For the umpteenth time today I heard a gratifying but untrue version of the meaning of June 7, 1944. Here is the letter I wrote in the hopes of fixing it, sent to the oh-so-scholarly Heritage Foundation. Futile I know, but better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Nile Gardiner, Director
Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom
Dear Dr. Gardiner:
I heard your interview this morning with our local radio host Charlie Sykes. There is one inaccurate point (among many) that the two of you stated as if historical fact that I must dispute. Call me an America-hater if you want, but I do not support creating self-serving fantasies when they do such violence to what actually happened.
You contend that America in World War II, with some ancillary help from the British, rescued Europe from fascism. This is the fantasy: that the U.S. military, more than anyone, defeated Hitler and saved Europe. My question to you is: Do the Russians -- including the 25 million dead, the heroes of Stalingrad or those Red Army soldiers who actually delivered the coup de grace in Berlin in May, 1945 -- play any role in this at all? Or, is the Russian contribution so far less than either the U.S. or British to not warrant a mention? Or -- here's another possibility -- is it forbidden to work at Heritage and also say something nice about communists?
While I believe the U.S. military did contribute significantly to the Allied victory in Europe, and, from a moral perspective, I believe the deaths of the over 100,000 U.S. soldiers and sailors there were heroic, I also don't think it contradicts either of those premises to acknowledge that the outcome of the war in Europe was not really in doubt by the time of the D-Day amphibious counter-attack in 1944.
The Battle of Britain in 1940-41 and the surrender at Stalingrad in 1943 were more important turning points.
Thanks for hearing me out sir.
Victor Berger Center for Mangled History