WPBS talks with veterans from both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border about their experiences during World War II. Veterans were stationed all over the world, and we hear from those who fought both in the Europe and Japan theaters of war. The results are moving accounts from those on the front lines and behind.
In the spring of 1945, as the war in Europe drew to a close, the CBS radio correspondent Eric Sevareid was troubled. He had been reporting on the fighting for four years, and had done his best to convey to his listeners back home all that he had seen and heard in Burma, France, Italy and Germany. But he was haunted by the sense that he had failed. He told his audience:
“Only the soldier really lives the war. The journalist does not — war happens inside a man — and that is why, in a certain sense, you and your sons from the war will be forever strangers. If, by the miracles of art and genius, in later years two or three among them can open their hearts and the right words come, then perhaps we shall all know a little of what it was like — and we shall know then that all the present speakers and writers hardly touched the story.”
For the past six years we have striven to create a documentary film series about the Second World War in that spirit. Ours has been, in part, a humbling attempt to understand the things men do in war, and the things war does to them (as Phil Caputo so aptly noted). We chose to explore the impact of the war on the lives of people living in four American towns — Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; and Luverne, Minnesota. Over the course of the films nearly fifteen hours more than forty men and women opened their hearts to us about the war they knew — and which we, their inheritors, could only imagine.
- The Communicator Awards 2008:, Award of Distinction
- Telly Awards 2008 Bronze Level (2nd Place)
- The Videographer Awards 2008,Award of Distinction
Learn more about World War II from these websites, books, memoirs, The War partners, Veteran’s organizations or by contacting us here at WPBS-DT.
Bring THE WAR into your classroom
The wealth of themes explored in THE WAR offer an extraordinary educational opportunity for your classroom. The materials on this web site are specifically designed to help teachers use THE WAR and its themes not only to teach the history of the Second World War, but also to bring the powerful medium of storytelling into the classroom.