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Is World War II History Still Relevant?, by David Harris (AJC)

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Sept. 2, 2019


As the world marks the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, when German forces invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, is the history still relevant? Does it have contemporary meaning? Or is it destined to fade away, as the wartime generation of soldiers, eyewitnesses, and survivors reaches the twilight of their lives?

There are, I believe, five enduring lessons of this defining period in modern history.

First, a failure of imagination can be catastrophic.

That’s precisely what happened to many Western leaders during the fateful years from Adolf Hitler’s ascension to power in 1933 until 1939.

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