Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can you argue with Wikipedia?

This post's title is a question that came from an online article about Jessica Alba. For the full story, read this link. Alba apparently defended herself when O'Rielly called her "dumb" for saying that Sweden was a neutral country during World War II. So Wikipedia says, according to Alba, Sweden along with Switzerland did not side with axis nor allied. Thus, the press gave it to Alba for knowing her history.

But the question piqued my interest to dig further into what Wikipedia claims as Sweden's neutrality. In another website, Sweden was indeed neutral only because it did not ally itself directly with Germany.

Sweden was never attacked by Germany. This was probably due to the fact that Germany did not have to. Germany was dependent upon Swedish metal ore from the mines in northern Sweden. Throughout the entire war, the Germans had no trouble in getting this metal ore. Sweden also exported ball bearings to the Germans, vital for their production of tanks and aeroplanes. German troops were transported to Norway and Finland on the Swedish railroad system during the war.

Reading between the lines, Sweden had to take a politically motivated action to save its government and its people from the losses and brutalities of war. There are online articles , however, that question this neutrality of some European countries during that dark age. It is an interesting topic indeed, and one that could prompt students and teachers of world history into further debate.

Going back to Alba and the article, Wikipedia may provide basic information and one that proves to be useful too. A critical reading and evaluation on what lies beneath the information it gives the reader is necessary. This holds true to print resources as well. To comprehend, one has to read the lines, between the lines and beyond it either in print or in online sources.

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