RE: [sixties-l] World War II Babies

From: Levin, Marc (
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 14:10:15 CUT

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    Great dialogue, all!
    I was born in 1946 and my wife in 1945, and as for political roots, she
    comes from a background of rural religious pacifism (Church of the Brethren)
    and I from a liberal, 2nd generation Jewish, urban, Democrat family. During
    WWII, her father, as many coal miners were, was exempted from military
    service to stay and work in that essential war-time industry. My father
    served in the Army in Asia.

    My question to the list is why being a toddler DURING the war would shape
    one's behavior differently than being a "boomer" whose parents served in the
    military, bought into the war-time political/patriotic ethos and returned
    home to live it out? I think drawing the divide at 1945-46 may be too
    useful in providing insight into 1960-70s activist styles and behavior. As a
    Vietnam war resister of the 60s who chose prison, I and many of my
    like-minded friends--male and female--often talked about the differences
    between those who were active because of their commitmant and participation
    in a "counter culture" and those (a minority, I am afraid) who saw the
    period as an opportunity for organizing on behalf of lasting political
    change in the U.S.

    I join the chorus welcoming the list back.

    Marc Levin

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Christine Kingsley []
    Sent: Tuesday, June 06, 2000 8:23 PM
    Subject: [sixties-l] World War II Babies

    As a W,W,II baby and a red diaper baby, I felt like an anomaly as an
    activist in the late 60's and early 70's mostly. (before them i was
    rasing babies, but that's another story.) I didn't run into too many my
    age. Most of my friends were 7-10 years younger.
     But recently i had an experience that might be of interest. I do
    diversity/sensitivity training and was hired by the Racine Police
    Dept.(Racine, WI.) to give a workshop for all of their officers- 300
    Anyway, I found that their response was definitely by age: the most
    progressive group were baby boomers, followed by some of the young
    officers maybe, 22-27, but the other half of this age group acted almost
    completely disinterested and apolitical. But the worst group, those men
    who openly scoffed or ridiculed me and my message were mostly officers of
    my own age group, over 55. Didn't do much for confidence in my age
    group's politics.

    One last thing-I agree with what Marty had to say about our patriotism
    and our greater sense of hope and of perhaps a more conservative social
    agenda. .I do think there is a difference in how you see the world if you
    were born pror to or during WWII. For some of us, that difference was
    still expressed in radical politics but sadly, for most of my generation,
    it seems to be expressed conservatively.

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