Topic: World War II

Current Event December 2, 2015

70 Years Since the Nuremberg Trials

World War II

It has been 70 years since Nazi leaders went on trial in the German city of Nuremberg for war crimes committed during the Holocaust. During World War II German military leaders robbed, murdered, imprisoned, and tortured millions of Jews. The Nuremberg trials focused on uncovering the Nazi plan of aggression. Crimes against humanity got the least attention. The trials were seen as fair, and 3 people were actually acquitted. Since the Holocaust, some other war criminals have been brought to trial, but there has been little progress in prosecuting war crimes. Listen to hear more about the Nuremberg Trials and how the ideas from these trials are applied today.

Read More

Current Event August 16, 2015

Military Rations in School Lunches

Civics/Government World War II Nutrition chemistry

The search for food that is low cost, tasty and slow-to-spoil has been an ongoing goal of the military, especially during World War II. That’s why military science has influenced the food in school lunches, as well as other convenient foods such as granola bars and juice boxes. Military research and ingredients are found in many foods, including the McDonald’s McRib Sandwich. A new book encourages people to think more about where convenient, non-perishable food comes from and whether this food science should be used so commonly outside the military.

Read More

Current Event March 4, 2015

Art Stolen by The Nazis

World History II World War II Arts

When the Nazi Party expanded its power and displaced Jews in Germany and other European countries, Nazis confiscated their belongings. Before becoming a politician and leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler was an aspiring artist, so art was a particular target for him. He had plans to build his own personal museum after World War II, using 14 pieces of art owned by Baron Rothschild of Vienna. Listen to learn how the art, jewelry and rare books of the Rothschild family made it from the Nazi’s possession to an art museum in Boston.

Read More


Fighting Injustice in "The Book Thief"

Religion World War II Fiction war Historical Fiction Young Adult Literature Censorship

The novel The Book Thief is narrated by Death. He tells the story of a young German girl saving books from Nazi bonfires to read to the Jewish man hiding in her home. Listen to this audio story to hear an interview with author Markus Zusak, who explains his choice of Death as the narrator and the message he hopes teenage readers get from the novel.

Read More

Current Event November 12, 2014

Tearing Down the Berlin Wall

World History II World War II

This week marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism in West Germany. The Berlin Wall was a physical and emotional divider of democratic East Germany and communist West Germany. When it was torn down in 1989, an unlikely American TV star played a surprising role in the fall of the wall. David Hasselhoff of the hit TV show Baywatch, sang a concert to crowds at the Brandenburg gate. This public radio story remembers that moment in history and its impact on German citizens.

Read More

Current Event November 2, 2014

Sunken U-Boat Tells Story

US History II World War II

World War II was full of battlefronts, Europe, Africa, Asia, but what about on the shores of America? Nautical archaeologists have found evidence of secretive fighting that was going off right off America’s East coast between German submarines, known as U-Boats, and American freight vessels carrying supplies to Europe. A new discovery of a sunken German U-Boat and U.S. freight vessel side by side is helping historians better understand this period of WWII history, known as The Battle of the Atlantic.

Read More

Current Event October 24, 2014

The Word Genocide

Civics/Government Race World History II World War II

Although the concept of genocide has been around for a long time, the word “genocide” is relatively new. A new documentary tells the story of a Polish man who coined the term in 1943, and then advocated for its widespread adoption and recognition. He possessed a strong sense of justice, and he felt determined that crimes related to genocide should be prosecuted. Listen to hear more about this inspirational man and the powerful documentary that tells his story.

Read More

Current Event June 24, 2014

Last of Navajo Code Talkers Dies at 93, Navajo Language in Jeopardy

World History II World War II

The last of World War II’s Navajo Code Talkers died at 93 years old. Americans collaborated with the Native American Navajo tribe to create a code that was unbreakable to Japanese forces during WWII. Today, the Navajo fear their language will die out. Listen to this public radio story to learn why.

Read More

Current Event March 4, 2014

A Commuter Rail’s Holocaust Connection

World War II Transportation

The new operator of the Massachusetts Commuter Rail is a French company whose trains played a role in the Holocaust. Now, the company wants to manage trains in Maryland. A Holocaust survivor is protesting, though, because the company’s trains once transported thousands of Jews to death camps. Listen to this story to understand how the actions of a company decades ago can affect its business today.

Read More

Current Event December 9, 2013

Veteran Remembers Pearl Harbor

US History II World War II

FDR proclaimed that December 7, 1941 will go down in infamy. On that day, 2,000 U.S sailors at Pearl Harbor died from a surprise Japanese attack which started America's involvement in WWII. This veteran witnessed both the beginning and the end of the war.

Read More

Current Event November 1, 2013

The Power of Winston Churchill’s Speeches

Literature World War II Writing

Winston Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain during World War II, was a master orator. His speeches were painstakingly written, meticulously planned and seamlessly delivered. Churchill was given a Nobel Prize in LIterature for his powerful speeches and his other written works. Listen to learn more about the speeches that Churchill wrote and delivered, and the effect they had on shaping World War II.

Read More

Current Event October 30, 2013

Samuel Beckett’s Complex Life

World War II Drama Satire

Playwright Samuel Beckett is known for his postmodernist, absurdist and dark comedy writing. His work, including his most famous play 'Waiting for Godot,' is hard to grasp initially but reflected the post World War II era and his own worldview. Beckett had a complex life as a man and a writer. Listen to learn more about Samuel Beckett’s life and his plays.

Read More