I love history.
I loved learning all about the history of the Czech Republic when I was at school. That’s when I learned all about the Prague Uprising. Everyone at school was taught about it. So it seems strange to me that Abbey didn’t know about it. But then, she probably knows interesting pieces of history from England that I was never taught. It seems we’re all taught a version of history. History from the perspective of which side your county was on.
Doesn’t it seem odd that something as factual as history can be subjective? The second world war was the most global war in history. It involved over 30 countries and over 100 million people. It was also the deadliest war, with around 80 million people dying. These are the facts. These are the figures. But they are not the war.
The event itself was on a global scale, but the story of the war was on a personal one. The wife kissing her husband goodbye. The sister trying to keep her siblings warm through the winter. The soldier crying into his helmet, hundreds of miles from home. The teenage boy working in the factory, making bullets. The mother waving off her darlings towards uncertain safety. The pilot making the most devastating decision of his life. The Jewish teenager, writing diaries in the attic. The mother waiting at the station for her sons to come home. The sirens. The smells. The fear. The struggle. The truth. It’s only the personal story of this dreadful event that teaches us why we should never go there again.
They say history repeats itself. Well, that’s not hard to imagine if we’re just looking at the facts and figures. But when we hear the stories that made up the war, we know that we must avoid another at all cost. It is the story we learn from.
There aren’t that many people living now that went through this huge event. And their stories will soon be gone. We need to hear them and record them so we never forget the truth. The personal story. His Story. Or Hers.
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