wandering off the track a bit

Sandra and I are off on a bit of an unexpected topic. We’re watching World War II in HD Colour on Canadian Netflix. WWII is a very troubling topic and I’m a total wimp when it comes to anything that plumbs the depths of humanity’s capacity to be horrible. I read the description of the plot of “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and that alone was enough to set me weeping. This series of documentaries, however, focuses on the tactics and the events. It is informative and balanced. We’re 9 episodes into the 13 and really enjoying it.

Part of why we’re homeschooling is to raise citizens rather than consumers. I believe that understanding 20th C history is an essential part of understanding modernity, understanding decisions in a global setting, and understanding the huge trends and tensions of our world. I’m very pleased with the contributions this series is making toward that goal.

I’m reading How the Girl Guides Won the War at the same time, an unexpected glimpse into the war. Girl Guides and Brownies formed a kind of trained and eager backbone for England during WWII, not to mention Poland, China, and many other countries. They were organized, dependable, and skilled in all sorts of areas from cooking over a fire (think of the Blitz and the destroyed houses) to Morse code. The author has unearthed all sorts of anecdotes and voices to bring the varied experiences to life.

I’m even thinking I might be ready to read “Anne Frank’s Diary”. The idea of reading it has always intimidated me. I worry my heart will break. What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “wandering off the track a bit

  1. germfinnchick says:

    the good thing about WW2 is that it is endlessly fascinating. There are so many topics you can read and read about and later on discover you’ve only scratched the surface. I thought the boy in the striped pajamas was horrible though, there are so many autobiographies you can read instead. “Four Perfect Pebbles” is a good one.

  2. hornblower says:

    We just watched that series earlier this year. It’s a good one! I’ve read Anne Frank but the kids haven’t & I didn’t assign it this spring. Then we had a quick trip to Poland & I had to make a decision about visiting the concentration camp where my grandfather died… & I decided against it. I felt like a wimp but it was supposed to be a fun holiday & that seemed like such a downer… As it is, we saw a fair bit of war stuff there – you can’t get away from it. It’s hard to know how much we *have* to know & how close we have to be to it. Anyway, I decided sometimes it’s ok to protect ourselves & just let ourselves be happy & to exclude tragedy and horror.

  3. Passerby says:

    A little random, but I loved the book Blitz Cat. It’s written for a much younger audience in mind, but I thought it really delved into life during the war for a lot of different people.

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