September: Site update, an anniversary and a book review

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Site update, forthcoming anniversary plus publication of a book on one of the greatest unknown heroes of the Second World War

Site update

We are pleased to announce that two Paper 3 units are now complete:

Topic 8, Americas Region: The US Civil War

Topic 18, Europe region, Post-war central and eastern Europe

18: Post-war central and eastern Europe (1945-2000)

This section explores developments in central and eastern Europe from 1945 to 2000. It covers the transition from wartime occupation to 'liberation' and then to Soviet dominance in all states other than...

In addition, we have added an article to the History/TOK in the news section – some thought provoking TOK questions on Eduard Pernkopf's anatomy book:

Should scientists use Eduard Pernkopfs anatomy book? September 2019

Eduard Pernkopf's anatomy book, often called Pernkopf's Atlas, provides doctors with detailed drawings of the human body peeled back layer by later. It is no longer in print and a second-hand set can...


A signficant anniversary that is approaching is the 70th anniversary of the Communist victory in China on 1st October. However, planned celebrations are being overshadowed by the protests in Hong Kong. China also faces international condemnation over its treatment of the Uighars and is also embroiled in a trade war with the US.

This article gives an interesting perspectives on the forthcoming anniversary - there will undoubtedly be many more in the next couple of weeks:

The date which has both Hong Kong and Beijing on edge (CNN)

For months, October 1 has loomed over the mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, as a whispered deadline for the ruling Chinese Communist Party to take action to end the unrest.

As ever, anniversaries give an opportunity to discuss both the past and present situation of a country and look for continunity and change

LIkewise, the death of Mugabe has led to a range of articles on his impact on Zimbabwe past and present:

Robert Mugabe: From liberator to tyrant (BBC News)

He promised democracy and reconciliation. but hopes for the future dissolved into violence, corruption and economic misery.

International Day of Peace

21st September is International Day of Peace which provides  an opportunity for reflection on the role of the UN and current conflicts. The focus for this year is action to combat climate change.

International Day of Peace (

2019 Peace Day Theme:This year's #peaceday theme draws attention to the importance of combating climate change as a way to protect and promote peace throughout the world.

New Books

June saw the publication of a book called The Volunteer: The True Story of the Resistance Hero who Infiltrated Auschwitz by Jack Fairweather which has received stellar reviews e.g. "Superbly written and breathtakingly researched … a story of incalculable value delivered in the most compelling prose I have read in a long time" (Sebastian Junger, #1 New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist)

The following review from History Today explains why this story of Witold Pilecki is so gripping:

The Man The Allies Ignored | History Today (

If historical reputations were based on merit, Witold Pilecki would be a household name. Yet, the Polish Army captain who volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz in 1940, to report on the Germans’ nefarious activities in the camp, is little known outside Poland.

And although it is no longer quite summer, the Financial Times has an interesting list of new History books on a range of different countries:

Summer books of 2019: History (Financial Times)

Tony Barber selects his mid-year reads


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