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Since the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945 the United States ofAmerica has developed a specific memory of their role in the war thatforever altered modern history Along with a certain recollection of theactual conflict an American-specific memory of the Holocaust has alsodeveloped The general consensus in America is that Anglo-Americanparticularly American forces led the fight against the Italian andGermanic fascist forces Along with an opinion of what nation was mostinfluential in the Allied victory there is the view that the war wasnot only for the survival of threatened nations but also an ideologicalwar for freedom and democracy If asked about the Holocaust it can besupposed that the general consensus of Americans responses would relateto the persecution of Jews with a preference for a tone of hope ratherthan despair These viewpoints constitute what can be considered theAmerican memory of the World War II era Though this mindset may insome aspects contradict factually based evidence the American publichas maintained this perspective throughout the decades In allAmericas memory of World War II is one in which America was the leadingforce against the Axis powers in a war for freedom and democracy coupledwith a memory of the Holocaust centered on the persecution and survivalof Jews At the very core of Americas memory of World War II is the idea that itwas the United States who played the largest role in the defeat of theAxis powers What supports this view of the distribution ofparticipation is the most common division in the presentation of thewar the theater structure The theater structure is constructed bydividing the war into geographical fronts In Europe they are usuallydivided into the Eastern Western Mediterranean and Atlantic frontsThis division is displayed in numerous works on the war including JohnEllis Brute Force Allied Strategy and Tactics in the Second World Warxvii This emphasis on presenting the war in the theater manner isimportant because it creates a situation where Americans participated inthree out of four of the
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