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Narratives and identity of defeat: Japanese former military elite officers after 1945

by Aiko Otsuka

Aiko Otsuka is a Ph.D student in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University.

Recently in Japan, more war veterans have now started to tell stories about their atrocities from World War 2. Some Japanese war veterans have given lectures about the terrible crimes committed in Asia during the war as a way for the younger generations to understand the negative impact of war. Although more discussion by the so-called victimisers has been brought to public attention, there are many marginalised or forgotten stories concerning Japan’s atrocious past, including Japan’s occupation and colonisation in Asia.

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British Identity in Fascist Italy

by Konstantin Wertelecki

Konstantin Wertelecki is an MPhil student in Modern European History at the University of Cambridge.

In June 1940, British citizens Mr. and Mrs. Waterfield drove to the Florence railway station, just in time to catch the last train to France before Italy declared war on Britain. Bizarrely, this was their second escape from Italy; they previously fled Tuscany in 1939. But after concluding that the Italians posed no threat, they decided to return. As their daughter Kinta Beevor recalled, this was a common attitude among British expatriates: ‘Although Florence was plastered with virulently anti-British posters, few [Anglo]Florentines seemed to take them seriously.’[1] So in the face of danger, why did British citizens stay in Fascist Italy? While there are several reasons to this, among the most prominent was British expatriates’ tenacious grip on their British identity.

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