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Come on home: the end of the Second World War

Come on home: the end of the Second World War

Sixty years ago New Zealanders celebrated the end of the Second World War and our boys, and girls, came home from six years of fighting and hardship.

A series of four talks running through August will commemorate the end of the war and consider the emotional, social and political impact it had on New Zealand, starting with VE and VJ day, and ending with the impact of war on the children of veterans.

All the talks begin at 5.30pm in the National Library Auditorium, entrance on Aitken Street.

Out in the streets: VE and VJ days
Thursday 4 August

Almost sixty years after the end of the Second World War in our part of the world, historian Jock Phillips discusses how New Zealanders marked the end of the war on VE day in May and VJ day in August 1945. Were we out in the streets?

Jock Phillips is General Editor of Te Ara: the encyclopedia of New Zealand, at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Interpreting and remembering war’s past: wartime letters
Thursday 11 August

LetterLetters writing is becoming a forgotten art, but in the years of the Second World War letters were the only link between loved ones and those overseas. Deborah Montgomerie reads between the lines of wartime correspondence to show how New Zealanders managed the emotional and psychological challenges of war.

Deborah Montgomerie teaches history at the University of Auckland. Love in Time of War: Letter Writing in the Second World War is her latest book.

Where Britain goes, we no longer go? The legacy of the Maori Battalion
Thursday 18 August

The Maori Battalion took men from all over the country and showed them a way of life, and death, on the other side of the world. Sir Apirana Ngata noted that war service was the price of citizenship and Monty Soutar considers this price and examines the impact of the Maori Battalion in post-war society.

Monty Soutar is Fellow in Maori History at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage where he is writing a history of C Company, 28 (Maori) Battalion.

Post-war? The continuing impact of the Second World War
Thursday 25 August

The damaging effects of combat can reach down through generations to have a detrimental impact on the children of war veterans. Alison Parr considers the implications of this for New Zealand.

Alison Parr is an oral historian with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage where she runs From Memory, a war oral history programme.

This series of talks is jointly organised by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Alexander Turnbull Library.


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