World War II ranks as the greatest military conflict in human history and became the shaping event of our modern world, with the account told in many tens of thousands of books. But over the last five years I’ve published a long series of articles providing elements of the story that are sharply—sometimes even shockingly—at odds with the standard narrative.
About a year ago, I’d produced print collections of my writings and made them available on Amazon, with one of those volumes including most of my World War II essays.
Even if someone had previously looked at a few of my articles when they’d originally appeared four or five years ago, the impact of reading them together in a physical book was far greater. Mike Whitney told me that he’d found the historical material in my World War II collection so astonishing that he’d read the entire volume three separate times, so he suggested that he interview me on some of the major topics.
He sent me eight open-ended questions, and prompted by these I distilled and summarized the material I’d previously published. The resulting text ran over 12,000 words but was merely a tenth of the total original length.
Although the Second World War ended more than three generations ago, I had argued that it still retained enormous present-day relevance and he appropriately selected one of my sentences as a framing quote for the entire interview:
Much of the current political legitimacy of today’s American government and its various European vassal-states is founded upon a particular narrative history of World War II, and challenging that account might have dire political consequences.
My reconstruction of the true wartime history was exceptionally provocative and controversial, as indicated by my closing paragraphs:
In the wake of the 9/11 Attacks, the Jewish Neocons stampeded America towards the disastrous Iraq War and the resulting destruction of the Middle East, with the talking heads on our television sets endlessly claiming that “Saddam Hussein is another Hitler.” Since then, we have regularly heard the same tag-line repeated in various modified versions, being told that “Muammar Gaddafi is another Hitler” or “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is another Hitler” or “Vladimir Putin is another Hitler” or even “Hugo Chavez is another Hitler.” For the last couple of years, our American media has been relentlessly filled with the claim that “Donald Trump is another Hitler.”
During the early 2000s, I obviously recognized that Iraq’s ruler was a harsh tyrant, but snickered at the absurd media propaganda, knowing perfectly well that Saddam Hussein was no Adolf Hitler. But with the steady growth of the Internet and the availability of the millions of pages of periodicals provided by my digitization project, I’ve been quite surprised to gradually also discover that Adolf Hitler was no Adolf Hitler.
It might not be entirely correct to claim that the story of World War II was that Franklin Roosevelt sought to escape his domestic difficulties by orchestrating a major European war against the prosperous, peace-loving Nazi Germany of Adolf Hitler. But I do think that picture is probably somewhat closer to the actual historical reality than the inverted image more commonly found in our textbooks.
I had thought that this long piece would do well, but it easily exceeded all my expectations, with the early traffic being far greater than anything I’d published in many years. Within the first six days, the interview had attracted more readership than any other article on our website had accumulated over the previous six months. And although my long piece seemed to boldly cross every forbidden red line in mainstream history, the reaction was also surprisingly favorable, including far less angry criticism than I had expected to encounter.
Indeed, some of the responses were remarkably heartening. For example, I received a plaintive and sympathetic note from an eminent international academic scholar, an elderly, fully mainstream figure who had specialized in human rights issues and was the author of many excellent books, several of which I had read.
He explained that during 1972-1975 he had done extensive archival research on the war and had also interviewed dozens of the key surviving figures on both sides, including many of the highest rank, discovering that the official story we had all been taught was merely a pack of lies. But
“…never published my research, because it is useless in a world that wants to be lied to. Mainstream history is a disgrace — contrary to the testimony of eye witnesses, contrary to the documents in the archives…”
“I feel like you do there is not only fake news but fake history fake law fake diplomacy and fake democracy…the level of falsification of history is appalling”
My presentation of the true history of World War II was organized by the eight separate interview questions and can be explored in that way:
- Question 1: Hitler
- Question 2: The London “Blitz”
- Question 3: The Purge of Antiwar Intellectuals
- Question 4: Postwar Germany
- Question 5: The Pearl Harbor Attack
- Question 6: Operation Pike
- Question 7: The Holocaust
- Question 8: Our Understanding of the War
Or the entire article can be read as a whole:
- Why Everything You Know About World War II Is Wrong
Mike Whitney Interview with Ron Unz
Ron Unz and Mike Whitney • The Unz Review • June 12, 2023 • 12,600 Words
But although my responses ran a very long 12,000 words, even that was insufficient to include several of the most important “hidden histories” of the Second World War. Therefore, I’m now providing these in this follow-up piece….