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Seeing Hitler in real life

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Seeing Hitler in real life

Old 4th Sep 2020, 19:13
  #41 (permalink)  
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I may be wrong, but notice that folks of my generation refer to it as "the war", whereas "WW2" or "WWII" is common among those for whom it's history
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Old 4th Sep 2020, 19:34
  #42 (permalink)  
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As did the participants (in all senses) of WW1 referred to it as "The Great War". I guess that with the perspective of time, and the consequent conflicts/wars, they need to be collated in some way so as to distinguish whats what. When you've been part of/lived through a massive continuous conflict of all out hostilities you have every reason to refer to it as 'the' war.
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Old 5th Sep 2020, 07:57
  #43 (permalink)  
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oldchina - I always try and specify which war I'm referring to for the reasons SpringHeeledJack mentioned. I've always assumed that if you say "the war" then different people, perhaps different generations, will think of different wars. I also assume that "the war" might be interpreted differently depending on which country you grew up in and when. I certainly get your point, but someone who served in Vietnam might refer to that as "the war".
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Old 5th Sep 2020, 08:37
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by oldchina View Post
I may be wrong, but notice that folks of my generation refer to it as "the war", whereas "WW2" or "WWII" is common among those for whom it's history
The Great War did not become the First World War until the Second World War had been with us for a good few years. My father, who had served in it, would refer to "The last War" during the Second War, but I can't remember how he referred to it in the post-war years.
"WW 1" and WW 2" are good examples of abbreviated forms that take longer to say than what's being abbreviated (c.f. WWW in our time!).
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Old 5th Sep 2020, 10:52
  #45 (permalink)  
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This is turning into a very interesting discussion. I didn't mean it to turn out this way, but this is the beauty of online forums.

So, back in around 1984 or so, I gave up caddying at Sunningdale. Nearly everyone I caddied for was a rich jerk. There were exceptions, but I got fed up being treated as a piece of dirt so started working part-time at a nursing home. It made sense at the time, I would work weekends there while being at school and both my mother and sister were nurses and it sort of ran in the family. On my very first day of work there I became friends with a man called Arther Swales. He was 101 years old, experienced both WWI and WWII and god knows what else. I would stay after work just to talk to him and we both loved cricket. His sight had gone but he loved listening to TMS so we would sit together listening to England being thrashed. I even became friends with his family. I learned so much from that wonderful man and was so upset when I learned he'd passed away at 102.

Excuse me, I'm raving a little bit, but in the six years I worked there, from school to university just trying to keep myself above water financially, I cared for two or three men that had lived through WWI, but several more old ladies. Nearly all of them had been engaged to or married soldiers that fought during that war and their husbands never came back. If my memory serves, none of them remarried - that was the done thing back then.

I'm not quite sure why I mentioned this, but it had a profound effect on me - a generation that lived by principles and stuck to them. I hope people understand why I posted this.

For those curious, this is where I worked:


The place has changed a lot since I last worked there around 1990, but I have so many stories I could tell just by caring for the people there, but most of them would be about cars! However, I still think back to those days and feel grateful I was able to spend time with and learn from that generation.
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Old 7th Sep 2020, 09:40
  #46 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
I would like to thank everyone again for being so kind and providing so much information in this thread. Special thanks to certifs, PAXboy and rog747. I looked up tours by Historical Trips and either to due to the pandemic or other reasons I don't see the Hitler tour you mentioned, but it is one I would certainly take if I get the opportunity. Several years ago I offered to take my mother on a tour of Normandy and other places my father visited after D-Day but she declined. I suspect she thought it would be too hard for her emotionally. I'd still like to visit those places myself. I remember my father saying he was in Belgium and could see the V2 rockets being launched and felt so frustrated he couldn't do anything about them.

I have two further questions if you don't mind and given you've all been so helpful I have no problem if you can't help further. Anyway:

1) rog747 - could someone who is disabled go on the Hitler tour you mentioned? Not horribly disabled, just not able to walk very far; I would say yes - we had a 90 yo on our tour and he was OK. I would speak to the Tour Co.

Here is the Tour for 2021 link -


Hope that helps - More info here on the Tour----

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Old 8th Sep 2020, 03:09
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As it's the 91st birthday of this comic legend, I hope you won't mind my adding a little levity to this thread. Here the great Bob Newhart talks about mistakenly seeing Hitler (and on a plane, too!)

Last edited by akerosid; 8th Sep 2020 at 03:10. Reason: Correction
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Old 8th Sep 2020, 08:16
  #48 (permalink)  
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Perfect, had not heard him for a while and had almost forgotten how good he is.
Mr Mac
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 07:58
  #49 (permalink)  
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Thank you, rog747. I've registered my interest on their site.
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 09:28
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Thank you for starting this thread, I think many of us have mixed up feelings about these things, you are not alone.

My father was captured shortly after the fall of Singapore and spent the war in Changi, he was fortunate not to be sent on the Burma railway. I was born in Penang shortly before the Japanese arrived and my mother and I were lucky enough to be evacuated to Australia in the nick of time. He was not.

When my father returned after the war he hardly ever spoke about his experiences, and I only found out about some of them from reading other people's accounts. My mother said little about what he had told her, but when ever she watched the film 'A Town Like Alice' she nearly always ended up in tears.

During my flying career, I flew through Singapore many times, but could never bring myself to visit Changi. Looking back now I wish I had, but I just had a mental block about it.

Many families were traumatised to varying degrees by what happened back then - on both sides.

Thanks again for posting.
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Old 9th Sep 2020, 10:48
  #51 (permalink)  
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Bergerie1 - thank you so much for that, it makes me feel I haven't wasted my time. And thank you to everyone else who has responded, you have all been a tremendous source of information.

When COVID allows, my plan is to fly back home and spend time with my mother. She's healthy and pretty intelligent, so am hopeful she'll still be around when that opportunity returns. We spent last Christmas together and I know it won't be the last time I spend with her, and am now more determined to get her to talk. Obviously my tactics will be gentle. I know a lot about my father's service, but still know little about my mother's WWII experience, and I won't feel complete until I learn that. It's not something I think I can do on the phone, this has to be face-to-face. We get on well (that wasn't always the case but it is now) so I think this will happen.

Thanks to all of you who understand this thread and please understand my admiration and appreciation for all of you that have served your country. All of you are remarkable people and deserve thanks from everyone enjoying their freedom today.
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Old 15th Sep 2020, 20:26
  #52 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Hokulea View Post
Thanks to all of you who understand this thread and please understand my admiration and appreciation for all of you that have served your country. All of you are remarkable people and deserve thanks from everyone enjoying their freedom today.
I'm not really sure what this thread is about to be absolutely honest. My grandfather shook Hitler's hand, but I think what is forgotten is at that time people had to tow the line, or risk a black car coming for them in the night..... Way too many on here are "experts" on history from a very, very distant perspective... My mother came to the UK from Germany in the 50's to work as a nanny for a Jewish family, the first one that comes to mind with all you keyboard experts.They didn't have a problem, but some "little Englanders" did.and still do

Last edited by Private jet; 15th Sep 2020 at 20:39.
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