NEW ORLEANS (March 22, 2022) – The National WWII Museum announces Memory Wars: World War II at 75 and Beyond conference, a first-of-its-kind, virtual event taking place March 24 – 26 that will examine World War II’s place in public memory and how historians, filmmakers, media, memorials and museums help shape the legacy of the global conflict. Recent events in Ukraine have demonstrated that the history and memory of World War II remain relevant today and that educational discourse such as this are more important than ever.
Memory Wars—hosted by the Museum’s Jenny Craig Institute for the Study of War and Democracy—is a three-day virtual conference that will bring together nearly 40 of the world’s leading museum directors, historians, filmmakers and WWII game producers through 14 informative sessions livestreamed free of charge to registrants. In conjunction with Women’s History Month, the conference will also celebrate the permanent naming of the Museum’s Institute for the Study of War and Democracy in honor of Jenny Craig. An innovator, business leader and trailblazer for women worldwide, Craig grew up in New Orleans during World War II, with her two brothers serving, and has generously dedicated her support to help advance the Institute’s programs, content and outreach.
“This conference is timelier than ever due to the recent events unfolding in Eastern Europe and the WWII rhetoric being utilized on all sides,” said Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller, PhD, President & CEO Emeritus at The National WWII Museum. “It is incumbent for us as a society to discuss how the implications of World War II still reverberate in the current political landscape as well as today’s pop culture and to place World War II in proper context, especially as that generation passes away and we lose their firsthand accounts.”
The opening conference session, featuring Playtone Executive and Producer Kirk Saduski known for Band of Brothers and The Pacific mini-series, will discuss the role that movies and TV have played in generating, shaping and altering popular memory of World War II, as well as the great lengths that some productions have gone to ensure the highest historical accuracy and sense of realism. During virtual sessions over the next two days, participants will have the opportunity to hear historians debate about the popular view of World War II as a “good war” for America and our Allies, and Respawn Entertainment Game Director Peter Hirschmann discuss how video games are shaping the public’s view of World War II.
Memory Wars virtual conference sessions will also feature:
“Life and Death Between Hitler and Stalin: Mass Murder and Memory in Eastern Europe”
World War II ravaged the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and the latter then suffered Soviet occupation for the next 50 years. This panel will compare and contrast the complex, often irreconcilable ways in which Eastern Europe and Russia remember the war.
- Media interviews available by request with session panelist Alexandra Richie, DPhil, Professor, Collegium Civitas
“Never Again? The Holocaust in Public Memory and Discourse”
This session will discuss how the Holocaust is remembered today, by whom and for whom. How will its lasting relevance be maintained in public memory?
- Media interviews available by request with session panelist Sara J. Bloomfield, Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
“Day of Infamy—Public Memory of WWII in Japan and the U.S.” – A Conversation with Carol Gluck, PhD, Columbia University
American memory of the war traditionally begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. This conversation will focus on the how Japan conducted a total war against China from July 1937 to August 1945, and how its failure to escape the China quagmire was the reason for Pearl Harbor in the first place. Gluck will also talk about how the Japanese and Asian perspectives have evolved over the past 75 years.
- Media interviews available by request with session interviewer Rob Citino, PhD, Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian, The National WWII Museum
For a full conference schedule and list of speakers, visit ww2conference.com.
Thanks to our presenting sponsors, the American Battle Monuments Commission, Electronic Arts, Respawn Entertainment, and Oculus from Meta, this conference will be entirely virtual and entirely free of charge. For more information or to register for complimentary access to Memory Wars: World War II at 75 and Beyond conference, visit www.ww2conference.com.
The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world—why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today—so that all generations will understand the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National WWII Museum, the institution celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information on Tripadvisor’s #1 New Orleans attraction, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org.