I was working with some kids this morning, we are building a clay-oven at school, when the conversation came to the holiday tomorrow. I decided to give them a test, so I asked why there was a holiday. (11th of November is in remembrance of the ending/the victims of WWII, but also WWI)
OK, they knew. They linked it to the second world war. They didn't know about the first one, however.
-And who was fighting who?
He's a famous guy. They know him.
That, they didn't know.
-Who was fighting with the Germans?
I lolled. So I explained to them:
-Italy, Japan. And a last one: Where did the fights take place?
-France. Germany. Netherlands. U.K.
They thought so. Yes, I must have been a small-scale West-European thingy.
I started summing up: countries in the pacific, Hawaii, East Europe. South Europe, The Sahara, several colonies in Africa, ... more than 50million dead. 5 times the Belgian population. They fell silent.
I'm second generation(my father was a child when WWII broke out). They are third generation, my son is third generation. War is non-existent to them. They have never been hungry, in terrible distress, friends or family killed. They have to know.
Never let this happen again.