How to maximize the meaning in our lives

There’s nothing more significant than living with meaning

How to maximize the meaning in our livesThere’s nothing more significant than living with meaning. This is the concept pondered by the Jewish psychiatrist Viktor Frankl as he struggled to remain alive for three years in Nazi concentration camps. Frankl established the groundwork for his psychological theory on the importance of finding meaning in life before he was sent to Auschwitz. He…

War and brutality go hand in hand

Combat naturally leads to behaviours that would be deemed shocking in normal life

War and brutality go hand in handAntony Beevor is a prolific English military historian, most famous for the bestseller Stalingrad. First published in the late 1990s, the book’s narrative covers the period between the June 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Battle of Stalingrad in February 1943. That battle is often described as the Second…

Attlee and Churchill: bound together in war and peace

Churchill said history would be good to him, as he'd write it himself. But ostentation wasn’t Attlee's style

Attlee and Churchill: bound together in war and peaceFor the longest time, Clement Attlee lived in Winston Churchill’s shadow. Where Churchill was flamboyant, charismatic and eloquent, Attlee was reticent, dull and rhetorically challenged. Churchill was larger than life and Attlee was the little man who seemed to blend into the woodwork. After becoming leader of the United Kingdom’s Labour Party in 1935, Attlee…

Clearing the fog, and friction, of war

Public statements disclosing our intentions not to engage in an actual war were stupid

Clearing the fog, and friction, of warWhat if the following occurred at a Prime Ministerial news conference? Reporter #1: Prime Minister, there are reports that most or all of our ships at CFB Esquimalt on the west coast have left port. Can you tell me where they’re headed? PM Trudeau: This is a normal military action. Ships must leave port regularly…

Fall of Singapore shattered assumptions of British superiority

The shock waves of the defeat extended beyond the physical events

Fall of Singapore shattered assumptions of British superiorityOn Feb. 15, 1942, Singapore – the so-called Gibraltar of the East – fell to a numerically smaller Japanese force. Four days later, the port of Darwin in northern Australia was bombed by over 260 Japanese aircraft. To put it mildly, Allied prospects in the Second World War’s Asia-Pacific Theatre weren’t looking too auspicious. The…

Second World War attack helped shape Bell Island’s history

It was the only domestic location where Canadians lost their lives during the global conflict

Second World War attack helped shape Bell Island’s historyTroy Media publisher Doug Firby was part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting last May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they made an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and sense of community. Bell Island is a little…

Canadians fighting behind enemy lines – Remembrance Day

Secret agents Raymond LaBrosse and Lucien Dumais rescued hundreds of downed airmen from German-occupied France

Canadians fighting behind enemy lines – Remembrance DayIt was a moonless night on January 29, 1944. It was drizzling. Sixteen airmen and two M.I.9 secret agents cautiously descended the steep cliffs near the village of Plouha on the Brittany Coast of France in fear of being caught, executed, or worse, tortured. The enemy patrolled the beach below. Thanks to Canadian M.I.9 agents…

War, tragedy, and a Broadway hit all part of Gander’s celebrated past

From the Second World War to 9/11, Gander has a lot to be proud of

War, tragedy, and a Broadway hit all part of Gander’s celebrated pastTroy Media publisher Doug Firby is part of a group of Canadians who call themselves ConnecTour. Starting last May in British Columbia and ending in October in Newfoundland, they hope to make an 8,000-km bicycle journey across the country, discovering how the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped our lives and sense of community. Watch for their…

What the Germans can teach us about reconciliation

They’re not guilty of the crimes of their ancestors but they are responsible for building a more peaceful and tolerant country

What the Germans can teach us about reconciliationWhen Germany talked about reuniting as one country after the fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989, many world leaders were quite concerned, especially British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President François Mitterrand. But Germany wasn’t the same country it was in the first half of the 20th century, and today it isn’t…

Stalin, Hitler and the fatal mistakes of Operation Barbarossa

Stalin never lost his penchant for executing his officers. In the catastrophic early days of the German invasion, he shot eight generals

Stalin, Hitler and the fatal mistakes of Operation BarbarossaAdolf Hitler launched the German invasion of the Soviet Union – Operation Barbarossa – in the early hours of June 22, 1941. Initially, it looked like a triumph. The Soviets were caught flatfooted and German troops advanced 480 km into Soviet territory within the first week. It looked like an eastern version of the blitzkrieg…

We can buy weapons or educate children all over the world

The choice should seem obvious, yet around the globe governments still spend astonishing amounts of our money building military might

We can buy weapons or educate children all over the worldWhen discussing global issues, there’s a proverbial, weaponized elephant in the room. The topic is central to human suffering yet we seem unwilling to discuss it: the military-industrial complex. There’s a myth that there are good guys and bad guys and if we blow up the bad guys, the world will be safer. But the…

A worldwide celebration of two centuries of Greek independence

Effective this year, the Greek government will give Greeks living abroad the right to vote in national elections

A worldwide celebration of two centuries of Greek independenceOn March 25, 2021, Greece will commemorate the 200th anniversary of its national day. This bicentenary will be marked with great pomp and ceremony in Greece and in Greek communities of the diaspora around the world. Most countries celebrate their national day at the end of a revolution or the termination of hostilities after a…

Silent Witness of a Holocaust Suitcase

A Canadian family helped solve the mystery of a teenage girl’s life and death at Auschwitz

Silent Witness of a Holocaust SuitcaseHana Brady could be another Anne Frank except she did not leave a diary. But the suitcase that 13-year-old left behind when she died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz concentration camp continues to teach millions of children around the world the importance of respect, empathy and compassion. It bears silent witness to the agony…

What did Germans really think of Hitler?

The Nazi approach rested on three pillars: popularity, tradition and coercion

What did Germans really think of Hitler?The question of what Germans really thought of Adolf Hitler has been kicking around for as long as I can remember. Were Germans hoodwinked, intimidated or broadly supportive? Or was it perhaps some combination of all three? Robert Gellately is a Canadian historian who has written extensively on Nazi Germany. And his latest book, Hitler’s…

Adolf Hitler’s fateful mistake

If Hitler had declared war on Japan in support of the U.S., he might have kept the U.S. out of the European war. And that would have changed history

Adolf Hitler’s fateful mistakeAdolf Hitler began 1941 in a commanding position. He had 10 European conquests under his belt and just one active foe – beleaguered Britain and the members of the Commonwealth, like Canada. But by year-end, he’d added the Soviet Union and the United States to his slate of antagonists. And the declaration of war against…
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