Sunday, April 25, 2010

Connection Across Time~WWII

After having discussed the information in the arena of World War II, including its' causes, steps to war, effects, and connection to our world today, I came across a book written by Michael Bess, Vanderbilt University's Chancellor's Professor in History and Specialist in twentieth century Europe. In his work Choices Under Fire: Moral Dimensions of World War II, Bess evaluates the Second World War and deeply describes the celebration, doubt, and complexity that surround it.

His book opens with these lines...

"When we were fleeing the burning city
And looked back from the first field path,
I said, 'Let the grass grow over our footprints,
Let the harsh prophets fall silent in the fire,
Let the dead explain to the dead what happened.
we are fated to beget a new and violent tribe
Free from the evil and the happiness that drowsed there.
Let us go'- and the earth was opened for us by a sword of flames."
- Czeslaw Miloz, Goszyce, Poland (1944)

As I read the introduction and conclusion of Bess' Book, I realized that if our country comtinues in the direction it is going during our current president's term, this generation just might live to see another World War, heaven forbid. Bess outlines his book by connecting World War II to today as he dives into our country and its' current state. The sections in his conclusion entitled "We Cannot Afford Another War Like this" and "Heroism Is Still Needed" give an overview of how if our country does not produce a strong leader with intentions of abiding by our Nations' Constitution, the United States as we know it may be altered, eventully leading to destruction. Our country cannot afford that, Bess is right, and there is still a need for a hero in a position of authority.

Nazi Mass Rallies of 1936

these pictures capture the essence of the totalitarian interpretation of dynamic modern dictatorship, as performed by Hitler. The uniformed members of the Nazi party have all willingly merged themselves into a single force as they continuously await the command and orders of the "godlike" leader. Hitler held these mass rallies as he would have people salute and hail him as the ultimate ruler of the nation.
Talk about totalitarian egocentricism.!

It is astounding to me to see just how many were apart of these Mass Rallies! I could not imagine how loudly Hitler's voice must have resounded throughout Nuremberg just to reach the ears of all Nazi Party members and supporters in unoiform. What a deception Hitler lead! so many people believed and supported him, i think it is quite a shame.  
This particular photo of one of the Nazi's Mass Rallies was taken in Nuremberg. Why Nuremberg? Well being that Nuremberg was an old city in Germany and it did become the main and central location for Nazi Party rallies including the particularly important Youth Rallies for Hitler. Nuremberg was considered to be the place for trying major war criminals, as it seemed an appropriate location for a couple reasons. not only was it in historical association with the rise of the Nazi Party, but the Palace of Justice, which contained space for a prison for defendants and courtrooms, was sufficiently intact and could be renovated for the trials.

The First Images of The Battle of Midway ~WWII

Upon researching the events including the battles and naval engagements and combats of World War II, I came across these great images of what took place during the "most significant naval engagement during WWII," as asserted by historians, The Battle of Midway fought from June 4, 1942- June7, 1942.
I think that this image is a great detailed look into the sinking of the Yorktown at the battle of Midway, as the smoke billowed from the USS Yorktown after the air attacks from the Japanese at Midway. The craft surprisingly survived three bomb hits contuing to work until it finally sunk the next day, after being attacked once again.

~*CLICK HERE! to see the first images in video form of the Battle of Midway! *~

Response To Hitler's Foreign Policy Class Activity (Mein Kampf): WWII

"You are an expert in foreign policy" that is what we were told. "It is your job to advise the new leaders of Germany." Those were our instructions for the class activity that we all participated in as we were told to read the crisis given to us and we were to use our "expertise" to chose the best policy. I thought this was a really unique and fun activity and it helped me to better understand the policies, including the ones that hitler chose, which led to the Third Reich. Hitler used endless examples of social propoganda as a way to get what he wanted across to the poeple. He wanted to indoctrinate the people of Germany, all ages, into believeing that Hitlaer was in the right, and trying to "help;" this was help at all.
It was in his book,
Mein Kampf (my struggle), where Hitler outlined his theories and program concerning his plot to sieze control of the government, which was in fact, easily crushed and poorly organized. Hitler was then sentenced to prison, (the place where he wrote Mein Kampf).

~Response to Class: The Six Steps To WWII~ "CRAMCUP!?"

During class Lecture we were introduced to the acronym "CRAMCUP," do not be fooled all you with sweet teeth, no, "cramcup" is not a creamy desert and relative to creme brulee as the word might hint to, but, it is a great acronym and tool to learning the six important steps of World War II: Conscription; Rhineland; Austria; Munich; Czecholslovokia; Ussr/Nazi Pact; Poland. I really enjoyed learning about the six steps to war this way, and about how Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister of Germany, declares war. Prior to this unit in class, I had never been exposed to that acronym nor have I ever learned about the depth of the casues, steps and effects of World War II. I enjoy this unit and it surprises me how deep the country of Japan got.
This is a picture of a bond (20 yen) issued by the Japanese Finance Ministry (1942-1943).
I researched Japan a little more outside of class
and discovered that during World War II, Japans government issued war bonds using the Japanese Finance Ministry (Okurasho), and a couple others. The proceeds of these funds were used to fund the war effort. The Start of the Great East Asia War was launched, as we know it, with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and Manila as well as the Invasion of Malaya.

Connection Across Time~ Dadaism Today!!☺☼ Gautier's Collection!!!◄

Fashion has been an essential part of people's lifes for long centuries. no one is quite sure about the time over one thousand years ago, but, who knows, maybe fashion existed even then! however, without a doubt, fashion made headway with the begining of the 20th century, the most interesting of time periods concerning fashion evolvement.
Fashion Revolution made by Coco Chanel (with her little black dress and the women suit).
Some say that fashion has always been something more than art, it has reflected, more evidently than any art, via personal emotion and real-life movements.

*Now with a background in the evolvement of fashion, let's take a look at Gautier's "Dadaism" line

Jean Paul Gautier's collection "Dadaism" greatly broadened and enhanced the borders of fashion perception. These were his new images and new combinations of usual thing. using the surreal perception, his "man object" men were dressed in sailor vests and skirts! how strange, but, no doubt, Dadaistic. Gautiers Dadaistic fashion collections are always very expressive: "Dadaism""French gigolo""immodest charm of bourgeoisie".
Jean Paul Gautier is in my mind considered to be the Salvador Dali of Fashion. His images were the most unusual, strange, and "grotesque."
today his ideas are now supplemented with mastery and experience.

"DA-DA": The Persistence of Time (Memory).

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me" - Richard II, Act v, Scn. Ii, these words by William Shakespeare pose as great example to the effects one has on time and vice-versa. These two paintings by Salvador Dali, entitled The Persistence of Time (Memory) have the unique "da-da" quality to them. "da-da" refers to the surreal dadaism technique of art, including mostly paintings along with collages and photomontages.
Dadaism had started in Europe during this time between the wars as an art movement with the number one goal to discard everything that was standard about culture. Dadaists had no common or particular point and no specific motive, there single aim was to reject all that was prevailing.
I remember when I was studying art in my middle school class and Mr. Kaufman, the eccentric art instructor, had given us a Dadaism assignment. I loved it! it was the most fun and surreal painting I have ever painted. yes, it was at the middle school level, but it still captured Salvador Dali's "da-da" characteristics.

Upon researching Dadasim, I found out that though Dadaism was primarily related to the art movement, its
 photography counterpart came via FASHION! At this time in the fashion world, Dadaist techniques helped photographers to create odd sets, along with experimenting with unique and illusive lighting arrangements.    

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Age of Anxiety: Response To Class

I was quite intrigued when we went over the powerpoint concerning Japan and her major conflicts with China. I never realized how many events took place during this time between the wars, most of them concerning Japan's idea that she was the supreme country and race. even so, Japan believed itself to to be the most dominant even over china, which I was quite surprised to learn. I have never been exposed to the history of Japan during and between the wars and so I was incredibly interested to follow in the Why? and What? of Japan and her motives. It surprises me that Japan felt superior over china! I had always thought that the two countries "got along" in a sense, but after discussing the tragic and grueling Rape of Nanking, I am forced to think otherwise. Japan had already emerged as a "Great Power" in international politics by the colse of World War I and although Japan's light industry included the secure sharing of a world market, Japan fell back to be a debtor nation during the time between the wars. I found it interesting to learn about how the ease of Japan's victory, the internal political instabilities, and the highly negative impact of the Showa Recession in 1926, literally the "period of enlightened peace" in Japanese history corresponding to the reign of emperor Hirohito (Showa), helped contribute to the rise of Japanese militarism in the late 1920's to 1930's. All this leading up to some of the worst events to take place between the wars; eventually, escalading to the attacks led to the devastating World War II!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Response to Class: The Time Between The Wars

During The Time Between The Wars Unit, I really enjoyed listening to my peers' "Age of Anxiety" topics. I enjoy hearing the information from my peers' point-of-view. It is a fun way of mixing up the learning environment, especially concerning history. Some of the topics that really stuck out to me in class presentations were those concerning literature of the time. Learning about how during this time literature also began to explode, along side of the arts! New techniques developed, one known as the "Stream of consciousness." This I learned about in my eleventh grade english class, but, it was really neat to see how that tid-bit of information had its' connection to history during the early twentieth century-The Age of Anxiety. This technique allowed the reader to explore an exact flow of the writers' mind. Writers would write just as they thought, sometimes a jumble of randomized thoughts caught on paper, sometimes a flow of a continuos thought or idea, either way it was the writers way of connecting to the reader, as if they were speaking face-to-face.
 pretty cool huh! I really enjoyed this topic, what an interesting period in history!