World War II: Making up stories
|December 7, 2012||Posted by Dan Clayton under In the news|
The BBC’s Robin Lustig announced yesterday that next Monday will be the 70th anniversary of ‘one of the most significant and least know international declarations ever made’. Was this the declaration of independence by some obscure colony? No, this was a statement agreed by the Allied governments of Britain, the US, the Soviet Union, in which they condemned the German Nazis for their ‘appalling brutality’ and ‘bloody cruelties’ towards the Jews of Europe.
The statement was read out in the House of Commons on 17 December 1942.
What the BBC didn’t ask is why this ‘significant’ declaration was made only in 1942, over two years after the start of the war – a global war which was fought in North Africa and Asia, and included India, the Middle East and other colonial areas under British and European rule.
And Professor Jean Seaton of the University of Westminster struggled to explain why the declaration was then swiftly dropped and ‘put under the carpet’.
So what was the Second World War all about?
In a recent debate at Sheffield University, authors and academics took part in a discussion about some of the myths of the Second World War.
Above is the contribution by James Heartfield, author of a new ‘Unpatriotic History of the Second World War’, who forthrightly rejects the notion that it was a ‘people’s war’ against dictatorships or facism.
The full debate can be seen at www.sheffieldsalon.org.uk/category/previous-events/