation now growing up whose grandparents do not even remember the Second World War, there are other sources where you can learn about your ancestors` wartime roles. The best place to start is the family photo album where you may see someone in a military uniform. There may be details on the back. If not, look at the uniform for clues. Regimental badges/uniforms are easily id`ed if you can see the detail in them. Armed with a name and a regiment you can then start locating a service record. If your ancestor saw active service then the regimental war diary is worth consulting. Other good sources include local newspapers and national archives.
(liverpoolecho.co.uk)

As more survivors pass away, classrooms must find new ways of teaching about Holocaust
Schools will soon be forced to alter the way they teach the Holocaust as survivors - teenagers when the war began in 1939 - are now in their 80s. Holocaust educators and advocates praise survivors` visits to classrooms and their firsthand accounts - claiming that abstract facts and numbers alone don`t do justice to the memories of those who perished. Holocaust survivors recall their lives before the war and speak of the gradual elimination of freedoms as the Third Reich tightened its grip. Some escaped, some have the camps` tattooed numbers. Students sit in silance, then bombard them with questions: whether they forgive the Nazis, do they still feel anger.
(washingtonpost.com)

Episodes from Auschwitz: Polish comic book series covers Nazi camps
A Nazi death camp may not seem a topic for comic books but a new series with real-life stories from Auschwitz has emerged - in Polish and English - to teach kids about the Holocaust. The drawings are offset by the humanity of real, historically documented prisoners and Nazi guard - like the doomed, young lovers in the first adventure, "Love in the Shadow of Death". Beata Klos and Jacek Lech thought about the idea for years and the format (40page soft-cover comic books) was carefully thought: "We think the history of the death camps isn`t sufficiently taught to the younger generations and rarely in a way that would draw their interest."
(ynet.co.il)

The Third Reich in the Ivory Tower: Complicity and Conflict on American Campuses
A new book studies American colleges` links to Nazi Germany in the 1930s - marked by indifference and collaboration. "In the case of [American] higher education, it`s a very shameful record of complicity and indifference to atrocities committed against the Jews from 1933 onward - and actually a lot of collaboration... participating in well-organized student exchange programs, participating in well-orchestrated Nazi festivals in Germany," says history professor Stephen H. Norwood, depicting university leaders indifferent to a barbaric regime abroad because of their own anti-Semitism (maintaining quota barriers against Jewish students).
(insidehighered.com)

Swedish teachers lack Holocaust facts - 70% fail a Holocaust history survey
A Swedish government agency says a majority of teachers in the country have a poor knowledge of the World War II Holocaust. The Living History Forum says 70% of teachers failed a Holocaust history questionnaire by the agency. Of 5,081 teachers who participated in the exercise, only two teachers answered all the questions correctly. "History teachers need to have all the facts, or you cannot explain the Holocaust`s background properly and therefore would not be able to put it into context with other genocides going on today," says Johan Perwe.
(upi.com)

History buff Mark Patterson tours World War II battlefields
Mark Patterson, a World War II history buff, says his aim is to bring history to life. He leads tours to battlefields and gives presentations. "I try to teach these students that history is not boring and is very important to what`s going on in today`s world. You can go to a museum and look, but you don`t get to touch, feel and smell." To fix that Patterson takes his collection of WWII militaria to the classrooms to let students try on the military uniforms, wear the helmets, handle a deactivated hand grenade and experience the weight of a submachine gun. His 2009 tour will spend 3 days in London and 5 days touring Normandy battlefields, including Omaha Beach.
(azcentral.com)

Blackout day with food rationing: students experience life during WWII   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Total Defence Day in Singapore: Are our children too soft and too spoilt? To mark the day on 15 Feb, some schools had set up a blackout day with food rationing to let students experience what their forefathers went through during World War II. Students were notified about the blackout only on the day itself. They had to sit through lessons without lights and face horrors such as drinking water that`s not cold. The students were given ration coupons for sweet potatoes, the only food sold in the canteen. One teacher said that students are spoilt: "When you take away certain privileges... they appear handicapped and cannot cope."
(asia1)

Britain to send Students to Auschwitz tour to learn about Holocaust
Making sure that the lessons of the Nazi genocide live on with a new generation, the British government made a pilot program, that funds day journeys for two students from every secondary school to the death camp, permanent. The idea: teens educate their classmates on their return. Historians say 1.1M people died at Auschwitz-Birkenau 1940-1945, either from starvation, disease or exhaustion - or from suffocation with Zyklon B gas in the gas chambers. "...how industrialized and mechanized the process of killing people became... It was not hot-blooded brutality, it happened in a very planned way... Every young person should have an understanding of this."
(dw-world)

Germany teaches its youth about the Holocaust with a graphic novel
No one can accuse the Germans of dismissing the horrors of the Nazi past. So concerned have they become about a lack of knowledge of the Holocaust among kids that they are spreading a new book in schools describing their country`s genocide in an easily accessible graphic novel. The "comic book" format is seen as the best way to get a whole new generation of children to confront the most terrible period of German history. The book - called The Search - shows a grandmother recounting her grandson the circumstances of how her father and her brother, Bob, were sent to Auschwitz during Adolf Hitler`s "Final Solution".
(dailymail.co.uk)

George Washington beat Hitler, Mussolini was president of the USSR
World War II according to high school juniors: "WWII took place in 19-something, when Theodore Roosevelt was president and the Germans claimed to be the best race. Hoping to aid Third World countries, the US joined the war to stop racism and end the dispute over Jews. The head of the Nazis was a killer named Hitler whose evil partner Mussolini was president of the USSR. Ultimately, the war ended with the bombing of Iwo Jima and Hitler`s suicide." Some named George Washington, Richard Nixon and Winston Churchill as the war`s main president. "It`s a bit disappointing," sighed Theresa Quindlen, head of Burton High`s history department.
(sfgate)

Book honours world war II `permit teachers`
Even though they were just teenagers themselves, `permit teachers` helped educate children throughout Manitoba in the midst of World War II. 1939-1945, many teachers had entered the armed forces, creating a shortage. To remedy the situation, students who had completed Grade 11 or 12 were granted teaching permits. "Even without training, people could do something valuable," said former permit teacher Louisa Loeb. In 2005, she started organizing reunions of permit teachers. From the reunions she collected stories for a book "Manitoba Permit Teachers of World War II."
(canoe)

Schools obsessed with Hitler and World War II, says CofE report
Schools are perpetuating damaging stereotypes of Germans because of their "obsession" with Adolf Hitler and WWII. This is reinforced by the number of war films. "A teacher of German in a secondary school reported being repeatedly confronted with a `Heil Hitler` and with swastikas on history books. The grandchild of another person found herself excluded ... from visiting a British war cemetery `as she was a Nazi` - this despite the fact that her grandfather came to Britain as a Jewish refugee. If you bring up children and their only images of Germany are of Fritz in a helmet, that is going to have an effect."
(telegraph.co.uk)

School wants to re-enact World War II - 2nd Panzer Division   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Teachers at Jewel Middle School in North Aurora would like to reinforce their teaching about World War II with artillery and a battle tank. They would shoot blanks and be part of a re-enactment performed by the 2nd Panzer Division, a German re-enactment unit. "This is making the textbook come alive." But Mike Herlihy had concerns about bringing weapons to school, as well as how the re-enactment could proceed despite a village ban on all discharges of weapons. Also Police Chief Tom Fetzer did not have anyone qualified to inspect World War II-era rifles or to ensure concussion from blanks would not damage property.
(-)

Museum Ad Campaign Confronts Youth With Life Under Nazis
Museum has launched an unusual ad campaign that aims to interest young people in World War II history. Posters bearing bizarre slogans have appeared around Prague. They appear to curtail the freedom of randomly chosen parts of society: "People with blonde hair are not permitted to enter cinemas." The posters are black with the "rules," such as "Left-handed people are forbidden to drive motor vehicles and within 14 days have to give up their driving licence." At the bottom of the poster is a little explainer. "Does it seem absurd to you? The prohibition on motor vehicles was applied in the whole protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia for Jewish people during the war."
(dw-world)

Burn Lidice in the shortest possible time - Game causes uproar
An Internet site developed to teach young Czechs the history of one of the worst Nazi atrocities in the country by playing a game has provoked uproar. The site, aimed at relating the story of Lidice village that was entirely destroyed by the Nazis in June 1942, invites to "Burn Lidice in the shortest possible time". The current mayor of the village said he lost several relatives as a result of the Nazi retaliation at Lidice for the assasination in Prague of top Nazi Reinhard Heydrich.
(sawf)

Nazism to become separate school subject
Germany’s Central Council of Jews has criticised the extent to which the history of the Third Reich is taught in schools and has called for National Socialism to be made its own subject. She added that many of the teachers did not know enough about the period themselves, a situation that did nothing to curb the rise of neo-Nazi sentiments, particularly in the east of the country. But the proposals have been received with scepticism by the Culture Ministers’ Conference: "No other era of German history is studied as intensively in German schools as National Socialism."
(ejp)

School`s `Holocaust` Experiment Upsets Parents
Several parents in Apopka, Fla., are upset over a surprise school "Holocaust" project that some say tormented children. Local 6 News reported that eighth-graders with last names beginning with L through Z were given yellow five-pointed stars. Other students were privileged. Father John Tinnelly said his son was forced to stand in the back of the classroom and not allowed to sit because he was wearing the yellow star. Tinnelly said the experiment upset his child. "He was crying," Tinnelly said. "I said, `What are you crying about?` He said, `Daddy, I was a Jew today.`"
(local6)

S. Korea Blasts Japan Over WWII History Whitewashing
The South Korean government denounced Japan for "whitewashing, distorting and glorifying" its militarist past after Japanese officials ordered a series of controversial new changes to high school textbooks. Japan`s Education Ministry requested revisions to 55 textbooks in an effort to avoid student "misunderstandings." The revised books clearly label disputed territories as Japanese territory. Also, references to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre were changed to indicate the number of people killed by the Japanese may have been less than the 300,000 victims claimed by China.
(washingtonpost)

Making Nazi horrors relevant - Teachers get help preparing lessons   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Studying the Holocaust and its horrors is a curriculum requirement in all California high schools and a handful of other states. But how teachers approach the subject, and what exactly is taught, can vary from school to school, teacher to teacher. The workshop, put on by the Anti-Defamation League and the Holocaust Center, trained 25 teachers on how to use "Echoes and Reflections: A Multimedia Curriculum on the Holocaust" in the classroom. The curriculum is a joint project of the Anti-Defamation League, Israel`s Holocaust Remembrance Authority and film director Steven Spielberg`s Shoah Visual History Foundation.
(charlotte)

School art from Nazi era shows children`s view of Third Reich
The exhibition is the first in post-war German history to illustrate in detail what adolescent school pupils chose or were ordered to draw in the Third Reich while they attended art classes at Munich grammar schools during the 1930s and early 1940s.
(Independent)

Teaching The Holocaust In Schools: Problems And Prospects
The industrialized killing of European Jews, is hardly a subject that can be addressed in just a few class sessions. Consequentially, the subject of the Holocaust in classrooms is often trivialized, treated superficially and lacking context. Students are offered simple answers for complex phenomena. An explanation commonly advanced in classes holds that Germany faced enormous economic problems in the 1930s which they blamed on the Jewish minority, and that the resulting scapegoating led to the gas chambers. Such desultory treatment could do more harm than not teaching about the Holocaust at all.
(findarticles)


See also:
WWII-era Photos
Upsetting Nazi SS Uniforms
WWII-era Living History: Reenactment
WW2 Documentaries
WW2 Footage.