Regimes Around the World are Manipulating History and Threatening Historians

Reading time: 6 minutes
In March 2022, overshadowed by British asylum policies, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published its findings about the state of free speech in Rwanda. In 2018, the government of President and “darling tyrant” Paul Kagame adopted the latest version of a law making punishable, by up to seven years imprisonment, public speech questioning the events and statistics related to the 1994 Genocide. However, the law lacks clear definitions and its vague language is seen as instrumental in prosecuting legitimate debate, in particular over crimes committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), of which Kagame was the commander. Prosecution of legitimate historical discourse took place under earlier versions of the law, but in the lead-up to the thirtieth anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Kagame government has increased its efforts to combat “genocide ideology.”

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IBM and Auschwitz: New Evidence

Reading time: 13 minutes
In August 1943, a timber merchant from Bendzin, Poland, arrived at Auschwitz. He was among a group of 400 inmates, mostly Jews. First, a doctor examined him briefly to determine his fitness for work. His physical information was noted on a medical record. Second, his full prisoner registration was completed with all personal details. Third, his name was checked against the indices of the Political Section to see if he would be subjected to special punishment. Finally, he was registered in the Labor Assignment Office and assigned a characteristic five-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673.

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General History Quiz 164

1. In the years leading up to 1871 how many states were unified to become the modern country of Germany?
Try the full 10 question quiz.

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D-Day succeeded thanks to an ingenious design called the Mulberry Harbours

Reading time: 4 minutes
When Allied troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 – a bold invasion of Nazi-held territory that helped tip the balance of World War II – they were using a remarkable and entirely untested technology: artificial ports.

To stage what was then the largest seaborne assault in history, the American, British and Canadian armies needed to get at least 150,000 soldiers, military personnel and all their equipment ashore on day one of the invasion.

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The changing lessons of Vietnam

Reading time: 5 minutes
The national effort at remembering should also revisit a series of 50-year anniversaries for Australia’s entry and enmeshment in the Vietnam War.

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Military History


How World War II spurred vaccine innovation

Reading time: 7 minutes Before World War II, soldiers died more often of disease than of battle injuries. The ratio of disease-to-battle casualties was approximately 5-to-1 in the Spanish-American War and 2-to-1 in the Civil War. Improved sanitation reduced disease casualties in World War I, but it could not protect troops from the 1918 influenza pandemic. During the outbreak, flu accounted for roughly half of US military casualties in Europe.

Political and Economic History


A love story that threatened the Commonwealth: Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams

Reading time: 7 minutes A relatively unknown name in contemporary Britain, Sir Seretse Khama left an indelible mark on southern African politics. From 1966, he served four terms as the first president of newly independent Botswana. Under Khama, Botswana took immense economic and socio-political strides, leaving a multiracial, democratic, and prosperous nation behind him. He provided a real-world example of how racial equality could function in a part of the world that saw apartheid South Africa just beyond its southern border. 

Social and Cultural History


A cave site in Kenya’s forests reveals the oldest human burial in Africa

Reading time: 7 minutes Africa is often referred to as the cradle of humankind – the birthplace of our species, Homo sapiens. There is evidence of the development of early symbolic behaviours such as pigment use and perforated shell ornaments in Africa, but so far most of what we know about the development of complex social behaviours such as burial and mourning has come from Eurasia. However, the remains of a child buried almost 80,000 years ago under an overhang at Panga ya Saidi cave in Kenya is providing important new details.

History Audiobooks

A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World – Audiobook

On his first journey Cook mapped the east coast of Australia, on his second the British Admiralty sent him into the vast Southern Ocean. Equipped with one of the first accurate chronometers, Cook pushed his small vessel not merely into the Roaring Forties or the Furious Fifties but become the first explorer to penetrate the Antarctic Circle, reaching an incredible Latitude 71 degrees South, just failing to discover Antarctica.

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History Guild would like to acknowledge the Boonwurrung people, the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are based, and pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.