Magazine article America in WWII

D (as in Deja Vu) Day

Magazine article America in WWII

D (as in Deja Vu) Day

Article excerpt

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THE STORY OF the world leader whose nation had lost a great war a couple of decades earlier rallying his people back from their humiliation. He eventually decided that a certain piece of a neighboring country was rightfully his because most of its inhabitants shared his ethnicity. So he sent in his troops to take it.

You might know that leader as Vladimir Putin, whose native Russia lost the Cold War and who sent his forces to the Crimean Peninsula as this issue of our magazine was going to press. Or you might know that leader as Adolf Hitler, whose Germany lost World War I and who marched his troops into Czechoslovakia to claim the Sudetenland in 1938. You're correct either way. As I write this, the outcome of Putin's action is yet to be determined. Hitler's sparked a world war.

I hope that by the time you read this, the simmering situation in Crimea has cooled down. But the ties between today and World War II are stronger than one string of events. Andrew Wiest, for example, connects D-Day with the Cold War in his essay here entitled "The First Battle of World War III."

You may be old enough to remember the tearing down of the Berlin Wall that separated Berlin's Western side from its Communist Eastern side in 1989. You probably know that the Cold War that all but ended with that symbolic event had actually begun during World War II, as tensions mounted between the Soviet Union and its Western Allies.

The two sides remained united long enough to defeat Nazi Germany, but the Grand Alliance at that point was more a matter of practicality than compatibility: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. …

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