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Plesch, Dan (2008) 'How the UN beat Hitler and prepared the peace.' Global Society, 22 (1). pp. 137-158.

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The United Nations was born in 1942, defeated the Axis Powers led by Germany, Italy and Japan and created today's UN system. This reality has been lost in modern scholarship. We are taught that the Allied countries, mainly America and Britain, with the Soviet Union won the war and that the United Nations was created in 1945. In this way, the achievement of victory can be set in opposition to the United Nations and to multilateralism in general. But it should not be possible to separate victory in the war from the modern United Nations and its priorities, for these were the priorities set by the United Nations at war. America, Britain and the Soviet Union led a large coalition of states organised as the United Nations and this term was used routinely in military orders, in the instruments of surrender signed by the enemy and in political and social life. Bretton Woods and San Francisco were United Nations conferences, and interim United Nations organisations preceded the Charter. Understanding the wartime United Nations reframes our understanding of the second half of the last century and of our own. From UNESCO to the World Bank the primary purpose of the international system is conflict prevention and its wartime architects bequeathed us this system as a realist necessity vital in times of trial, not as a liberal accessory to be discarded when the going gets rough.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: UN Hitler globalisation Second World War
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy
ISSN: 13600826
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2009 14:38

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