Thursday, 3 May 2012

The world at war...again

Every so often the world, our world is plunged into darkness and the good have to fight, they have to go to battle and those who may not have seen eye to eye in the past have to join together and stand side by side on the bloody battle field, 1939 was a year of great darkness. The world had already survived one world war and people had just gotten used to the idea that everything was okay when whispers of war began to spread. I had high tailed it back to England, a new identity and a new life ready when I heard, I saw women hysterical in the street, men and boys lining up once again to fight and children quiet with confusion. Now I know that I could write this whole account without once mentioning the name of the man who spawned this war because his name is so well known, so well taught and well spoken and that name is Adolf Hitler.  Adolf Hitler was born on 20th April 1889 to an Austrian father who he despised and a German Mother who, some people have theorised, was to blame for his unimaginable god complex. His dream was one of Art and he applied to many art collages, all rejected his applications leaving him penniless and selling hand-made postcards in Vienna this subsequently led him to become involved in much political activity; you might be wondering how I know this, I lived a lot of your history yet I cannot tell you the birth date of many great figures, Hitler was something else and I will tell all later on. Now back to Adolf’ rise to power; Hitler left Austria to evade military service and ended up in Germany where the course of his life changed forever, he signed up to fight in the first world war. After the first world war he became involved in the political publicity of the German workers party which he renamed the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi for short) he soon became the leader for the party and remained so until he was imprisoned. However once released he re-found the party after this things began to snowball, he became a German citizen, then chancellor and then after a fire and a general election Hitler’s cabinet was given power making him a virtual dictator; this is where he declares the Nazi party the only political party permitted in Germany. From this individual German states lost power and Nazi officials became state governors.      Still with me? I’m getting there but to understand what happened to me you have to know the history, know the man who nearly brought a world to its knees.  Now I don’t want you to think that I have forgotten my legacy, that of the bogeyman but I have lived for so long that the event of the world have knocked me from my pathway, I find my way back eventually though, so bare with me.  
     Over the next 2 years Hitler banned the communist party, socialist, trade unions and strikes; he withdrew from the league of nations and somehow trebled the size of the German army, he eliminated his rivals became Fuehrer and Reich chancellor of Germany, abolished the title of president and in order to unite the German peoples he rearmed Germany and introduced Military conscription.
     Some people say that the British Prime Minister was na├»ve to think that he could negotiate with Hitler and some people knew this for a fact but it didn’t stop Britain, France and Italy signing the Munich agreement, handing Sudetenland to Germany. Then came Crystal Night: 7,500 Jewish shops were destroyed and 400 synagogues are burnt, all orchestrated by the Nazi party who also sent 20,000 Jews to concentration camps. After this the Nazis spread like a plague and on 3rd September 1939 two day after the German army invaded Poland and refused to withdraw, British Prime minister Neville Chamberlain announced that the country was at war, similarly France also gave the Germans an ultimatum, one which was also ignored causing France to also declare war. I remember where I was that day when the announcement rang out across the airways; I knew it was coming, so many did and yet when it came my heart hurt so much I thought it might actually stop, no such luck. I join up as soon as I could, I had a lot to make up for, a lot to repent for. In 1940 the man that saved the world stepped up as British prime minister, Winston Churchill, we couldn’t have done it without him.
     I met many people during the war, young boys and bereft mothers, I met German troops terrified for their lives, they just wanted to go home; young boys dragged into a war they didn’t want to fight by a twisted man. I met Hitler once, that’s where this story was going, right before he died, I had been captured and tortured and he had been alerted to the fact that I was something different and he wanted me, like a child demanding to have a toy, he wanted to keep my like a possession. I sat a cross from him one night, at a table and listened to him able on and on about life, he seemed almost euphoric, convinced that he was going to win even as his world was being torn down; he was this deluded man with an ego that had been fed so much there was barely room for anything else. Where I had felt despise and hatred I felt sorry for him, he was pathetic, sat in this grand room with his own image 12ft high on the wall, with red and gold draped around him and still he was so sad. I wonder now what might have been different if he had been accepted into art school, how the world might have been different or maybe he was destined to do what he did.
      Then war was declared on America, Pearl Harbour happened, more tragedy and more death, I thought about the friends I had left, wondered if they were there ready to fight. it was the Americans who saved me, not that I wouldn’t have just waited, waited until he had run, like a roach from the day light. Hitler had hightailed it when the American had invaded; all I remember was the sound of their accent, I saw their guns before I saw them. After that it was all a blur, Hitler killed himself, the war was diminishing again, millions of lives had been lost, had been taken and millions had to begin the fight to repair, to return to a relative normalcy. I stayed with the troops who had saved me, went back to America, but it was far from over, Japan was still raging a war with America and I chose to fight with them. You would think that I had had my share of fighting but I owed them, the fight didn’t last much longer and three months after the war in Europe had ended America declared victory over Japan. All over the world was celebrating, it was united in victory, we had defeated one of the most evil men to have ever breathed but now we had to start again.
     Now is where I get to the part you will all sit and go ‘oh my god, that was you’, the 15th August 1945, VJ-Day, Time Square, New York. I was stood amongst a mass of people celebrating, victory had been announced, I stood overwhelmed by the sheer euphoria and elation, I saw a woman in the crowd, with eyes so blue they twinkled as tears of happiness rolled down over her blushed cheeks, her lips were painted with a deep red and her hair was made up perfectly, she was a nurse, walking alone through the street; in that second I acted on impulse it was a time to take a chance; I walked over, she smiled at me unawares; I kissed her and together we created one of the most iconic imaged of the 1940s. Many people have claimed to be that nurse, that sailor, that couple and I have let them, I did not feel the need to stand up, from that moment I gained something much more precious, a gained the love of a woman, I gained happiness.  

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