May 12, 2005
Library of Congress contacts: Anneliesa Clump Behrend [email protected];
Helen Dalrymple [email protected]
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS VETERANS HISTORY PROJECT
HIGHLIGHTS MORE STORIES ON THE WEB
“VE-VJ” Goes Online; Symposium
on End of War Scheduled for May 26
selection of 13 fully digitized collections of materials submitted
by veterans and civilians is now available for the first time
on the Library of Congress Web site at http://www.loc.gov/warstories.
This is the seventh set of individual stories—comprising interviews, letters,
photographs and written memoirs—to be featured on the site, which is titled “Experiencing
War: Stories from the Veterans History Project.” Since the launch of this
site on Memorial Day 2003, the Veterans History Project has been selecting stories
to illuminate certain themes and making them available online. Past themes have
included D-Day, prisoners of war, life-altering moments and military medicine.
The latest addition of stories focuses on “VE” and “VJ” (Victory
over Europe and Victory over Japan), highlighting personal accounts from veterans
recalling the hours after the announcement of the end of World War II.
The Veterans History Project site now has 1,321 stories online, many of which
include audio interviews, photographs, diaries, letters and other materials,
consisting of more than 60,000 online items. These materials are part of the
continuing effort by the Library to make its collections accessible online.
“As the nation honors the sacrifices of all veterans and commemorates the
60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Veterans History Project Web
site provides an interactive site where students, historians and others can listen
to oral histories from veterans and read firsthand accounts of war,” said
Diane Kresh, director of the Veterans History Project.
This special online presentation marks the 60th anniversary of the end of World
One of the featured veterans, Charles Remsburg, recalls in his 259-page memoir
titled “Old in Youth—Letters Home from a Young Infantryman During
World War II,” his seven months of service in the infantry and as a public
relations officer while stationed in Europe. Remsburg was relieved to see the
end of fighting, especially after he had lost so many friends, one of them in
the war’s last hours. His postwar travels around Europe opened his eyes
to the devastating consequences of full-scale war. Almost 40 years later, he
was able to recall his experiences with the help of scores of letters he had
In the summer of 1945, what most Americans on duty in the Pacific dreaded was
the planned invasion of Japan. The atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
changed all that. Raymond Brittain witnessed both ends of America’s involvement
in the war. His ship was on Battleship Row during the attack on Pearl Harbor,
and he was in Japan immediately after the surrender to witness the havoc that
U.S. bombers had caused there. His story is online.
On May 26, the Veterans History Project and United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum will host a half-day symposium titled “War’s End: Eyewitness
to History,” from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library
of Congress’ Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Benjamin
Ferencz, an Army officer who served as prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, will
deliver the keynote address. The program is free and open to the public. Reservations
may be made by phone by calling (202) 707-6179.
Veterans from World War I through the current conflict, and the civilians who
supported them, are coming forward to record their personal stories and contribute
personal documents for a growing archives at the American Folklife Center at
the Library of Congress. The goal is to collect, preserve and share with future
generations the stories of all American war veterans. To date, more than 33,000
individuals have submitted stories to the collection.
Those interested in becoming involved in the Veterans History Project are
encouraged to send e-mail to [email protected] to
request a project kit. The kit is also available on the Veterans History Project
Web site at http://www.loc.gov/vets or
call the toll-free
message line at (888)
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