Dr Ludivine Broch, Senior Lecturer in History, was interview on Sky News about the 80th anniversary of the second world war and its contemporary political significance.
Describing the events that happened during the outbreak of WW2, Dr Broch said: “By 1938, during the Munich agreement, people were starting to suspect that war will break out. In the summer of 1939 things were accelerating. On the 1st of September the Germans invaded Poland and started what was an excruciating occupation of the region and two days later France and Britain committed to the war and it’s the beginning of the Second World War.”
She also highlighted that the Second World War is still in living memory, adding that often a contemporary political message becomes part of these commemorations. She said: “Anniversaries veer away from being about history, mourning and historical reflection and go towards being only very presentist and manipulative in some way.”
Discussing current political events surrounding the anniversary, Dr Broch spoke about Russian leader Vladimir Putin not being invited to Poland’s commemorations. She said: “Putin’s absence is obviously very controversial. We have to reflect on these things critically and be aware that we also need historical depth amidst the theatrics of commemoration.”
Finally, talking about the lessons that can be learned from the Second World War, Ludivine said: “The big lessons are the fight for democracy and human rights because Holocaust memories come into the public arena in a massive way.
“We use it to discuss lessons of inclusion, the importance of avoiding oppression of specific minority groups. It is such an important story that needs to be told, but it’s also told within a contemporary political context, and we can’t disassociate this.”