As of late I've been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I know that I, as a historian, should be able to distance myself from the terrible things I read about. I should be able to treat it professionally, and without letting my own emotions or morality get in the way.
The problem isn't that I can't. The problem is that I won't.
World War Two. The largest conflict in human history. Unfathomably large numbers of people killed, wounded and abused. Unspeakable atrocities on all sides. If World War One was what lost us our innocense, World War Two certainly confirmed that there was no way back. The loss of civilian lives were not only collateral damage in this war; civillians were targets.
Reading about air raids, firebombings, Manchuria and - last but definitely not least - the atomic bombs, I feel obliged to remember that this is more than numbers and figures. It's about people. People who suffered. Who died.
And it's about people who made decisions.
Good people? Evil people? Somewhere-in-between people?
No one if neutral or objective in history. No one should be. Even if we need to understand more than one aspect; we're allowed (and, in my mind, bound), to have opinions and bias. You just need to be aware of it, and try not to let it affect your professional work too much.
If you want to carry the weight of the world too, you may watch the video below. It is long. But it should make you feel something. (And not just about atomic bombs, if you make it past the first ten minutes)
My sincerest appologies for forsaking "Writing Wednesday" for "Cruella pours her heart out (but still couldn't resist the photoshopped image of the 'big three'...)".