Just over a month ago I was in Washington DC, where I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was one of the attractions I was really excited to see. The memorial is on the National Mall and thus part of the open-air timeline of American history, together with the many other monuments and the Smithsonian museums. But the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is in a league of its own, especially when compared to the nearby World War II memorial. As it turns out, war memorials designed and/or sculpted by women are few and far between. I wonder why?
Earlier this week, I came across an online documentary in parts made by de Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper. It’s called Generatie Poetin (‘Generation Putin’) and was made for the occasion of the FIFA World Cup; each episode takes place in one of the playing cities. It’s about young people in Russia today: those who were born during Putin’s regime and are now old enough to vote in the upcoming election. There was one fragment that struck me. It was about a girl in her twenties called Nastja. As a volunteer, she exhumes the graves of German and Russian soldiers on the plains near Stalingrad, modern-day Volgograd, which in 1942 became the stage for the biggest and bloodiest battle of the European theatre of WWII.
I’m not sure if the English subtitles on Youtube work for everyone, so I’ve provided a transcript below just in case.
I am not Jewish, which is why I – and people around me – often wonder why I have such a strong interest in the Holocaust, a part of history that has nothing to do with me directly. But I have always been interested in … Continue reading Re:member – Talking to women about war
When I put out a request for unusual stories about the war two weeks ago, I was contacted almost immediately by Marine Hannon, who wanted to share a very special story about her connection to the war and those who fought in it. Though her story has already been covered online (link) (link), I wanted to interview her and hear her thoughts about what it’s like being a young woman for whom the Second World War still very much dominates the present. Marine grew up with a clear idea of the war as an antecedent to her own life, not just something that happened a long time ago, but an event that made the world what it is today and continues to touch millions of lives. Her parents were very serious about the duty of memory and making their children realise how lucky they were to be free.
Hello and welcome to The Re:war Project, an online platform about the Second World War and the culture surrounding it. Re:war aims to rewind, rethink and respond to the war and the ways in which we interact with it today, to educate those in the present about little known facts and ideas about the conflict, and to give a spotlight to anyone who doesn’t consider themselves the ‘target audience’ of war media. But first, let me tell you a little bit about how I got this idea.