Archive for the ‘History’ Category


Have you heard of the Holocaust?

December 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Of course, you have. I believe (and I hope) that people who read this blog are at least averagely well-informed. But a new survey has revealed an astonishing (and very worrying) lack of knowledge of the Holocaust and widespread prejudice against Jews. A recent survey by CNN found that about one European in 20 in […]

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Discovery of an intact Spitfire after 76 years

November 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

A long-lost Second World War Spitfire flown by a pilot who was part of the “Great Escape” has been found almost entirely intact on a Norwegian mountain – 76 years after it was shot down by the Germans. The discovery is the first time for more than 20 years that a substantially complete and previously […]

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Who signed the 1918 Armistice Agreement for Germany and what happened to him?

November 16th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

We have just commemorated the centenary of the ending of the First World War. We all know that, following an Armistice Agreement signed in a railway carriage in rural France, hostilities ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But, until watching a BBC2 documentary entitled “WW1: The Final Hours”, […]

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A revolution that succeeded – until it was crushed by other revolutionaries

November 2nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

This week, I attended a lecture on the Georgian revolution of 1918-1921. It was delivered by my friend Eric Lee and the venue was the Centre of Contemporary Central Asia & the Caucasus in London. Eric quoted an assessment of the Georgian revolution at the time by the noted German Marxist Karl Kautsky: “In comparison […]

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Why Peterloo was so important and why you’re going to hear so much more about it

October 29th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

On 16 August 1819 in St Peter’s Field in central Manchester, around 60,000 pro-democracy reformers gathered in a peaceful protest that turned savage when it was attacked by armed cavalry, resulting in 18 deaths and over 600 injured.  Until recently, the only public commemoration of this historic event was a plaque on the  wall of […]

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Remembering the creation of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago

October 28th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Exactly 100 years ago today, the new state of Czechoslovakia was created. This new country had a chequered history. It was dismembered by the infamous Munich Agreement of 1938, it was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1939-1945, it was controlled by the communists from 1948-1989, and it was deviderd into the Czech and Slovak Republics […]

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Do you know who was the founding first president of the new state of Czechoslovakia 100 years ago?

October 18th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

It was Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk – or TGM as he was often known – and this week I attended a talk given by his great granddaughter Charlotta Kotik. The event was organised by the British Czech and Slovak Association and the venue was the Slovak Embassy in London. Masaryk was already 68 when he became President […]

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A review of “The Shortest History Of Germany” by James Hawes

October 4th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

How could the almost 2,000 tiny statelets that came out of Europe’s Thirty Years War of 1618-1648 become a united nation for the first time in 1871 thanks to Otto von Bismarck before plunging the globe into two world wars which it lost before rising anew as the leader of the European Union and one […]

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Who voted for Hitler?

September 29th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading “The Shortest History Of Germany” by James Hawes and I’ve reached the section on the rise of Nazism in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The explosive rise in the electoral support for the Nazis was amazing – from 2.6% in 1928 to 43.9% in March 1933. Dawes invites the reader of […]

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The global flu pandemic of 1918 killed at least 50 million – but where did it start?

September 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The horror of World War One is estimated to have caused between 15-20 million deaths mainly in Europe but, even before the war ended, a global flu pandemic in 1918-1919 resulted in a further death toll of between 50-100 million and infected around one third of the world’s entire population. This week, BBC Two television […]

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