What is your opinion of World War II?

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wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an excellent question for a history student, because hidden in the question is the need to assess the veracity of secondary historical documentation. In other words, one’s “opinion” depends on the rhetoric imbedded in reports, journalistic coverage, personal views expressed by contemporaries, etc. For example, my “opinion” is based not on documentation but on being a child when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, when the Jewish prisoners were released from the concentration camps, when the atom bomb was dropped, when the Marshall Plan was instituted, etc. Consequently my “opinion” is not so much based on historical documentation as on personal experience.  My father drove an ambulance in London.  Your “opinion” will be based on what you have “heard” or read about the war. Were the Nazis purely evil? Was the Normandy Invasion worth the deaths? Was Paris burning? Did the American military/industrial complex want a war? Roosevelt said “I hate war. Eleanor hates war.” Where did you get your “opinion” of WWII? A reasonable source? Or an impassioned source? History books or primary sources?