Professor Karin Mika has published an article, “Stories Lived, Stories Told: The Significance of Survivor Stories in our Populist World,” in the International Journal of Arts, Humanity, and Social Sciences. The link to the publication is here: https://ijahss.net/archives/17, and a pdf is here: https://ijahss.net/assets/files/1623446847.pdf
Here is the article’s abstract:
Although all stories of all our ancestors have significance, the stories of World War II have particular relevance in terms of understanding the mentality that has resulted in what seems to be blatant hatred for “the other.” All history, and especially the history that leads to the hatred causing wars, is significant; however, World War II has a particular unique significance related to the United States as we currently know it. It was the defining event of the Twentieth Century in terms of the values that many have embraced as particularly American (e.g., work ethic, coming together in patriotism, and a “fierce defense of freedom of democratic institutions”). It was also the defining mind-set of those who now are considered part of the Baby Boomer generation. Sadly, the world, which has never been free from war, is seeing a resurgence in the type of hatred that resulted in the existence of Hitler. This may be cyclical in nature for the very reason that the survivors and their stories are now leaving us. Not letting their stories go with them might give us our last and best chance to make sure that the worst that comes from extremist populism does not happen again, or is at least hindered.
Your rendition of family, social, and political history is a frightening and enlightening work. The lesson that the horrors inflicted in World War II grew from the willingness of people and nations to engage in both novel and traditional hatreds, and that those hatreds still exist, is a warning to all of us today.
Thank you for writing this, and for putting so much of yourself into it.