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second world war

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former nazi camp guard to go on trial in hamburg | world news

Man, 93, accused as accessory to murder of 5,230 people in what could be one of last such casesA former guard at Stutthof concentration camp will go on trial in the northern German city of Hamburg on Thursday, in what could be one of the last criminal cases of an individual charged over the Holocaust.The 93-year-old man, named in the German media as Bruno D, in keeping with the country’s press code, was 17 when he joined the SS-Totenkopfsturmbann (Death’s Head Battalion), which manned the watcht...

attlee and churchill review – a deft account of a terrific double act | books

Leo McKinstry’s excellent study of two British political titans underlines the inadequacies of today’s leadersAt the state funeral of Winston Churchill, one of the pallbearers was Clement Attlee, his wartime deputy. The massive TV audience witnessed a deathly frail Attlee stumble as the lead-lined coffin was carried up the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. It was a mark of their deep mutual esteem that Churchill had asked for Attlee to be one of his bearers and Attlee had insisted on performing the ...

the fantasy of britain at war could be nearing its last hurrah | john harris | opinion

The Brexiteers’ belligerent nostalgia is deeply anachronistic, but powerful. The next few months will tell us whether it can surviveCan you hear it: the theme from The Great Escape, and the hum of Spitfire engines? Such is the mood music that echoes around many leading Brexiteers: men who seem to have all but forgotten the comparatively recent conflict centred on Northern Ireland but affect to be consumed by the distant stuff of Dunkirk, the blitz and VE day. Question marks still hang over how w...

we can mention the war. should we now talk about britain’s darker history? | kenan malik | opinion

The backlash against Leave.EU’s revolting tweet reveals our growing maturity‘I wonder if Kenan Malik is clear that the ‘Don’t mention the war’ episode of Fawlty Towers is intended to make fun of the British obsession with the Second World War that he criticises?” So wrote an irate John Cleese to the Independent in 1992 in response to an early op-ed of mine on British perceptions of racism in Germany. Yes, I was clear that Cleese had been satirising the British obsession – and brilliantly – but m...

györgy konrád obituary | books

Hungarian author, sociologist and essayist who was on his country’s list of forbidden authors from 1977 until 1988Over the past 30 years Hungarian fiction has firmly established itself on the map of modern European literature, with writers such as Péter Nádas, Péter Esterházy and László Krasznahorkai widely known across the world. However, the renaissance of fictional writing in Hungary had already begun in 1969 with György Konrád’s short debut novel, A Látogató, which was translated into Englis...

'the mystery must be resolved': what befell swede who saved hungarian jews? | world news

Raoul Wallenberg is thought to have saved as many as 30,000 Jews but his descendants do not know how, when or why he diedSeventy-five years after the amateur Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg embarked on his desperate mission to rescue Budapest’s Jews, his descendants still do not know how, when or why he died.This week, they are travelling to Stockholm to demand the government finally does a bit more to help them find out. Continue reading...

the populist rewriting of polish history is a warning to us all | estera flieger | opinion

Thirty years after communism ended, Poland’s past is again being manipulated for political motives, this time at a museum in GdańskPopulists treat the past like fast food: they go straight for what’s tasty and comforting for them, leaving aside the bits that might be healthier and more nutritious for all. But the honest study of history is not about making you feel good. Take the case of the second world war and how, 80 years after the invasion of Poland, a dispute in Gdańsk over a museum about ...

nazism, slavery, empire: can countries learn from national evil? | books

Moral philosopher Susan Neiman has studied how Germany came to terms with the crimes of nazism. She explains why the US and Britain should take noteWhen Susan Neiman’s German friends discovered she was working on a book called Learning from the Germans, they laughed. “They told me: ‘You cannot publish a book with that title. There’s nothing to learn from the Germans; we did too little and too late.’ And there is something paradoxical about saying: ‘Well, we committed this terrible crime, but wer...

nazi design exhibition in netherlands raises fears of glorification | world news

Visitors have been asked not to share photographs of exhibits including Arno Breker statueAn exhibition of Nazi design has opened in the Netherlands to protests and a request for visitors to the museum not to take and share photographs for fear of the exhibits being glorified on social media.The Museum of Design in Den Bosch is showcasing sculpture by Adolf Hitler’s favourite artist, Arno Breker, a 1943 VW Beetle, photos and Leni Riefenstahl films from the era, in what is being billed as the fir...

'i longed for the moment you would write': the gulag penpals whose love lasted 60 years | life and style

Vladimir was sentenced to 10 years’ hard labour. Ivanna was Prisoner 108, and his secret correspondent. She looks back on a love affair with a man she never metIn 1953, a young Ivanna Maszczak trudged through the Siberian labour camp in which she was serving a 10-year sentence. She was 28 years old, 5ft tall, and hungry. Her shoes were wet from the snow and the temperature had dropped below minus 50. Ivanna and some fellow female prisoners were being escorted by guards through the camp to begin ...

how a formidable female army assisted the biggest mass evacuation in the uk | world news

Women’s Voluntary Services helped move 1.5 million people in three days after outbreak of WW2It was the biggest mass evacuation in the UK, executed over three days, and would not have been possible without an army of women – and one in particular.Eighty years after 1.5 million children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people were displaced from cities to the safer countryside three days before Britain declared war on Germany, the scale of such a feat remains impressive. Continue reading...

the man who gave birth | news

Freddy McConnell is a Guardian journalist and trans man who in 2016 decided to begin the process of conceiving and delivering his own child. The film he made about the experience is in cinemas now. And: Andrew Rawnsley on the anniversary of the second world warGuardian journalist Freddy McConnell, 32, started taking testosterone at 25 and had “top surgery” to remove breast tissue a year later. He considered a hysterectomy, but never went through with it – partly because he had not ruled out havi...

statue of red army general under wraps in prague to stop vandals | world news

Monument has become focus of a row between the Czech capital and its Russian embassyA statue of a second world war Red Army general repeatedly targeted by vandals has been covered with a tarpaulin amid an escalating row between Czech officials and Russia’s embassy in Prague over its status.Authorities in the Czech capital’s Bubeneč district put the imposing monument honouring Marshal Ivan Konev under cover after declaring that they were no longer prepared to keep cleaning it after incessant pain...

german president asks poland for forgiveness at ww2 ceremony | world news

Frank-Walter Steinmeier makes speech at Warsaw event to mark 80 years since start of warThe German president vowed his country would never forget the atrocities of the Nazi period on Sunday as he asked forgiveness from Poland during a series of commemorative events to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the second world war.“In no other square in Europe do I find it more difficult to speak, and to address you in my native language of German ... I ask for forgiveness for Germany’s histor...

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