Explaining Auschwitz and Hiroshima: History Writing and the by R. Bosworth

By R. Bosworth

Explores the way the most combatant societies of the second one global warfare have historicised that have. Bosworth argues that the irritating background of the warfare has remained the most important to the politics of post-war societies.

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Extra resources for Explaining Auschwitz and Hiroshima: History Writing and the Second World War, 1945-1990 (The New International History)

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Unlike such Jewish Marxist historians as Eric Hobsbawm or Isaac Deutscher, 56 Namier had rejected internationalism, but he had not found satisfaction in Ruthenian or Polish or English or British or even Israeli nationality. 57 And yet Namier had won a sort of sanctuary in Britain (especially within the culture of the great landed families of the eighteenth century about which he had written at such length and with such admiration). The British model of so-called ‘territorial nationalism’ did not, he opined, carry the evils present in the nationalisms of Eastern Europe.

It was ‘British opinion’, no longer ‘divided and irresolute’ as it had been at Munich, he has asserted, which decided to combat ‘Hitler’. 3 This ‘opinion’ saw things 31 EXPLAINING AUSCHWITZ AND HIROSHIMA more clearly and accurately than did members of the government. ’ 4 Britain, and Britain alone, had entered the Second World War as ‘People’s war’, for justice and democracy abroad and at home. It may be that Watt has a case. Few, at least, would gainsay Britain’s special contribution to defeating Nazism, especially between the summers of 1940 and 1941 when, of the major Powers, Britain fought on alone.

53 Eighteen months later, he declared gloomily that capitalism was finished and that he had been left to hope that the upheaval would not be too vast so that at least ‘culture’ could survive. 54 He had never ceased to warn that Eastern European peasants might get out of hand and he remained a critic of the Soviet regime, which, much to his disgust, would, after 1945, sequester the Namier family estates. 55 Namier, then, seemed to be someone whose curriculum vitae would make him a visceral opponent of the nation state.

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