Beaumont, Joan: The second war in every respect

Joan Beaumont

The second war in every respect: Australian memory and the Second World War’, Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, 14, 1, Fall 2011, pp. 1-15

Shows how ‘the Second World War is relegated to a secondary place in the Australian national memory of war vis-à-vis the war of 1914-18. It is a lesser war in every respect … The subordination of the Second World War is ultimately attributable to the fact that the signifier of “ANZAC” leads in the imagination and national mythic representation not to any battle or experience of 1939-45 but to 25 April 1915. ANZAC is now irrevocably entrenched in the national political culture as a complex secular signifier of identity and belonging to the nation.’ (abstract; full text available free)

The article includes a brief analysis of the Australia Remembers 1995 initiative, commemorating the 5oth anniversary of the end of World War II. On that event, see also Londey.

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