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I wonder if ww2 felt unreal like this?(18 Posts)
This all feels so bloody unreal most of the time.
Now I'm not suggesting this is anything like ww2, but I'm wondering if the start of the war felt unreal too?
Unfortunately my parents are dead or I'd ask them.
WW1 was in living memory & arguably very horrific. Before that was the Boer war, other conflicts. I suppose the bombing of WW2 was awful, but stiff upper lip & all that.
I wonder that too looking on in horror at events happening close to home, but real life Pottering on in a sort of normal but not kind of a way
When I was at uni I had to interview my grandparents for an oral history unit. They were in their mid 20s during the war - married with 1 child.
They said exactly that - it didn’t feel real even when there were bombings and people they knew died they just concentrated on things like what was for tea and getting the baby to sleep etc and everything else was like a dream.
My grandfather was in the RAF as an engineer and he said the only time he ever had a panic and actually started to think of it as reality was when he was stationed in Kent and he saw how few guns/ defended there were along the coast - he said he could just see one guy with one gun as far as the eye could see.
But the overwhelming feeling they gave was th at the whole thing felt like a bit of a dream even when It was happening all around.
I think there will have been a lot more worry then. Rations, bombing, kids being sent to the country. Scary. At least we can still order a Chinese and drink a bottle of plonk every night if we do wish.
I think the events of WW2 would have been more terrifying but I still think you would have had that sense of 'I still can't believe this is really happening' every so often. I have a moment about once a week where I have to remind myself this isn't just a bad dream. It usually happens when I'm flitting between trying to home school and do my own work.
Probably the non stop covid news doesn't help here.
At the start of all this I was in a supermarket queue when I heard an elderly lady say to her friend "at least you could see the bloody Germans", this virus is scary as it's invisible to us all...
I couldnt imagine for me comparing this virus to the possibility of a letter through the door enlisting my teenage/20's sons so no, I would be in absolute terror if this was WW2.
My mum was14 and my dad was 17 when WW2 broke out. (They didn't know each other till after the war. )
They used to say it was surreal and it was the only thing they spoke about. Dad was conscripted into the army.
It must have been awful. All this is bad enough! They got on with it , but it ruined mums teenage years massively.
I hate this ' new normal' , its taking some getting used to.
i lived through a war and bombing as a teenager.
i remember it clearly.
this feels nothing like a war. i have money, roof over my head. food. gas and electricity.
i can have anything i want or need delivered to my home. i can go out and exercise and take walks with my family.
during the war we had no electricity for months.
we would have now water for days and couldn't wash contaminated fruit/veg from the uranium bombs that were dropped.
food was really hard to come by, we couldn't even get candles regularly so would just sit there in the dark.
sirens would vail and then hours and hours of bombs dropped on schools,hospitals,bridges etc
it felt like loud crushing shattering earthquakes one after the other.
you couldn't sleep for days.
sometimes there would be dozens of us sitting in the dark in someone 'home' bunker - like a cellar under their house while bombs ravaged everything around us.
this what we're going through now is nothing compared to it. more of an inconvenience than anything else.
DGM was a Red Cross volunteer (she was 16 in 1939) and had to go out and help with any casualties after the bombing raids. I asked her whether she was scared, but she said No, it was exciting.
She's 96 now and has some dementia. Once she understood what the Coronavirus crisis was about, she did point out that she still has her First Aid certificate and can remember what she learned. She's not busy at the moment, in case she's needed to help all the invalids.
My grandad keeps comparing it to the war. Of course he was just a little kid back then, but he keeps telling me he thinks people are more frightened now. I had to explain a couple of times how its different from the war (bombs aren't contagious etc) as he's not as with it as he used to be.
@diked that puts it into perspective for us all, thanks for writing that. Sounded like a very difficult time, and nothing like what we are facing now.
Dm who was 9 when WW2 finished has said there may be a few similarities but at least you could hug people and visit their houses freely.
It was normal to DM who was 18m when WW2 broke out, so had no memory of pre-war life. Family spoke fondly of peace but it was difficult to imagine what it actually was. A certain beach was inaccessible and dotted with landmines (as were so many others)
Sadly post-war life was not easy either. A stranger of a father coming home deeply changed by injury and trauma, a very different man who had gone away. Another deacade for rationing to fade away. The gradual rebilding of war torn buildings and slum clearence (its own set of social displacement ).
It strikes me that this situation is quite opposite. There is no visible, imminent danger. No pulling intogether to get through this and do what must be done. About the only thing in common is removal of civil liberties.
It probably does feel like the early months of WW2. Before Dunkirk, before the Blitz. Soldiers were dying but people were bringing back their children who'd been evacuated. Men weren't being enlisted.
And then it got much closer to home for everyone.
Of course this isn't like war but I've wondered too if the unreal feeling of it could be similar.
Both my grandmas were in their early 20s during the war. One grandma lost many brothers and suffered terribly, she talked about it a lot, she said she didn't want it forgotten. I wish I had listened better when she told me but I was too young to appreciate it. I don't expect she had the unreal feeling. It must have been like a living hell.
My other grandma just told stories about being silly, getting told off for ignoring the sirens and having fun in the Wrens and meeting my granddad. I guess it depends on how the war affects you.
I've not experienced any personal tragedy from this pandemic. I imagine if I did the unreal feeling would be replaced entirely with grief or fear depending on how I was affected.
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