Historians of nursing in Britain have long been fighting for a place in the history of medicine. For example, of the 718 pages of text in Roy Porter’s best-selling The Greatest Benefit to Mankind, only five are concerned with nursing, and these, inevitably, with Florence Nightingale and 19th-century hospital reform.
The First World War was a terrible experience that most soldiers were shocked by once they became active participants. How were soldiers’ able to cope with the grim realities of this war? How were they able to keep going in spite of losing close friends and comrades in one battle after another?
‘Every means of defence will be put into action to stop enemy aircraft. However, some may get through […] If nothing holds you back, as soon as the threat arrives, LEAVE! [...] LEAVE with your family. DO NOT WAIT. LEAVE.’(1)
The Holocaust, which caused so many resignifications and dissolutions of post-war cultural forms and paradigms, from the deconstruction of grand historical narratives to the shattering of the idea of progress, has not exhausted its capacity to urge reflection or attempts at explanation, as well as fascination, obsession, hypocrisy and often despair.
A landmark moment in Holocaust history and memory occurred in 1989 when about 1,000 Kindertransport survivors attended their 50-year reunion in London. The event commemorated the transport of 10,000 children from Central Europe to safety in Britain. Launched on November 9, 1938, the transport continued for a year until the Nazis ended it when war was declared in September 1939.
This book is written with a clear purpose: to unsettle assumptions conditioned by the power of institutions such as states and armies to frame the first draft of history. Matt Perry has taken the decision to put before readers the subaltern voice of a French socialist activist.
The SS-Helferinnenkorps, the women who volunteered to support the SS, and who formed a female Nazi elite, have to date been the subject of minimal research. Until now, very little was known about these women, where they came from, why they volunteered, how they were trained, where they worked, and what became of them after the war.
‘He was one of the best National Socialists, one of the strongest defenders of the German Reich, one of the greatest opponents of all enemies of the Empire.
At least three factors go towards explaining why the destruction of Spanish cities during the Civil War (1936–9) and the subsequent reconstruction efforts have long been overlooked and under-studied.
Rachel Duffett has written a fine social history of British rank and file soldiers, or rankers, and their experiences of food during the Great War. She states, ‘The ranker’s relationship with food was a constant thread, woven throughout his army experience … every day, wherever he was, a man needed to eat’ (p. 229).