The reflections and rantings of one obsessive history student
Today, I found (what I think to be) the most awesometastic twitter ever. No, it’s not some random celebrity…. it is one Oxford history grad, Alwyn Collinson, who has taken it upon himself to tweet events from WWII in “real time” for the next 6 years. Of course, for it to be real time you have to imagine that the year is 1939, but the day’s tweets correspond with actual events that occurred that day more than 60 years ago. I have never spent 2 hours reading someone’s twitter history before I found @RealTimeWWII
In an interview that Collinson gave with The Telegraph, he explains why he’s doing this project
“I’m hoping to use Twitter to help bring the past to life, helping people understand the past as people at the time saw it, without the benefit of hindsight,”
This guy is just so amazing. As far as Collinson’s goal goes, he’s certainly achieved it with me. His tweets are informative and incredibly human. Collinson’s tweets are also loaded with contemporary sources such as pictures, sound bites, newsreel and eyewitness accounts. Right now, most of his accounts talk about America’s “Neutrality Act” and Hitler’s invasion/occupation of Poland. I love how in just 140 characters, Collinson can still make these tweets hit home. Some are uplifting, but in such a dark and uncertain time as 1939 was, most are heartbreaking. Such as this one, posted on Veteran’s (Remembrance) Day. It an except from the diary of Canadian Lt. Gen. Alan Brooke reflecting on the Remembrance Day ceremony he’d attended.
“The poppies served as a vivid reminder of the floods of blood spilt on this very ground, & the futility of again causing such bloodshed”
His posts on Remembrance Day are also quite revealing. They make you think of how people must have felt at the time, many had just barely survived the massacre that was supposed to be “the war to end all wars” and now they find themselves subjecting their own children to horrors that they spent the last decade trying to forget about. I believe everyone should check out this twitter, even if they aren’t a history fan. I mean, @RealTimeWWII may not promote useless products like @KimKardashian, but you might just learn something.