World War II

Silence, Conscience, Freedom: Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life”

By |2020-01-05T02:21:58-06:00January 4th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Culture, David Deavel, Film, Senior Contributors, World War II|

Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life” does not drag. Its deliberate pace describing why its protagonist—a Catholic who defied Hitler’s Reich by refusing military service—died is a moving icon, a window into that mystery of why and how silence and conscience lead to true freedom. “There isn’t any twirling, is there?” I asked my former [...]

Triumph: How Two Dutch Girls Survived World War II

By |2019-11-26T22:10:06-06:00November 26th, 2019|Categories: Books, Film, Michael De Sapio, World War II|

In "Dutch Girl," Robert Matzen describes how the young Audrey Hepburn survived both famine and fighting in World War II. But what brings this history home for me personally is the connection with a third woman, less well-known, who also lived in Holland during those times. I feel a special interest in her story since [...]

In Time of War: Arthur Honegger’s Symphony No. 2

By |2019-09-23T12:59:24-06:00September 19th, 2019|Categories: Culture, Michael De Sapio, Music, Senior Contributors, War, World War II|

Arthur Honegger’s war symphonies, a synthesis of tradition and modernity, are powerful mementos of a heroic period. There was a sense that, with a moral menace to be defeated in World War II, digging into the depths of tradition was essential. As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of various milestones of World War II, it [...]

Victory Over Japan: Did the End Justify the Means?

By |2019-09-01T23:50:34-06:00September 1st, 2019|Categories: American Republic, History, Morality, War, World War II|

The central moral issue regarding both the atomic bomb and fire-bombings of cities is whether or not civilians play a key role in a ‘total war.’ When an entire society is mobilized for war, who is making the war possible through production of weapons and materials? What’s the line between combatant and non-combatant? One of [...]

The Horrors of Modern Public Opinion

By |2019-08-16T23:25:25-06:00August 16th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Democracy, Fascism, Government, Politics, Senior Contributors, War, World War II|

Christopher Dawson believed that the free peoples of the Allied Powers in World War II had become too accustomed to employing scientifically-formed propaganda to create public opinion: “Public opinion can itself be the greatest enemy of freedom, as well as of peace, as soon as it becomes dominated by the negative destructive forces of [...]

Christopher Dawson on Becoming the Enemy in World War II

By |2019-08-09T21:40:28-06:00August 9th, 2019|Categories: Bradley J. Birzer, Christopher Dawson, Government, History, Politics, Senior Contributors, The Imaginative Conservative, War, Western Civilization, World War II|

Christopher Dawson worried about the actual physical changes wrought by World War II, but he worried far more about the moral changes. He lamented that even the democracies of the United Kingdom and the United States had come to resemble Nazi Germany far more than their nineteenth-century historical selves did. Throughout his writing career, [...]

Versailles at 100

By |2019-11-21T19:44:29-06:00January 1st, 2019|Categories: Civilization, Democracy, Europe, History, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, Woodrow Wilson, World War I, World War II|

The Great War, in Woodrow Wilson’s view, had to become precisely what the delegates to the Congress of Vienna feared: a moral crusade, an instrument of social and political revolution… For American president Woodrow Wilson, the First World War was the “war to end all wars” by making “the world safe for democracy,” not [...]

The Death of Europe: Two Classic Films and the Great War

By |2019-10-15T21:57:31-06:00November 10th, 2018|Categories: Ethics, Europe, Film, Friendship, Mark Malvasi, Nationalism, Senior Contributors, War, Western Civilization, World War II|

So incisive and troubling did the Nazis find Jean Renoir’s indictment of war and his embrace of the shared culture of Europe, that when the Wehrmacht invaded France and occupied Paris in the spring of 1940, Renoir’s film La Grande Illusion was among the first cultural artifacts Nazi officials confiscated… The Great War was a catastrophe for Europe. [...]

Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps”: A Coded Message?

By |2019-09-28T09:49:59-06:00October 4th, 2018|Categories: Film, History, Mystery, StAR, World War II|

The 39 Steps is one of five films that Alfred Hitchcock made in England about espionage in the mid-to-late 1930s. These films capture the growing threat felt in Britain from foreign powers. In their scenarios the nation's security was nowhere more threatened than by spies hiding in plain sight... The Thirty-Nine Steps. A novel. Then a film: The 39 Steps. In the end, that [...]

“The Human Condition”: A Tale of the Suffering Servant

By |2018-08-24T20:58:30-06:00August 24th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Film, World War II|

The Human Condition, directed by Masaki Kobayashi, is more than a mere movie. It is certainly not entertainment. It is an experience in which the viewer participates. It is not an easy movie to watch. The suffering Christ is encountered at every turn… In one of the most ambitious cinematic projects ever undertaken, Japanese [...]