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Why study history and WW2

LAURENCE REES: Why should anybody bother to study history in general and this period in particular?

NORBERT FREI: Well, first of all I would say it’s just important for us to be human. I understand our biologists are now telling us things about the memory and remembrance that primates have, but what distinguishes us is that we can think and reflect about our past and our individual past. Our present identity is defined on what we think about our own past, our personal past. So what is true on an individual basis is certainly true on a societal level. A society without knowledge about its past really is in trouble for the present, and even more so probably for the future. I think it’s just fundamental to know about the past. You don’t need to know every little detail, but you have to have an understanding of what somebody called the 'break of civilisation' in the middle of the 20th Century.