The Washington Post was attacked Wednesday by critics for its “harsh views” during a survey it conducted during World War II. This is in direct contradiction to the “wholesome image of the Greatest Generation.” According to The Post, an internet project at Virginia Tech resulted in the discovery of 65,000 pages at the National Archives of Army Surveys. These included uncensored views from soldiers serving during wartime, and topics such as race, gender, and homosexuality.
“These harsh views, along with others from the segregated Army of World War II emerge in a new Virginia Tech project that presents the uncensored result of dozens of surveys that the service administered during the war,” reads The Post’s article.
It said that “a lot of material is being put on the Internet for the first time and a lot runs counter to the wholesome picture of the war’s ‘greatest generation.”
The article quoted some of the views of surveyed soldiers, including some who disapprove of the possibility of the military being integrated on the basis of their race, disapproval for the Women’s Army Corps (WACS), and a distraught soldier who identified himself as gay and seemed upset at being drafted into Army.
Social media was used by critics to attack The Post’s framing. Some questioned the need to see people in the 1940s through 21st-century lenses, while others suggested that there was an ongoing effort to cancel some grandparents.
One critic joked that it was time to topple some World War Two monuments and statues, referring to the left’s attempts to take down statues of historical American figures.
Others critics also noted the achievements of soldiers who took surveys, despite their views, such as the defeat of Nazi-controlled Germany or the Empire of Japan.