What the pupils say about WWII

14th April 2000 at 01:00
Maureen McTaggart talked to pupils at two schools about the thoughts and feelings aroused by the Second World War.

Suna Ali, 14, Turves Green girls' school, Birmingham

"When I think of the Second World War I think of the fighting and death.

"It wasn't a happy time. America didn't want to get involved in the war because of their experience in World War I.

"But they were helping Britain with food supplies when Japan declared war on them so they had to get involved by declaring war back on Japan.

"My grandad was alive during the war, but he was in hospital so didn't get to fight. I would have loved to talk to him about that period, but he died before I was born."

Tara Coomes, 13, Turves Green school

"The Holocaust is the first thing that comes into my mind when people talk about the war.

"My neighbour fought against Germany. He talks about the war all the time and told us he was shot in the leg and has a hole in his back. A Holocaust survivor who lives in Solihull has agreed to come to the school to talk to us about his bad experience and answer our questions."

Jenna Bradley, 14, Turves Green school

"I always think about Hitler whenever people talk about the Second World War. He thought he could take over the world.

"Some people think he was mad, but there are some who thoght it was all right for him to want to be powerful and rule every country. He was enjoying himself and thought having all that power was fun.

"Some people in Britain feel resentful because America took all the glory for winning the war. Before they joined in Britain was on its own from 1940-41 so people think Britain should have got all the glory.

"We are going to be interviewing some pensioners who were evacuated from Birmingham and some who stayed to find out whether it was better to be evacuated or to have stayed. I am looking forward to this because I am taking GCSE history.

Sarah Kemp, 15, Aveley school, Essex

"It was all about how Hitler gained a huge amount of power and was able to control the people in Germany.

"He rose from being a soldier in World War I to become the leader of Germany with control over the Jews. The American people were our allies who supplied all the weapons and worked together with Britain to defeat the German army.

"My grandad fought and died in the war. My grandma used to talk to us about how scared and unhappy she was about being evacuated.

"We didn't just use textbooks to learn about the war during our history lessons. We talked about it and were sent off to do our own research by talking to relatives and friends and looking at old photographs."

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