WWII and school

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Airman 1st Class
May 31, 2005
Kiev, Ukraine
OK, I tried not ask this question, but cannot stop my curiosity.There was a TV-program about the USA.In it journalist was asking people at the street in the the USA,who was fighting in WWII against whom, and who won.Some of the answers were rather strange: USA and UK (sometimes France) vs. Germany/Japan without mentioning USSR (that really pissed Russians off, all in all they've lost lots of people and captured Berlin), and even USA and UK vs. USSR.
As I've said this poll pissed Russians off and they often mention this poll as a proof that all Americans are stupid: "They're stupid because they don't even know who has won WWII".I'm tired to argue with such people so I'd like to hear your comments on this.And one more question. How much attention is devoted to studying of WWII in schools in the USA, UK (and any other country )?

P.S. I'd also like to hear what kind of stereotypes are there in USA, UK etc. about Russians, Ukrainians and other nations from former USSR.
We actually learn very little about WW2 in school. We learnt a bit about some of the major battles last year, but mainly we were taught about why it happened, not what happened, which annoys me.
Well I'm neither American nor British, but the general sense one gets in most of Canada is one of near ignorance when it comes to the eastern front of WWII. It's not very surprising though, considering that Canadian troops fought almost entirely in western Europe and Italy, and to a very small extent in the Far East. Our main concern lay with the western Allies and the battles we fought.

The Soviet Union was an uneasy ally of the British Empire and the United States during the war. It was an alliance based upon the principle that "The enemy of mine enemy is my friend". Stalin had signed a pact of nonaggression with Germany, and lay claim to the eastern half of Poland when the Germans invaded in September 1939. It wasn't until that pact came to an abrupt end in June of 1941 that the Soviets found themselves fighting the very same Germany that Britain was.

Any buff of WWII history knows of the Russian involvement and the terrible battles that were fought throughout the western part of Mother Russia. It was the pressure of the Russian counter attacks coupled with the "invasion" from the west by the Allies of the US/British Empire that brought about Germany's final defeat, and the post-war map of Europe was testament to the Soviet presence.

Americans are not stupid. Nor are Brits, Canadians, French, Norwegians, Australians, or anyone else. It's a matter of individual priority.
There is a great portion of the US population who are ignorant about WW2, especially people born after 1970 and especially women. I pick that year because many of their parents weren't young enough to fight in WW2. Russia's (or in my day the Soviet Union) effort in WW2 is recognized by those Americans who have studied world events and WW2. Its a matter of who were polled and where the polling took place.

As far as studying WW2 in schools - in my day it seems it was avoided. I attended schools in NY and in California. Many of the teachers were real liberal and avoided discussions about WW2 or any war for that matter. When I was in middle school I had one teacher who seemed to defy the establishment and did a course on WW2 history. Viet Nam was still fresh in everyone's mind and talk about military history, WW2 or anything associated with the military was very unpopular.
Stereotype of American people in Poland - they are stupid.

Stereotype of Russians in Poland - vodka drinkers (that's why Russians are very close to many people here).

Stereotype of Ukrainians in Poland - poor nation.
When I was in middle school I was forced to take a ceramics class. the teacher knew i was really into history and aircraft and I was told I could not make anything that had to do with aviation or history, so I made a ceramic skull and crossbones just to piss her off. She liked it so much she entered it in a contest and I got an "A" in the class! :rolleyes:

I think the sterotype of Americans being stupid lies with who is being interviewed and where. In addition I think there is so much political diversion here in the US because those who don't understand world events or history relies on the media, mainly poorly made movies and TV shows to provide them with history and political education. :rolleyes:
Ive been all over the globe, from Lisbon to Haifa, from Trieste to Amsterdam...

There are stupid people everywhere... I know some really dumb idiots here in the States, but I know a bunch of morons in Italy too....

Im smart and intelligent and have a great sense of responsibility... "Stupid" people dont become part of the most elite special warfare individuals in the world..

Ive met Urkranians and Russians before, and I found them usually to be alittle slower and easier going than normal everyday Americans... Less to worry about... Small thinkers... Never really concerned about world affairs...

Sterotype of Polish people in America - they are a bunch of inbreeders and pedophiles.......
The typical stereotype of Russians/Ukrainians here is that they're generally dishonest. A lot of people see them as liars and cheats. I've only ever met a few, and I found them to be decent enough people.
In Britain, there are many Polish, Czech, Hungarian, and Slovak people who are now coming to work here - I myself work with a Polish girl in my Saturday job.
cheddar cheese
frankly speaking, the same thing can be said about studying in our school only vice versa.I remember that I gave a lecture on Pacific Ocean campain at one of the lessons in school.ONE LESSON! That's basically all that children in former USSR can know about their allies.Maybe even lesser, because that lecture was my own initiative.
Nonskimmer, you and I and, I suppose, all those people, who visit this site know who won that war, there may be only some differences about some details.Yet I wanted to hear if it is possible that someone could tell such a funny answer, basing your opinion on fact that you know, how history is being tought in your country and how WWII is elucidated in press, whether there any memorials dedicated to WWII opened in your town, how people treat veterans of that war and so on.
Well, I was shocked when I read about what happened at the Brest-Litovsk Fortress, and the amazing stories of heroism that occured there.

Nobody knows about it here. At all.
There are numerous memorials to WW2 veterans all over the US. These days WW2 veterans are being heavily honored because so many of them are dying off. Many motion pictures are being made about WW2 veterans and their sacrifices......

Since the Gulf War all veterans are being treated very respectfully. many remember how badly Viet Nam Veterans were treated when hey returned. My brother was actually spat on when he was returning home.
I heard about that - Hanoi Jane style scum doing that to somebody shivering with shell-shock.

A person's entitled to their views but that's out of order, whatever your take on Vietnam was.
There's also a stereotype here of Eastern European technology being very clunky and unsophisticated.

Try this quote - it kinda sums up people's perceptions of this.

When NASA first started sending astronauts into space they realised that the ball-point pen would not work at zero gravity. A million dollar investment and two years of tests resulted in a pen that could write in space, upside down, on almost any surface and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to over 300 degrees celcius. When confronted with the same problems the Russians used a pencil.

So what's the better option? - you decide!
As for former USSR, WWII was a kind of a kult. Half of movies made in USSR were devoted to WWII.
Besides did you know that Stalin wanted that Berlin was taken on May 1, because that was one of the great holidays in USSR?How typical for bolshevics!

Medvedya, I've heard this story. :)
He did this sort of thing for other cities as well - forcing Generals to rush their assaults and getting a lot of brave Frontoviks killed in the process.

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