Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Josephine Baker: Siren of the Resistance

Iconic entertainer of the Jazz Age, famous for her risqué performances, Josephine Baker responded to the start of World War II by becoming a spy for the French Resistance. Known as the “Creole Goddess” of France, Baker used her celebrity to gain access to high-ranking Axis officials.

June 20, 2020 · Leave a comment

W. D. Ehrhart: Paul Fussell — A Remembrance

While Fussell wrote on a wide variety of subjects over his long life—ranging from Augustan humanism, Samuel Johnson, and Kingsley Amis to the 2nd Amendment, the Indianapolis 500, and travel in between-the-wars Europe—war, the irony of war, the suffering and lunacy and permanent damage of war, the unfairness of war, lay at the heart of his writing and of his being.

May 31, 2020 · 3 Comments

Emma Parker: This young woman created 784 paintings while hiding from the Nazis

Together these sequential images tell a family history, focussing on a central character called Charlotte Kann, a semi-autobiographical version of Salomon herself. They document Charlotte’s development as an artist, her struggles against madness and her first love affair, all painted against a backdrop of increasingly violent Nazi rule.

January 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

Sandy Solomon: Reading Suite Française

“Remove your yellow star.
Head for Switzerland or try
for Nice. Don’t write your will
Don’t imagine what the Germans feel.”

July 31, 2019 · 1 Comment

Chris Hedges: War and Memory

I asked my grandmother after he left what was wrong with him. “The war,” she said acidly.

July 24, 2019 · 2 Comments

Harry Blain: American Concentration Camps

When human beings are framed as a national security threat, barbed wire is the next logical step. But unlike during the Japanese internment, today there’s high-level political resistance.

July 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

Drummond Allison: Come, let us pity not the dead but Death

Come, let us pity not the dead but Death
For He can only come when we are leaving,
He cannot stay for tea or share our sherry.

May 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

Sandy Solomon: Sophie Scholl from diary, letters, pamphlets

21-year-old Scholl, with her older brother Hans,  was guillotined on 22 February 1943 for being part of the White Rose, a group of students  arrested for distributing anti-Nazi flyers.  — … Continue reading

February 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

William J. Astore: The U.S. Military’s Lost Wars

Overfunded, Overhyped, and Always Over There. One of the finest military memoirs of any generation is Defeat Into Victory, British Field Marshal Sir William Slim’s perceptive account of World War II’s torturous Burma … Continue reading

January 30, 2019 · 1 Comment

Joan E. Bauer: Bird’s Landing, Monongahela

They were flying steady in the winter of ’56, from Nevada, the B-25, six men on board, three pilots and crew bound east. At a stop in Oklahoma, the snow … Continue reading

January 9, 2019 · Leave a comment

Laure-Anne Bosselaar: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving today.  Soaked with sleet. No sun for six days — six is the Devil’s number. I have looked through this window, at these American skies for 5 times 6 … Continue reading

November 22, 2018 · 5 Comments

Dominik W. Rettinger & Christine Skarbek: Kommando Puff

A new novel From Poland recounts the industrialization of rape at Auschwitz.  Kommando Puff is a novel that exposes the lives of two women:  Anna, the German mother of an SS-officer … Continue reading

June 17, 2018 · Leave a comment

John Topham: Simone Segouin, the 18 year old French Resistance fighter, 1944

Simone is pictured taking cover during the liberation of Paris in August 19, 1944. . Members of the French Resistance are photographed in the midst of battle against German troops … Continue reading

February 2, 2018 · 1 Comment

Christine Skarbek: Countess Krystyna Skarbek — Resistance Personified

The most decorated woman of WWII was – without a doubt – a free-spirited Nazi Resistance fighter. Yet, Polish Countess Krystyna Skarbek remains unheralded in her homeland, and nearly everywhere … Continue reading

January 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

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