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Hius 222 Video Review 1

In: Historical Events

Submitted By megtps
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Video Review 1

November 01, 2015 HIUS 222,

“World War II In Color: Total War,” (A&E Television Networks), 47:10 mins.

This documentary was designed to show what World War II was like in a color format. Most videos that have been produced were in black and white, and even though you get an idea of what the destruction and devastation was like, nothing will prepare you for seeing the devastation on all sides of the war in a color video format. “World War II in Color: Total War” is an unbiased documentary that was aired on the A&E Network in the year 2000.
This documentary was put together using diary entries, letters, and interviews of those who lived through World War II on all sides of the war. Some of the diary entries were horrifying to listen to, but when set to video of the event it really brought home how horrible this war was to live through by the civilians living in hard-hit cities. Mary Borg was a seventeen year old Jewish girl who lived in the Warsaw Ghetto and wrote in her diary about the great number of children left to be orphans because their parents were killed and how this affected them. She talked about how malnourished they were and how they looked like monkeys instead of children. These words were chilling in themselves, but to view the video of these small children ranging in ages of three years old and up made you want to cry.
This documentary also highlights the thoughts of soldiers fighting this war and some of the thoughts they had while killing others or running for their lives. Pvt. Harry Melart, a German soldier, wrote a letter home to his wife a week before his death that talked about how the battlefield disgusts him and he did not want to see bodies or blood anymore. Marine Chuck Ables, wrote in a letter home about the Japanese (calling them Nips) and how they would get drunk before running at US Soldiers and ultimately dieing. “Nuts, Johnny, just plain nuts. That describes them in full. They don’t give a damn whether they get killed or not, and that can’t be human.” “It is becoming an obsession with every officer and man in this devision to kill Japanese.” The last diary entry by Lt. Kawaguchi, a Japanese officer talks about sacrificing his body (suicide) and becoming a war god. During this segment of the video you see Japanese soldiers throwing themselves off cliffs, laying on grenades, and other forms of suicide.
The narration of this video was somber in itself, but next to the color video it made you feel like you were living through the bombings of Hamburg Germany, or the detainment of American Japanese in concentration camps in the United States, or the horrifying details of executions carried out in Pancevo, Serbia. Some of the same footage can be seen in black and white, but it just does not give the same connection to an event like a color video does.



Daniels, Roger, Foner, Eric. Prisoners Without Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II. Hill and Wang Publishing, 2004.

Lowe, Keith. Inferno: the fiery destruction of Hamburg, 1943. New York: Scribner Publishing, 2007.

Rubin, Susan Goldman. Irena Sendler and the children of the Warsaw Ghetto. New York: Holiday House Publishing, 2011.


Bammer, Angelika. “Hamburg Memories” The German Quarterly 74:4 (March 2010): 368.

Kurashige, Scott. “The Shifting Grounds”: Princeton University 74:4 (Fall 2010): 7-44.

Weinbaum, Laurence. “Shaking The Dust Off”: The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto’s Forgotten Chronicler. Jewish Political Studies Review 74:4 (Fall 2010): 7-44.


History Learning Site. “The bombing of Hamburg in 1943.” (accessed on Jan 21, 2015).

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.” (accessed on Jan 21, 2015).

US History. “Japanese-American Internment.” (accessed on Jan 21, 2015).

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