Nazi Death Camps

Nazi Death Camps

The name Auschwitz , referring  to a network of concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland, evokes the memory of the holocaust, one of the most evil episodes in history. Auschwitz I was constructed to meet the influx of Polish political prisoners in May 1940....

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It’s Everybody’s War

It’s Everybody’s War

With patriotic music and narration by Henry Fonda, this short subject about the home front in 1942 is fascinating. The Pearl Harbor attack was  "stab in the back by an enemy we had tried to help." The fall of Corregidor brought the grim reality of war to America. Now...

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Youth in the Third Reich

Youth in the Third Reich

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVUAIPMsZ60 After gaining control of the government in the early 1930s, the Nazis radically altered Germany's educational system. History was re-written along the intolerant lines of Aryan beliefs. Old texts, non-conforming...

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Japanese Women – War Effort

Japanese Women – War Effort

With early 20th century industrialization, many poor or unwed Japanese women worked in silk, textile, and weaving factories. Once married, however, women were expected to stop working for wages. Most worked without pay in agriculture. At war from 1937-1945, the lives...

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Home Front Oregon

Home Front Oregon

August 1942 In the first six months of 1942, Japanese forces, seasoned by a decade of war in China, swept across the Western Pacific. In Oregon, Coast Guard patrols and barbed wire fences criss-crossed ocean beaches. Reeling, the American military regrouped as war...

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The Enemy Japan

The Enemy Japan

This propaganda film with former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Joseph Grew narrating,  was produced in 1942 by the U.S. Navy.

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▶ German Newsreel

▶ German Newsreel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3MHIvUuJQ8 German proficiency is not necessary to understand this newsreel of German troops on the winter front, British & American POWS,  and German families at home at Christmas 1942.  

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To Parents in Wartime

To Parents in Wartime

The United States Children's Bureau, created in 1912, was the first national governmental office in the world focusing solely on the well-being of children and their mothers. Throughout WWII, the Children's Bureau promoted the well-being of...

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HEIMAT

HEIMAT

This excellent 11-part mini-series, filmed for German television in 1984, relates the stories of people living in a small village in the Hunsrück Rhineland-Palatinate region of  Germany through the years 1919-1982. The series follows the citizens of the fictional...

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Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

As the mother of four sons on active duty, the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt became an important symbol of patriotism during WWII.  She insisted that the White House practice the same food and gas rationing system as the rest of the country, participated in air raid...

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Eugenics – Not Just Nazi Germany

Eugenics – Not Just Nazi Germany

This 1936 Nazi propaganda poster saying "We do not stand alone," shows a  woman with a baby and a man holding a shield inscribed with the 1933 Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring (mandating compulsory sterilization). Behind the couple is a map of...

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America’s Teenager Archie

America’s Teenager Archie

The fictional "Riverdale" teenagers Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead, reportedly based on real people John L. Goldwater  met in his travels through the Midwest, who debuted in the winter of 1942, are still being read today.  

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Japanese American Relocation

Japanese American Relocation

In February 1942 FDR signed Executive Order 9066  authorizing the military to “prescribe military areas . . . from which any or all persons may be excluded...  for protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense...

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A Child Dreams of Battle

A Child Dreams of Battle

  In this 1915 German children's book the child has just awakened. He tells his mother "I was just in the field and killed all the enemy in some great battle." She smiles and tells him it was just a dream. But he can hardly grasp that all that beauty was just a...

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Kabei – Our Mother

Kabei – Our Mother

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BrRQ7aRoug KABEI (our mother) In this beautiful, touching movie set during the rise of ultranationalism,  a mother holds her family together after her husband is jailed for dissident scholarship.

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The Only Son

The Only Son

Ozu Ojiro's lyrical film The Only Son, unfolding in 1923, 1935 and 1936, depicts the contrast between rural and urban Japanese life. An ironic view of failed ambition, the film focuses on the relationship between a rural widowed mother who labored to get her son an...

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Birth Control in Japan

Birth Control in Japan

  In 1937, the women's rights activist Shidzue Katō  opened a birth-control clinic in Tokyo with Margaret Sanger as the guest of honor. Soon, along with about five hundred left-wing men, Shidzue was arrested by the Tokkō (Special Higher Police) and the clinic was...

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Birth Control – USA

Birth Control – USA

Anti-birth control laws originating in 1873 with the Comstock Act, had their first legal challenge with Margaret Sanger’s  arrest in 1916 for opening a birth control clinic. The 1918 Crane decision allowed women to use birth control for therapeutic purposes. In 1936,...

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Japanese-American Immigration

Japanese-American Immigration

After years of isolation, immigration from Japan was legalized in 1885 and about 1000 people left Japan to perform contracted work on sugar plantations in Hawaii. Although contract immigration was prohibited in the mainland United States, many "free immigrants"...

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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

In honor of various goddesses,  ancient Greeks and Romans celebrated mothers on a special day, as did Christians (during  Lent in honor of Mother Mary). The holiday became known in England as  Mothering Sunday. In the United States, the designation of a...

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Boy’s Festival Day

Boy’s Festival Day

日本語: 五月人形の段飾り - 1935; Wikimedia Commons Boy's festival Day, Tango no Sekku, is an ancient Japanese tradition celebrating boys on the 5th day of the 5th month (May 5).  Families with boys fly carp-shaped streamers as symbols of strength and success, and  inside homes,...

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Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovndTa7hQDE The historian Frederick Lewis Allen called 1932 the "cruelest year of the Great Depression." - Unemployed in USA ~ 12.5 million - One million transients on the move - Breadlines & beggars in unprecedented numbers

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Coney Island

Coney Island

In contrast with Japan's graceful homogeneity, American culture was diverse and comparatively unrefined .  

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