World War 2

  • Untangling Fact and Fiction in the Story of a Nazi-Era Brothel

    Kitty Schmidt's Berlin brothel has been the subject of lurid speculation that its owner was forced by the Nazis to spy on her clients for evidence of subversion and disloyalty. A new book tries to untangle the more complicated history of commercial sex in the Weimar and Nazi eras, but struggles against the pervasiveness of myth. 

  • Jared McBride Sheds Light on the Darker Parts of Ukraine's History

    by James Thornton Harris

    The issue of Ukrainian collaboration with Nazi genocide has been a propaganda point in the war with Russia. Historian Jared McBride talks about the complexities of ethnic violence and the complications of archival research in Russia and eastern Europe. 

  • The Forgotten History of Japanese Internment in Hawaii

    by Olivia Tasevski

    Although Hawaii is associated with the United States being victimized by foreign attack, the history of internment of Japanese Americans on the islands should also remind us of the U.S. government's human rights abuses. 

  • Cash Reparations to Japanese Internees Helped Rebuild Autonomy and Dignity

    by Morgan Ome

    Many recent proposals for African American reparations prescribe particular uses for compensation, such as securing housing. But the lesson of the $20,000 payments made to Japanese-American internees and their descendants is that restoring dignity and autonomy means letting recipients decide how to spend any payment for themselves. 

  • Was "Passive Resistance" to the Nazis Enough?

    Burkhard Bilger's memoir "Fatherland" examines how his family dealt with the reality that his grandfather had been a Nazi party chief in his Alsace hometown—but not, apparently, a very effective one. 

  • Travel Was a Driver of Eleanor Roosevelt's Leadership

    by Shannon McKenna Schmidt

    Eleanor Roosevelt's leadership on behalf of the New Deal and the national war effort were always enhanced by her enthusiasm for travel, which culminated in a 25,000 mile journey to the Pacific theater in August, 1943. 

  • Review: Fluorescent Foxes and Other Outrageous Projects of WWII Espionage

    Stanley Lovell, believed to the the inspiration for "Q" in the James Bond stories, was the mastermind of the most outrageous efforts at psychological warfare and deception for the precursor agency to the CIA – including painting foxes with radium to resemble kitsune, shinto harbingers of doom. 

  • Can Japan-Korea Relations Resolve Historical Disputes?

    The government of South Korea has dropped its demand for Japanese companies to pay victims of forced labor during World War II. Many Koreans have called the concession a national humiliation, and some surviving victims say they won't accept compensation from Korean sources. 

  • America Fought Its Own Battle Over Books Before it Fought the Nazis

    by Brianna Labuskes

    The Armed Services Editions paperback books were wildly popular among World War II servicemembers. But they became symbols of American freedom to read in the war against fascism only after a bitter domestic battle about the works and topics that would be permitted. 

  • The Pope at War: Pius XII and the Vatican's Secret Archives

    by James Thornton Harris

    David Kertzer's book argues that defenders of Pope Pius XII's actions during the Holocaust mistake his defense of the prerogatives of the Catholic Church for a defense of the victims of Nazi persecution and genocide.