war AND PEACE
remembering victory day
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of the Axis powers and a closing of the Second World War. The lasting impacts of the war are manifold and continue to affect the world around us. The Allies, and above all the Soviet Union, had bled their countries of material, capital, and their citizens and colonial subjects to secure the costly victory against fascism. In the days, months, years following the end of the war, most of these events left disastrous marks on many people—recolonization, imperialism, the Cold War, and so on. Yet it was not like the Great War fought twenty years prior, where disillusionment hovered like a dark cloud above the world despite the dream of a Wilsonian world order. In the heady days of peace for a brief, fleeting moment in history, euphoria reigned in the Victorious Power nations, and possibilities seemed endless in spaces separated from the machinations of statesmen and bureaucrats.
In the confusing times we live in now, we should take some time to remember the ideas of what we fought for 75 years ago, separated from the nationalist discourse of the post-war and Cold War. Self-determination, equal access to resources, social welfare, and a freedom from want and fear. These are all ideas that failed to be realized when they were again corrupted by imperialism and elitism. But it is not too late to save them from the dustbin of history. So this special anniversary of the end of the war, we invite each of you to take a moment to celebrate the triumph of those ideas and the possibilities they represented. Think about caring for those around you, and the sacrifices made by many in the hope of making the world a better place.
Robert Boucher, MHist
IFWF invites all individuals to share their personal experiences about their homelands both in times of war and peace to help revise the collective memory of historical events. Localizing and contextualizing those experiences provides a service to all, especially those whose only experience with war-zones comes from media news reels. The War and Peace Project looks to re-insert the human elements back into conflicts that have worked so hard to dehumanize.
For many, war and the experiences of war have come to define a person’s or a people’s identity. However, this is a very one-dimensional identity. As such, we also would like you to focus on the other elements that define you and your people. What memories from happier times, what songs, stories, and images resonate and symbolize your people the best?
Please compose a text 1000 words in your native language or in English. If you have any images you would like included, please attach those as well. Include your name, country of residence or former country of residence, and as always—please be respectful to others. You may submit your articles to us through one of our social media pages or directly through email. We will review them and you will be able to find your stories published through our website. Our scholars and researchers will also work hard to provide meaningful context when possible to your story. We would love to hear from you and good luck!