Moderator's Minutes

1 September 2015

D. R. Dorondo, Obl.S.B. D.Phil.

Department of History

Western Carolina University

Moderator, The Carolina Round Table on the World Wars

Dear Members and Friends,

Over the course of this year we have witnessed a number of significant 70th anniversaries regarding the Second World War: on 1 April the invasion of Okinawa; on 8 May the end of the War in Europe (V-E Day); between April and June the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco, California; on 6 and 9 August the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively; and this week, on 2 September – tomorrow, as I write these words – the signing by Japanese delegates of the surrender documents in Tokyo Bay aboard the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63).

Using the war’s commonly accepted dates as running from 1939 to 1945 (the war in Asia may well be calculated from Japan’s even earlier aggression against China), the current issue of ARMY magazine cites the following figures: some 416,000 US service members killed in action; more than 15 million combatants lost worldwide with perhaps 25 million more wounded. Worse still, the war took the lives of an estimated 45 million civilians. Never, in all the long history of mankind, had such suffering been inflicted and endured.

We would do well this week to pause. To remember. To mourn our kind’s loss.

To such an end, the following links are provided:

To all of you, my thanks for your continuing support of The Carolina Round Table on the World Wars.

D. R. Dorondo

Dear Members of The Carolina Round Table on the World Wars,

Welcome to a new addition to our web-site! From time to time I’ll be providing “Moderator’s Minutes” to keep you apprised of relevant news, forthcoming events, particular anniversaries, and related matters. For the moment, let me begin with a hearty “welcome back!” Our normal summer-term hiatus now draws rapidly to a close, and we here at Western Carolina University are gearing up for another Fall Semester.

We have what I believe you will agree is a very interesting program for the season. Our first speaker will be Dr. Jen Schiff of WCU’s Department of Political Science and winner of the College of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award for 2012-2013. Dr. Schiff will be addressing the fascinating topic of the international relations of the world wars of the twentieth century. Her presentation promises to be a unique look at the conflicts that did so much to define the 20th Century. Our second meeting will host Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret.), a widely noted author, commentator, and expert on the Marines in the Pacific War. Col. Alexander will talk to us about the fiercely contested Battle of Tarawa whose seventieth anniversary falls this November.

Please watch for details in the Events link, as well as on the home page, and note that Col. Alexander’s presentation will be held at WCU’s Biltmore Park facility in Asheville, NC rather than the on-campus University Center.

Always remember that you may contact me at any time with questions or suggestions via phone at 828.227.3908 or e-mail at

Once again, welcome back, and I hope to see you soon!

All the best,

D. R. Dorondo, Moderator

The Carolina Round Table on the World Wars


27 January 2015

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Red Army in 1945. This day has now also become known internationally as Holocaust Remembrance Day. Except for Israel, no other country in the world attends to this day more than the Federal Republic of Germany. In his annual speech to the Federal Republic’s parliament (the Bundestag), President Joachim Gauck strikingly maintained that “there is no German identity without Auschwitz.” The memory of what the Nazi regime did to untold millions of innocents – what the German people allowed to be done in their name and with their participation – can never be separated from what Germany now is.

On behalf of The Carolina Round Table on the World Wars, I therefore recommend the following link, in English, from the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle:

D. R. Dorondo, Obl.S.B. D.Phil.

Moderator, The Carolina Round Table on the World Wars