Thoughts about war

We ended our study of the Second World War by reflecting on war generally; on whether war can ever be justified; and on whether, as individuals, we think that we might ever be prepared to fight in a war.  

Although the Second World War is now part of history, we discussed the terrible fighting currently taking place on the edge of Europe (images of Aleppo in Syria that we looked at were similar to many of the images that we had studied of cities destroyed in the Second World War).  We agreed that, although we are fortunate to live in a stable part of the world, we should not think of war as something that only happens in other places to other people at other times, and that it’s important to develop our own views and understanding about issues of war and peace.  Here’s a selection of the reflections.

Ignas said: “I’ve learned that “the Second World War was a horrific time of death and anger and that we should try to prevent war in the future.”  Jim similarly: “..war is unimaginably awful and scars people for life”.   Nell said, “I have learned how lucky we are to be in a safe part of the world and how we should be grateful for our health and homes.”

Ellie wrote: “I’ve learned that war is about blood and bravery, right and wrong, and great and evil leaders.   War is life changing and always life ending.  My views on war haven’t and will not change.   I believe that if you start a war out of choice your innards are ugly and black and you are inhuman to be so cruel.”

The children reflected on what had helped them to understand the nature of war.  Sarafina said: “I’ve learned that the Second World War was a cold, dark, dangerous time in history….  What helped me understand was family history, other people’s points and perspectives , and stories of what happened to them.”  Nina: “The family histories made me understand war from different perspectives.  Images of war helped me see what was going on.  The Silver Sword makes me realise that children go through dangerous times too.”

There were lots of different points of view on whether war could ever be justified.  Ignas: “I think that we have to be prepared to fight but we have to try every resort before we do… we are fighting for peace not for fun.”   Temmyyaa:  “I have learned that war isn’t about yourself, it’s about people you care for…. I would be able to fight for my country, the people I care for.”

On the other side,  Caspar: “I’m an absolute pacifist, because I hate the idea of killing.” Sylvie:  “I think I am a pacifist.  I just think it’s wrong and I couldn’t bring myself to kill people living who have feelings and families who care for them.  And if it wasn’t war, we could have been friends.”  Sarafina: “I am an absolute pacifist.  I would never, ever go out to fight in a war.  People don’t understand what they’re doing.  As soon as they sign their name, their life has changed.”

Nell tries to take a balanced view: “ I don’t feel war is a solution but in a way I understand why we had them because the Nazis needed to be stopped.”   Jim says, “War can be justified and can bring out good leaders.   Also we can learn from it and make sure it never happens again.”  Do you think Jim’s right?  Can we learn from history?

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Author: class6TM

We are a Year 6 class at Rosendale School in West Dulwich, London.

10 thoughts on “Thoughts about war”

  1. I think that all of these are really amazing reports and have had a whole load of thought put into them. Most are that they are pacifists but that doesn’t matter. We all have our own ways on how we feel. Some of us want to fight in war, some don’t.

    I think all the ideas are perfect.

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    1. I agree with Daisy about how she said that everyone has their own opinion on something but I don’t agree when she said that everyone’s ideas are perfect but I think that some people’s ideas can be horrible and not nice

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  2. I agree with nell in the sense that the nazis needed to be stopped and that war was the only way they would listen.In proportion to the damage we did the damage the nazis caused was not only destruction it was getting people in there own country who were Juish and rounding them in one place and killing them .That is why War is overall horrible!!

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  3. I think that it is inhuman to start a war of that mass and destruction and if you think that if you are a person like Hitler who likes other living creature but kills every other human being for more territory and land you will never get anywhere in life other than being hated by many of the nicest people you’ll ever meet he also brought devastation to lots of families across the world

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  4. All of the reflections are good. It’s nice to see what people learnt and how they feel. I personally I agree with Nell the Nazis needed to be stopped we were doing it for peace.

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  5. I agree with all the ideas .The Nazis needed to be stopped and war was the only way but war tore cities apart and most people never want to speak about it.I think we should learn from history so it never happens again but some people have their own feelings and might think differently.

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  6. I think all these comment are true abou how horrific the war is and its impossible to imagine what could happen in the future if we have a incredible fight we would destroy man kind over an argument!!!!!

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  7. I do think that war is wrong because all the families and lives being brutally ripped apart – but I agree with Nell that the Nazis needed to be stopped in some way and we had tried some ways to stop Hitler (which didn’t work)leaving us with not many possibilities of what to do it was fight Hitler or let his cruel leadership carry on.

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  8. I agree with Nina. The Nazis had to be stopped. If they weren’t stopped who knows what bad things they would do. And the only way to stop them was war!

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  9. I think that all of these reflections are really good. I agree with Nell, because we really need to be very thankful to live in such a peaceful part of the world. I also agree with Nina, because the family histories and the Silver Sword really helped me to understand how everyone did their part and how the children went through these tough times.
    Just like Daisy, I think that everyone has different opinions and that’s the best part about our world: we’re all different!

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