History: WW II

For this discussion, you will visit the Rutgers University Oral History Archives pertaining to World War II.    You will see when you follow the link that the archives are split into different “theaters” — European, Pacific, CBI (China-Burma-India), and American.  For the purposes of this assignment, it does not matter which location you choose.

Inside each of the sections, you will find dozens of interviews with combatants and other individuals involved in the war effort.  Most of these interviews are 50 or more pages long, and I do not expect you to read an entire interview for this assignment.  Instead, I want you to choose any interview, and then skim through the interview until you find the soldier’s recollections of their time while in the service (the early parts of the interview usually discuss their life before the war.)

While you are skimming the interview, choose any paragraph or response consisting of ten or more lines long that catch your eye, for whatever reason. 

Write a short reflection (150-200 words) on the recollection, which the rest of the class will see.  This reflection could be what you found interesting about the passage, and what else you would like to know about the references mentioned in the selection.  You could pose this as a series of questions, or you could even analyze the passage further.  You could bring in the biography of the interviewee (there is usually a short capsule biography of each of the combatants.)

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