Don't Mention the Wars! Britain's Role in 1914-18 and 1939-45 Is Written out of History by the EU

Daily Mail (London), October 25, 2004 | Go to article overview

Don't Mention the Wars! Britain's Role in 1914-18 and 1939-45 Is Written out of History by the EU


Byline: DAVID WILKES

AS Basil Fawlty could testify, there are times when it is prudent not to mention the war.

In the pages of a history book, however, most of us would expect Britain's role in the years 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 to at least warrant a mention.

But in a work for schools produced by Brussels, there is no reference to World War I or World War II in the section on Britain.

The glaring omission consigns key events such as the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, Dunkirk and D-Day to the dustbin.

And, in a move seen as rewriting history for the sake of Euro-friendliness, it erases the pivotal role Britain played in shaping the future of Europe.

Nothing of note is recorded as happening in Britain early in the 20th century, with the Great War conspicuous by its absence.

Again, nothing significant is marked between 1931, when the author notes the Commonwealth was created, and 1947, when Britain pulled out of India. World War II is not mentioned - although it does feature in sections on many other countries in the book.

In the section on Germany, meanwhile, the word Nazi is not mentioned.

Instead, it is merely noted that 1929 saw 'a surge in extremist movements' and that in 1933 Hitler became chancellor.

The book, Histoires de l'Europe Volume 1, was produced by the European parliament's Office of Information.

About 10,000 copies have been distributed to Belgian children aged 16 to 18.

Yesterday there was incredulity at its omissions. Historian Dr David Starkey said: 'The jaw drops.

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