History Matters

30 Apr 2020

(TOL) Amid the pandemic, Russia, China, and others find time to debate the timing of the beginning and end of World War II and other details of years long past. 

The “memory wars” over World War II show no sign of abating. This month saw new developments in Moscow, Beijing, and Prague. Different countries have different stories. For China the war began in 1931, for Britain 1939, for Russia June 1941, and for the United States it was in December 1941. There is even disagreement about when exactly it ended.

On 24 April Vladimir Putin made it the law to commemorate the end of World War II against Japan on 3 September – and not 2 September, as had previously been Russian practice. Japan signed the surrender on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945 – which is the day that the United States marks the occasion. [...]

Read More © Transitions Online