O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

Mostrando postagens com marcador II Guerra Mundial. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador II Guerra Mundial. Mostrar todas as postagens

sexta-feira, 9 de junho de 2017

Hemingway salva Paris dos nazistas (ou pelo menos um bar...) - Is Paris Burning? by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (Delanceyplace)

Um trecho deste extrato de Delanceyplace: 
 
"His first act [was] to liberate the bar of the Hotel du Grand Veneur, a honeysuckle-covered inn favored by week­ending Parisians and their ladies. In the bar he had installed a case of hand grenades, a carbine, a bottle of the grateful owner's best cognac and a prewar Michelin road map on which he had already begun to plot the German positions in the neighborhood. To the FFI [French Forces of the Interior] who had started to drift into the hotel, Hemingway was 'mon capitaine.' By the time Paris was liberated, in one of the most rapid promotions in French military history, he would be 'mon general.'
 
 
Today's selection -- from Is Paris Burning? by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre.
  
In August of 1944, the Nazis were losing control of Paris, a city they had occupied since 1940. Aware that the U.S. Army was now marching across France, Parisians began occupying government buildings and putting up barricades. Berlin ordered two Panzer tank divisions south to Paris to "restore order in the city at any price." Hope now lay with the Americans, who were just 30 miles from Paris:

"Two Panzer divisions ... were on their way south. [Generalfeldmarschall Walther Model] had only one sharp parting phrase [for Paris' commander General Dietrich von Choltitz]: 'Restore order in the city at any price.'

"The streets of Paris which, a few hours earlier, had rung with the proud words 'Aux Barricades!' now echoed a more anguished cry, rising up from those first flimsy fortifications. It was 'The tanks are coming.' ... The Panzers that had given Adolf Hitler the key to Paris in 1940 swarmed again into the streets of the capital. ...
"That evening brought the first drops of a new rainstorm and, along with it, a wild and welcome rumor. It buoyed up the spirits of the entire population of Paris. ... Playwright André Roussin set it down: 'A day begun in fear ends in hope,' he wrote. 'It seems the Americans are in Rambouillet. Tomorrow they will be in Paris.'


At the village of Rambouillet, Col. David Bruce (left) OSS commander in the European Theater, Ernest Hemingway (center).

"The Americans were indeed in Rambouillet, only 30 miles from Paris. ... Roussin had, however, some­what overestimated their number. There were three of them, and none of them had any real business being there. The first was a courtly Virginian named David Bruce, a colonel, the head of the OSS for France, whose capture would have afforded untrammeled delight to the Germans. The second was a jeep driver, a taciturn GI named 'Red' Pelkey, from West Virginia. The third was a war correspondent. True to a promise sworn long before, Ernest Hemingway was leading the United States press corps to Paris.

"His first act [was] to liberate the bar of the Hotel du Grand Veneur, a honeysuckle-covered inn favored by week­ending Parisians and their ladies. In the bar he had installed a case of hand grenades, a carbine, a bottle of the grateful owner's best cognac and a prewar Michelin road map on which he had already begun to plot the German positions in the neighborhood. To the FFI [French Forces of the Interior] who had started to drift into the hotel, Hemingway was 'mon capitaine.' By the time Paris was liberated, in one of the most rapid promotions in French military history, he would be 'mon general.'

"Sole liberators of this hunting preserve of the kings and presidents of France, and forty-eight hours ahead of the rest of the Allied armies, the trio found themselves saddled with an embarrassing problem: too many Germans. 'Every time we turned around,' Bruce found, 'one was crawling out of the woodwork to surrender.' Hemingway took away their pants and put them to work in the kitchen peeling potatoes for his growing band of FFI."


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Is Paris Burning? 
Author: Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Copyright 1965 by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre
Pages: 174, 177-178

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quarta-feira, 7 de junho de 2017

Why West often overlooks China’s WWII effort - Shanghai Daily

Entrevista com o historiador inglês Rana Mitter, especializado na história da China (tenho um livro dele, em italiano), sobre o papel tremendamente subestimado da China na II Guerra Mundial. Isto  ocorreu, em parte, por culpa dos ocidentais, que consideram importantes apenas as frentes de batalha no Ocidente e no Pacífico (EUA vs Japão), mas também por culpa de chineses, que mantiveram seus arquivos fechados desde os anos 1950, até pelo menos os anos 1980. O historiador inglês publicou um livro sobre o tema.
Paulo Roberto de Almeida

Why West often overlooks China’s WWII effort

EDITOR’S Note: There is a wealth of literature documenting WWII from a Western perspective but less is known in the West about China’s epic struggles against Japanese invasion. One of the few books that does justice to China’s war effort is the bestseller “Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945” published in 2013. Its author, Rana Mitter, Director of University China Center and Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, spoke to Shanghai Daily reporter Ni Tao at this year’s Shanghai Forum about his research on China’s wartime history and how it taught him about the dangers of being doctrinaire while understanding the country’s political future.
SD: Early this year, the Chinese authorities updated the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression from eight years to 14 years. What is behind this change?
Mitter: I think a reason that there has been an official decision to change the length of the war from eight to 14 years is to change the historical understanding of the war itself.
If you look at the way in which Chinese scholars have been writing about the war in academic journals, they have been using the 14-year-long definition for quite a number of years.
The reason of course is because it dates the war from the invasion and occupation of Manchuria in 1931 as the starting point.
In a way, it also matches the definition of the war, which has been used in Japan, particularly by the Left, for many years. And I think that part of the reasoning has been to try and create an idea in the public mind of the different aspects of the build-up to the war.
Personally, I still think the eight-year definition is valuable, because it marks a particular time when the outbreak of the war, the Lugouqiao Incident of July 7, 1937, significantly changed the way in which the relationship between China and Japan operated.
After 1937, it would have been very dif­ficult to arrange any kind of compromise agreement between the two sides. People within the Nationalist government who had perhaps more sympathy toward Japan were no longer able to operate on the basis of getting closer to Japan.
SD: Why are China’s struggles during WWII largely forgotten in the West?
Mitter: I think there are two reasons: one to do with the West, one to do with China.
On the Western side, the major problem has been that the war in China was not taken very seriously.
Despite the fact that it caused millions of deaths and tens of millions of refugees, and despite (China’s) important role of holding down the Japanese army in China for many years, these achievements and suffering were regarded secondary to what was considered as the real war in Europe and then in the Pacific.
I would argue quite strongly that actually some of the decisions China made were really fundamental.
The best example of this was in 1938, a time when the Nationalist government under Chiang Kai-shek could have surrendered to the Japanese and in fact his former ally Wang Jingwei did form an alliance with the Japanese.
But by making the decision not to surrender to Japan, even when China was very weak and had little outside assistance, it actually set a very important turning point for the eventual victory in Asia many years later.
However, we also have to remember that it was very difficult, or actually impossible, for a long time for Western scholars to come to China and use archives for most of the period from the 1950s up until the 1980s and 1990s.
SD: How would you judge China’s contributions and sacrifices in WWII?
Mitter: I think that China’s contributions and sacrifices during WWII were immensely important and under-appreciated in the wider world.
The example I often give when asked where did China make a difference in World War II is to point to 1937.
You have to look at that year as it was seen then, not as what we know now.
Now we know that Japan and Germany were eventually defeated. The Americans would eventually come into the war.
But this was not at all clear in 1938. At that time China’s national government had retreated to Chongqing (the wartime capital); the Communists were restricted to some areas in northern and central China; a large part of China fell under Japanese occupation.
Many observers including some British diplomats thought that the most sensible thing to do would be for China’s government to compromise, surrender, or at least come to an agreement with the Japanese.
The decision both by the Kuomintang, and by the Chinese Communist Party, to continue resistance at a time when China had very little outside support or few alliances was not an obvious and easy one to make.
By deciding in 1938 that they would continue to fight against Japan, the Chinese managed to hold the situation for long enough for the situation to eventually change and for the eventual entry of the United States and Britain into the global war after 1941.
I f it weren’t for the Chinese contributions, it would have been much harder to achieve an allied victory in Asia.
But without the Allied contributions, China would not have been on the victorious side. So both sides needed each other.
SD: In researching the book, you rely on the diaries of personalities like Chiang Kai-shek. But could referencing these diaries come at the expense of more important archives?
Mitter: It is an important question to ask, because when writing history, we have to be aware of the danger of getting too trapped in personalities.
This is what the famous 19th century English historian Thomas Carlyle meant by the “Great Man” theory of history.
And we have to avoid that, partly because history is not just about men, and certainly not just about great men.
But the reason that I think these diaries are important is that they reveal not just the personality of the individuals, but also their particular mindset and viewpoints about much bigger questions, which is what was China going to achieve if it got through with the war with Japan.
For example, if you read Chiang’s diary, you’ll find he was constructing a different vision, not just of China, but also of Asia, one in which China would play a bigger role.
But understanding how he viewed China’s role in the post-war period tells you a lot about the relationship between America and China, as well as the emergence of new post-colonial and post-imperial nationalism in many Asian nations.
Moreover, one of the areas where I looked quite extensively was the way in which social change happened on the ground.
For instance, reforms in areas like health care, hygiene, and social welfare provision, refugee provision, in large parts of China during the war.
Most of that has nothing to do with specific individuals at all, but has to do with policies and social change in government as a whole.
And I think the important thing is to combine these materials with very personal views that you get from diaries.
SD: Have your perspectives changed over the course of researching China’s past?
Mitter: I think over maybe 16 or 20 years of writing about China, my views basically haven’t changed, but developed, and I hope deepened over that time.
Probably the single change is that it becomes much harder for me to argue that there is any fixed or definite political path for China during that time.
Sometimes if you look at the present day, you hear people from the West say China should be this way, while some say China definitely should be that way.
I think looking at 20th century Chinese history shows that actually there are a whole variety of different paths. And it’s not always possible to tell which one is the best at one time.
The one thing I learned from studying that period is that in the end it has to be up to the Chinese people to decide what their political path is going to be.

sábado, 1 de setembro de 2012

1ro de Setembro de 1939: inicio da II Guerra Mundial


On This Day: September 1

The New York Times, September 1, 2012, 2:28 PM
NYT Front PageOn Sept. 1, 1939, World War II began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

German Army Attacks Poland; Cities Bombed, Port Blockaded; Danzig Is Accepted Into Reich



Hitler Gives Word
In a Proclamation He Accuses Warsaw of Appeal to Arms
Foreigners Are Warned
They Remain in Poland at Own Risk--Nazis to Shoot at Any Planes
Gdynia Blockaded By German Fleet
By OTTO D. TOLISCHUS
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
RELATED HEADLINESBritish Mobilizing: Navy Raised to Its Full Strength, Army and Air Reserves Called Up: Parliament Is Convoked: Midnight Meeting Is Held by Ministers--Negotiations Admitted Failure
Daladier Summons Cabinet To Confer: News of Attack on Poland spurs Prompt Action--Military Move Thought Likely
British Children Taken From Cities: 3,000,000 Persons Are in First Evacuation Group, Which Is to Be Moved Today
Soviet Ratifies Reich Non-Aggression Pact; Gibes at British and French Amuse Deputies
Hostilities Begun: Warsaw Reports German Offensive Moving on Three Objectives: Roosevelt Warns Navy: Also Notifies Army Leaders of Warfare--Envoys Tell of Bombing of 4 Cities
Free City Is Seized: Forster Notifies Hitler of Order Putting Danzig Into the Reich: Accepted By Chancellor: Poles Ready, Made Their Preparations After Hostilities Appeared Inevitable
Hitler Acts Against Poland
Hitler Tells the Reichstag 'Bomb Will Be Met by Bomb': Chancellor Vows 'Fight Until Resolution' Against Poland--Gives Order of Succession As Goering, Hess, Then Senate to Choose
Berlin, Friday, Sept. 1--Charging that Germany had been attacked, Chancellor Hitler at 5:11 o'clock this morning issued a proclamation to the army declaring that from now on force will be met with force and calling on the armed forces "to fulfill their duty to the end."
The text of the proclamation reads:
To the defense forces:
The Polish nation refused my efforts for a peaceful regulation of neighborly relations; instead it has appealed to weapons.
Germans in Poland are persecuted with a bloody terror and are driven from their homes. The series of border violations, which are unbearable to a great power, prove that the Poles no longer are willing to respect the German frontier. In order to put an end to this frantic activity no other means is left to me now than to meet force with force.
"Battle for Honor"
German defense forces will carry on the battle for the honor of the living rights of the re- awakened German people with firm determination.
I expect every German soldier, in view of the great tradition of eternal German soldiery, to do his duty until the end.
Remember always in all situations you are the representatives of National Socialist Greater Germany!
Long live our people and our Reich!
Berlin, Sept. 1, 1939.
Adolf Hitler

The commander-in-chief of the air force issued a decree effective immediately prohibiting the passage of any airplanes over German territory excepting those of the Reich air force or the government.
This morning the naval authorities ordered all German mercantile ships in the Baltic Sea not to run to Danzig or Polish ports.
Anti-air raid defenses were mobilized throughout the country early this morning.
A formal declaration of war against Poland had not yet been declared up to 8 o'clock [3 A.M. New York time] this morning and the question of whether the two countries are in a state of active belligerency is still open.
Reichstag Will Meet Today
Foreign correspondents at an official conference at the Reich Press Ministry at 8:30 o'clock [3:30 A.M. New York time] were told that they would receive every opportunity to facilitate the transmission of dispatches. Wireless stations have been instructed to speed up communications and the Ministry is installing additional batteries of telephones.
The Reichstag has been summoned to meet at 10 o'clock [5 A.M. New York time] to receive a more formal declaration from Herr Hitler.
The Hitler army order is interpreted as providing, for the time being, armed defense of the German frontiers against aggression. The action is also suspected of forcing international diplomatic action.
The Germans announced that foreigners remain in Polish territory at their own risk.
Flying over Polish territory as well as the maritime areas is forbidden by the German authorities and any violators will be shot down.
When Herr Hitler made his announcement Berlin's streets were still deserted except for the conventional early traffic, and there were no outward signs that the nation was finding itself in the first stages of war.
The government area was completely deserted, and the two guards doing sentry duty in front of the Chancellery remained their usual mute symbol of authority. It was only when official placards containing the orders to the populace began to appear on the billboards that early workers became aware of the situation.

Border Clashes Increase
Wireless to The New York Times
Berlin, Friday, Sept. 1--An increasing number of border incidents involving shooting and mutual Polish-German casualties are reported by the German press and radio. The most serious is reported from Gleiwitz, a German city on the line where the southwestern portion of Poland meets the Reich.
At 8 P.M., according to the semi-official news agency, a group of Polish insurrectionists forced an entrance into the Gleiwitz radio station, overpowering the watchmen and beating and generally mishandling the attendants. The Gleiwitz station was relaying a Breslau station's program, which was broken off by the Poles.
They proceeded to broadcast a prepared proclamation, partly in Polish and partly in German, announcing themselves as "the Polish Volunteer Corps of Upper Silesia speaking from the Polish station in Gleiwitz." The city, they alleged, was in Polish hands.
Gleiwitz's surprised radio listeners notified the police, who halted the broadcast and exchanged fire with the insurrectionists, killing one and capturing the rest. The police are said to have discovered that the attackers were assisted by regular Polish troops. The Gleiwitz incident is alleged here to have been the signal "for a general attack by Polish franctireurs on German territory."
Two other points--Pitsachen, near Kreuzburg, and Hochlinden, northeast of Ratibor, both in the same vicinity as Gleiwitz, were the scenes of violations of the German boundary, it is claimed, with fighting at both places still under way.

sábado, 22 de outubro de 2011

II Guerra Mundial: cinco livros sobre o seu início - Wall Street Journal

O WSJ sempre publica os "five best books on..."
Sempre bom...


Five Best: The Beginnings Of World War II

The Life of Neville Chamberlain
By Keith Feiling (1946)
Since the late 1930s, Neville Chamberlain has had a bad press as the man whose misjudgment of Hitler and hesitation to re-arm hastened the outbreak of World War II. Yet Keith Feiling, the first to write a full biography of Chamberlain after the war, painted a more sympathetic and realistic portrait of a British prime minister who hated war and had a single-minded belief that he was the man who could save the peace. Ironically, Chamberlain's sudden decision in March 1939 to guarantee Polish sovereignty created conditions that made war more likely than ever. Feiling shows a man tortured by a situation from which he could not escape; Chamberlain resigned in May 1940 and died six months later. The last years of his life were ones of high drama for a most undramatic man.
The Origins of the Second World War
By A.J.P. Taylor (1961)
Probably the most controversial book ever written on the roots of World War II. A.J.P. Taylor (1909-90) deliberately set out to challenge the idea that Hitler was a monster bent on war at all costs. Taylor saw Hitler as yet another German imperialist like Bismarck. Like many of his generation, Taylor blamed the German army, with its roots in Prussian militarism, for the crises of both world wars; he did not understand radical nationalism. He never grasped the terrible imperatives of modern ideology and had no place in his argument for the fate of the Jews. For all these misjudgments, there is one significant and enduring merit to Taylor's book: He was the first postwar historian to acknowledge that it was Britain and France who declared war, and to ask why—stimulating a search for British and French motives that has resulted in a more complete understanding of that terrible time.
Getty Images
Neville Chamberlain.
Hitler Strikes Poland
By Alexander Rossino (2003)
Alexander Rossino's grim account of the German invasion of Poland and of the horrors perpetrated almost immediately by the German armed forces and security units shows how fully Hitler's war, even in its earliest days in 1939, differed from previous European wars. Brutal ethnic tension in the Polish-German borderlands created a febrile atmosphere in the months before the war. Poles reacted to German invasion by perpetrating atrocities of their own against Polish Germans, and the German invaders were no less savage. Rossino offers a detailed, blow-by-blow account of how resentful German nationalism was used to justify the slaughter of Polish intellectuals, the Polish national elite and Polish Jews, well before the death camps were established. Much of the work was done by Hitler's Einsatzgruppen, security squads assigned not to fight but to murder suspected enemies of the new German Reich. Within days of the invasion, the Germans were already engaged in what came to be known in 1945 as crimes against humanity.
Berlin Diary
By William Shirer (1941)
Among the most vivid English-language accounts of the final days of European peace and the beginning of war is journalist William Shirer's diary, first published in 1941. As a reporter based in Europe in the 1930s, Shirer was a close observer of conditions in the Third Reich and a strong critic of Nazism. A few days before the German invasion of Poland, he went to Danzig to meet Poles there and found them determined to fight at all costs. Shirer was back in Berlin when the invasion began. The outbreak of World War I had been marked by excited, war-fever euphoria, but now Germans knew what a European conflict might entail. Shirer walked in Berlin's autumn sun and found "on the faces of the people astonishment, depression." His diary is a reminder that it is politicians, not the people, who make war.
The Triumph of the Dark
By Zara Steiner (2010)
Every now and again, a book comes along that merits being called "definitive." Zara Steiner's "The Triumph of the Dark" is the most thorough, wide-ranging and carefully argued narrative available on the tumultuous decade that ended in world war. Every historian of the period will stand in Steiner's debt. Not everyone will agree with some of her arguments. Steiner is particularly tough on Neville Chamberlain, taking him to task for being so blinded by anticommunism that he failed to appreciate how a British-French-Soviet alliance in the 1930s might have stopped Hitler's military expansion. That was Churchill's view too, so she is in good company. Whether Stalin would have signed up, of course, remains open to question. But reading Steiner on the subject at least provides the comforts of contemplating an alternative storyline, one in which the dark does not triumph.
—Mr. Overy is the author of "1939: Countdown to War," now out in paperback.