Author (Your Name)

Joan Giblin, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Senior Scholars Paper (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Anthropology Dept.




"It is one of the perversities of human nature that people have a far greater capacity for enduring disasters than for preventing them, even when the danger is plain and imminent. This has never been more true than when it is applied to World War II. The atrocities committed against human nature during the period of 1939-1945 are among the worst known to the world. Concentration camps in Germany, methodical mass genocide throughout Europe, and the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan all occurred within years of each other. Yet, the victims of these horrendous acts endured-painfully, but triumphantly. Even outsiders who have not lived through such catastrophes shudder to hear of the conditions under which the survivors persevered. The city of Hiroshima was flattened to the earth in an instant, yet still people were somehow able to survive the blast. They were able to forage for weeds to prevent starvation, build rough shelters out of the rubble and eventually rebuild into a major world city. Not only were there agonizing and appalling physical conditions in Japan, but psychologically the surrender of Japan was devastating. To truly understand the defeat of Japan, one must understand the culture at the time.


World War, 1939-1945, Japan, Fiction


Full-text download restricted to Colby College campus only.