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sleeping_satsuma
13-04-2005, 02:50:01
to the veterans of ww2,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4438337.stm

are we ever going to stop going on about it? Everyone else in Europe seems to be over it, but we cant stop with the anniversaries and commemorations and tv specials. Its like it never ended over here.

Is it because we've contributed so little to the world since then that we feel we have to bang on about it, or is it because we like a morbid trawl through our collective memories of misery?

I find it all a bit self-aggrandising and irrelevant.

It happened, we (plural) finished it, why does Britain have to constantly re-hash it? Isn't Rememberance day enough?

Sigh :rolleyes:

Cruddy
13-04-2005, 02:57:41
Don't worry, they'll all be dead inside of 20 years.

What would you prefer? Another world war to reminsce about?

I think WW2 is a useful excuse for why the UK's in such a shit state.

JM^3
13-04-2005, 03:10:43
it's because you, like we and the russians, won it

so it is sort of big in our consciouness

JM
(we have a whole TV channel devoted to it as well as specials and other things on all te time.. I dont' know about Russia)

King_Ghidra
13-04-2005, 09:08:39
hmm, yeah, one of the most important events in the last 100 years, yeah, why bother going on about it, how silly of us :rolleyes:

definitely less important than repeats of fawlty towers or the top 100 disco tunes or somesuch :rolleyes:

:rolleyes:

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed forever to repeat it” or whatever the phrase is.

God forbid anyone should take a moment to consider a life different to their pampered little cinderella world

:rolleyes:

notyoueither
13-04-2005, 09:18:24
My thoughts are a cross between those of JM and KG.

Does that mean I'm going to hell, or I'm just confused?

Tizzy
13-04-2005, 09:24:19
Yes

notyoueither
13-04-2005, 09:28:30
Thank you, Ambassador Kosh.

Gary
13-04-2005, 09:34:13
I've seen the films. It's the Americans that won it all.

sleeping_satsuma
13-04-2005, 10:27:18
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
hmm, yeah, one of the most important events in the last 100 years, yeah, why bother going on about it, how silly of us :rolleyes:

definitely less important than repeats of fawlty towers or the top 100 disco tunes or somesuch :rolleyes:

:rolleyes:

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed forever to repeat it” or whatever the phrase is.

God forbid anyone should take a moment to consider a life different to their pampered little cinderella world

:rolleyes:

Don't be such an utter twat KG, what I am saying has nothing to do with preferring to listen to disco tunes, or 'taking a moment' to look outside my or anyone else's life, and I dont need you to judge me thanks.

I have nothing but respect for the veterans and the achievements of WW2, as you know DH is in the forces, and as you may not know my Grandad was in the RAF in WW2 (and indeed my whole maternal family in London during the Blitz) so I have as reasonable a perspective as anyone of my age on the events and sacrifices made, and those that continue to be made in defence of this country. I shouldnt even have to explain that, as I have made my respect for the forces etc clear on many occasions on this site and the purpose of my question was clear, but seeing as this is CG and one must constantly define everything as though we were on a school debating team -

I am questioning the obsessive ploughing over of this event by our country. We must go through 10 or more anniversaries a year. I've counted 3 or perhaps 4 this year so far. I am asking what that says about us? The world has moved on in the last 60 years and I think it shows a rather morbid or dogmatic obsession with the past, and what many consider to be Britain's finest hour. There are non stop cable programmes about every tiny aspect of it, and commemorations all over the place. I don't think these are done for the benefit of learning lessons either, I think they're done for nostalgia, and the bizarre sense that somehow things were better then, that Britain was better. We act as though it just happened. In general I think this country loves to look backwards and moan about how the country has gone to the dogs etc, but this WW2 thing is really noticeable. Europeans don't seem to do this, they just accept it and get on with their lives, and in many obvious ways it touched them more.

WW1 was also one of the most important events of the last 100 years, and many more men died and in what some might say are far worse circumstances but you dont get people commemorating every 5 minutes of that, or referring to it as the good old days.

I just don't get what the particular resonance of WW2 is to Britain, and why its captured our hearts/imaginations more than anything else in the last 100 years. My personal theory is that its because we have 'won' very little of significance since, and our world contribution has become significantly diluted so we look to WW2 as the last recent example of greatness and perhaps of control in the world, a kind of benign Empire, but I'd like to hear what other people think without being accused of being a pampered princess :rolleyes:

Funko
13-04-2005, 10:35:25
3 or 4 this year already? I don't remember any or haven't noticed them if there've been some. Last thing was remembrance day last year but that's not just WWII that's for all wars.

I didn't even know there was one now. What is it the 60th anniversary of VE day? Isn't that in the summer sometime? (reads link) oh. Yes. 60th Anniversary, probably the last big celebration the vets will be alive for.... good idea.

Drekkus
13-04-2005, 10:39:09
So when were you outside of England last?? Maybe you should a bit closer to other countries. WWII remembrance is still a big event in other European countries as well. In Holland we have a remembrance day for the dead on May 4, Liberation day on May 5, and all sorts of other festivities. In Belgium they still remember WW I every single DAY at Ieper.

mr.G
13-04-2005, 10:43:13
Originally posted by Drekkus
Liberation day on May 5........ dammit i thought that was saint Drekkus' day

Dyl Ulenspiegel
13-04-2005, 10:44:45
We remember the 30 year war.

mr.G
13-04-2005, 10:48:02
Is it still on?

Drekkus
13-04-2005, 10:51:00
Originally posted by mr.G
dammit i thought that was saint Drekkus' day it is, it is. I'm your Liberator.

mr.G
13-04-2005, 10:53:27
yaaaaay

heil Drekkus
heil Drekkus

Dyl Ulenspiegel
13-04-2005, 10:56:52
Originally posted by mr.G
Is it still on?

We're in a pause now. Why?

Drekkus
13-04-2005, 10:58:25
Originally posted by Dyl Ulenspiegel
We remember the 30 year war. Do you celebrate the Ausschluss from Bayern?

Funko
13-04-2005, 11:00:24
I was waiting for the Europeans but my impression's always been that all the other European countries still had big memorials too.

Dyl Ulenspiegel
13-04-2005, 11:00:42
" Do you celebrate the Ausschluss from Bayern?"

We celebrated 1000 years of that in 1996.

Drekkus
13-04-2005, 11:07:13
Originally posted by Funko
I was waiting for the Europeans but my impression's always been that all the other European countries still had big memorials too. May 5 is a national holiday here.

King_Ghidra
13-04-2005, 11:09:22
Originally posted by sleeping_satsuma
Don't be such an utter twat KG, what I am saying has nothing to do with preferring to listen to disco tunes, or 'taking a moment' to look outside my or anyone else's life, and I dont need you to judge me thanks.

looking at other people's posts on this subject it would seem to indicate that you do need to understand a bit more about the world, rather than forming your parochial view that ww2 is a peculiarly british obsession

it might satisfy your notion of what modern britain is by contextualising attitudes to ww2 as part of a faded nation's memories of glory, but for many people ww2 (and other such events) are living lessons of terrible mistakes of the past. It's all very well saying how much you respect the efforts of those who fought and 'those who also served' in ww2, but without the 'continual ploughing up' as you so sensitively put it, what is the value of that memory or the risk that it will fade?

Nills Lagerbaak
13-04-2005, 11:15:00
It doesn't seem to matter how often peoples' memories are refreshed. Countries still go to war, we still help invade soverign nations.

Beta1
13-04-2005, 11:27:48
I think the reason theres been more WW2 events in the last couple of years is simply that we have reached the 60th anniversary of most of them. Its also the point where most of the people who took part in the actions are reaching ages where most that are still alive can no longer travel. I think its approprate to have these things still. In the case of WW1 there are so few people who lived through it that it has dropped from sight. I suspect in we will be having similar things for the falklands when the anniversaries come round.

Somehow I suspect there wont be so many for the latest adventure.

Scabrous Birdseed
13-04-2005, 11:44:13
I do think she's right that it's out of proportion compared to every other war in history. It's also very definately particularly british - I've not seen the same obsession anywhere else. I mean, you've got a channel that's transmits so many documentaries about the Nazis it's nicknamed "Channel Fünf", surely something is awry?

Funko
13-04-2005, 11:45:51
I've never heard that before. :confused:

Drekkus
13-04-2005, 11:48:36
I can imagine WW II remembrance is slightly less important in Sweden.

protein
13-04-2005, 12:15:55
I've never heard of it either.

sleeping_satsuma
13-04-2005, 13:21:01
KG, I think you are being extraordinarily patronising. I work in a multilingual/multicultural office and live with a french girl (who thinks we're obsessed with too, although she comes from Dunquerque so its probably in her face more than most), and for most of my time at uni it was the running joke that I never lived with Brits. I havent travelled extensively but I've certainly been friends with many Europeans in my time, and still am, so I probably have as good an idea as anyone who thinks they have wordly knowledge because they've been on a few foreign holidays.

I am not disputing the big memorial ceremonies or the need to remember, I do however think the British are particularly obsessed with WW2 and the sheer volume of documentaries, news articles, commemorations etc is testament to that. You may not agree, but please don't tell me I need to learn more as a way of dismissing my argument.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,2763,843298,00.html

Interesting article illustrating some of what I am referring to.

http://hnn.us/comments/6407.html

And another

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1531591,00.html

And another (all relating specifically to germany and our obsession with Nazism, and particular historical focus on Nazism)

MoSe
13-04-2005, 13:21:36
I confess my crass ignorance (or at least, very superficial knowledge) about national celebrations and recurrences of such kind.

Seeing as how we LOST WWII, the way we look at it might be a little different than the rest of Europe.
Except a very few "nostalgics", most Italians feel as if "the fascist regime" lost the war, and our fathers were only forced to fight in it by the regime...
Actually, in July or August'43 Italy rejected the regime and the alliance with the Nazis, surrendered unconditionally and then signed an armistice. At the beginning of September Mussolini escaped and went on to found a Fascist Republic with the few who didn't want to surrender, but formally the State became non-belligerant (I think so) and under German *occupation*.

So, as far as WWII commemorations go, we celebrate the "Liberation", by US and allied forces from the German occupation, on April 25th.
I frankly tho can't recall right now :o :cute: whether for instance the President of the Republic (Ciampi, NOT Berlusconi who's still just PM for now) honors the memory of the Unknown Soldier in that occasion, or during the "Festa della Repubblica" on June 2nd (celebrating the choice of republican form of state over monarchy in '46). We can often see references to those who fell under the Nazi wrath in lagers, but afaik we don't have an all-out organised celebration for victims or events *during* the course of WWII.

MDA
13-04-2005, 13:26:28
Originally posted by notyoueither
Thank you, Ambassador Kosh.

...and so it begins.


AGAIN.

zmama
13-04-2005, 13:29:05
Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
I do think she's right that it's out of proportion compared to every other war in history. It's also very definately particularly british - I've not seen the same obsession anywhere else. I mean, you've got a channel that's transmits so many documentaries about the Nazis it's nicknamed "Channel Fünf", surely something is awry?

I dispute particularly british. WWII is still a big big deal here too. And the emphasis now, in public celebrations, is honoring the vets while they still live (being in their 80's and 90's)

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
13-04-2005, 18:05:39
Not to mention the number of Discovery Channels they dedicate to it here.

KrazyHorse@home
13-04-2005, 18:31:31
Originally posted by Drekkus
I can imagine WW II remembrance is slightly less important in Sweden.

:lol:

MOBIUS
13-04-2005, 18:55:55
I agree with AH.

I mean everytime I have a birthday I am forced to be reminded of Britain's Anzac Day fuckups - and now I've found out that my birthday is also Italian Liberation Day!

When will it all end!?

GRRRR!

:cute:

Provost Harrison
13-04-2005, 19:00:56
Many a tragedy happened on my birthday - Battle of Little Bighorn, start of the Korean War and Windows 98 was released :p

MOBIUS
13-04-2005, 19:02:40
The Guillotine was also first used on mine:)

MOBIUS
13-04-2005, 19:06:34
April 25 (http://www.answers.com/topic/april-25)

1997 - Volcano opens in theaters, starring Tommy Lee Jones. :D

The Shaker
13-04-2005, 19:11:13
Originally posted by sleeping_satsuma


I am not disputing the big memorial ceremonies or the need to remember, I do however think the British are particularly obsessed with WW2 and the sheer volume of documentaries, news articles, commemorations etc is testament to that. You may not agree, but please don't tell me I need to learn more as a way of dismissing my argument.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/article/0,2763,843298,00.html

Interesting article illustrating some of what I am referring to.

http://hnn.us/comments/6407.html

And another

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1531591,00.html

And another (all relating specifically to germany and our obsession with Nazism, and particular historical focus on Nazism)

That all seems more aimed at BNP attitudes than the general population.

Is this true?
Certainly we have more media than we used to, so more stuff on TV, etc will be dedicated to ww2. Also you have more chances to encounter these thing as a result.
I few articles and memorials is hardly that obsesion though.
You probably wouldn't even be aware of the dover thing if you hadn't seen it on the internet.


Obsession would be camping down in london streets and bawling cos some dozy tart got in a car crash.

Obsession is hardly the word to use for something done by the British Legion either. It's like saying that BT are obsessed with phones.


self-aggrandising and irrelevant is what you should tell the people whos friends and family died.

KrazyHorse@home
13-04-2005, 19:11:46
January 30, from what I can recall:

Beheading of Charles 1
FDR born
Hitler becomes Chancellor
Gandhi assassinated
Tet offensive begins
Bloody Sunday

The Shaker
13-04-2005, 19:12:58
Not only do i share a birthday with Alexander the great,
but ...

1954 - New Zealand's Special Committee on Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents reports just ten days after concluding hearings.


woo hoo.. :bounce:

MDA
13-04-2005, 19:19:03
That's a very cool site.

August 1, 1774 - Oxygen was discovered

What the hell were we breathing before 1774?

Germany declares war on Russia - WWI

First broadcasts on MTV!!!

MOBIUS
13-04-2005, 19:19:54
Wow, all that happened in 1774!?:eek:

MOBIUS
13-04-2005, 19:25:28
1983 - American schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war. (http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?method=4&dsid=2222&dekey=Samantha+Smith&gwp=8&curtab=2222_1)

Dear Mr. Andropov,

My name is Samantha Smith. I am ten years old. Congratulations on your new job. I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight.
Sincerely,

Samantha Smith

What a cool birthday I have!:D

MDA
13-04-2005, 19:32:54
That is cool.

I remember seeing the Doomsday Clock on the news as a kid and totally freaking out.

Lazarus and the Gimp
13-04-2005, 20:05:38
About half the world's nations became officially independent on my birthday. I sneer at symbolism.

Provost Harrison
13-04-2005, 20:20:09
Mozambique became independent on my birthday...

MOBIUS
13-04-2005, 20:26:26
Not Burkino Faso then?;)

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
13-04-2005, 20:57:28
Space Shuttle Columbia blew up on one of my birthdays... :(

zmama
14-04-2005, 05:22:05
October 13

1943 - World War II: The new government of Italy sides with the Allies and declares war on Germany.

YAY!!!

zmama
14-04-2005, 05:22:51
1995 - Microsoft releases Windows 95.

BOOOOOOO!

Sir Penguin
14-04-2005, 06:22:40
The most interesting thing that happened on my birthday was I was born. :(

SP

Funko
14-04-2005, 09:50:29
WOO HOO!

1781 - American Revolutionary War: Richmond, Virginia is burned by British naval forces led by Benedict Arnold.

Lets see if anyone can read who I share my birthday with without laughing...


1855 - King Camp Gillette, American inventor (d. 1932)

Tizzy
14-04-2005, 10:19:23
Nope :lol:

I've got a keyring with interesting things that happened on my birthday. Only it's at home :(

Funko
14-04-2005, 10:22:00
Hey, you share your birthday with the Karate Kid! (well Ralph Macchio)

notyoueither
14-04-2005, 10:25:45
On my birthday...

The Roman Empire in the west fell, for the last time.

The Third republic was declared.

Geronimo surrendered to federal troops.

Oh, and Albert Schweitzer died.

All in all not a great harbringer, is it?

Drekkus
14-04-2005, 10:36:50
I share my birthday with Michael Palin! Someone almost as funny as me. :beer:

MoSe
14-04-2005, 13:54:46
Originally posted by MOBIUS
April 25 (http://www.answers.com/topic/april-25)

Really? Ihad never checked your profile...
well, you can come to Italy, and you'll have a national holiday on your BD, the liberation from nazi oppressors!
:)

MoSe
14-04-2005, 13:58:09
On my BD:

1783: first untethered hot air balloon flight :cute:
1969: first ARPANET link established

MoSe
14-04-2005, 14:00:37
Originally posted by Drekkus
I share my birthday with Michael Palin! Someone almost as funny as me. :beer:

hmmm....
I share mine with Magritte :) :love:
and then with Harold Ramis, Goldie Hawn, Björk :hmm:

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
14-04-2005, 15:00:15
Ooooh, I share a birthday with such winners as:

Boris Yeltsin 1931
Sherilynn Fenn 1965
Princess Stephanie (Monaco) 1965
Lisa Marie Presley 1968
Pauly Shore 1970

That last one I'm particularly unhappy with :(

Lurker
14-04-2005, 15:01:26
He had his 15 minutes, I guess, and disappeared.

MDA
14-04-2005, 15:24:45
His mommy got him the 15 minutes, I think.