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primary source

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Maria Pazmiño

on 13 January 2014

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Transcript of primary source

Primary Sources
2nd. Primary Source

A soldier’s cemetery

Behind that long and lonely trenched line
To which men come and go, where brave men die,
There is a yet unmarked and unknown shrine,
A broken plot, a soldier’s cemetery.

There lie the flower of youth, the men who scorn’d
To live (so died) when languished Liberty:
Across their graves flowerless and unadorned
Still scream the shells of each artillery.

When war shall cease this lonely unknown spot
Of many a pilgrimage will be the end,
And flowers will shine in this now barren plot
And fame upon it through the years descend:
But many a heart upon each simple cross
Will hang the grief, the memory of its loss.

What truth does history teach us?
1st. Primary Source (
O:Poem by John William Streets (killed and missing in action on July 1st 1916, Aged 31) Written during WWI.

P: By witting this poem Streets was probably trying to leave a literary legacy so that people could see what was it like for soldiers who fought in the war.

V: The value of this poem relies in that it gives us access to the feelings and emotions of one of the many soldiers who died in World War 1. It is an outstanding literary work, and it describes the living conditions for the soldiers who were fighting in the trenches.

L: The poem has a lot of emotion and imagination, but it does not have concrete information. Also, some of the things that were written in the poem could have been invented by the author in order to make it more powerful.
1. Friedrich Paulus, radio message to Adolf Hitler (24th January 1943)

Troops without ammunition or food. Effective command no longer possible. 18,000 wounded without any supplies or dressings or drugs. Further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops.

Maria Paula Pazmiño- Ivan Rzonzew
A primary source can be defined as a document or physical object which was written or created during the time which is being studied.
Primary sources have an enormous value for historians because they provide first-hand evidence of an experience or time period. What makes primary sources so valuable is that they are entirely authentic, which means that they have not been altered or distorted in any way.
Primary sources in history and historiography
Primary sources are the base of all the historical information that we know. They provide historians with facts, points of view, emotions, etc. that come from a person or a group of people who lived during a specific period of time. On the other hand, secondary sources interpret and analyze what primary sources state. So, secondary sources are dependent on what primary sources state, but not the other way around.

Type of primary sources:
Some types of primary sources are:
• ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, and official records.
• CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, and art.
• RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, and buildings.

“Primary sources have the most direct connection to the past, they can speak for themselves in ways that cannot be captured through the filter of secondary sources.”

Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, Indian civil engineer and lecturer.

O: Friedrich Paulus, radio message to Adolf Hitler (24th January 1943)

P: The purpose of this radio message is to inform Hitler about the devastation, and killings that were going on at Stalingrad so that he gives permission to quit the operation. What Paulus is trying to tell Hitler through this radio message is that surrendering is the only way of saving the lives of the remaining soldiers.

V: This source is extremely valuable. It shows a conversation between the German president and one of the generals who were in charge of the operation at Stalingrad. This message could have easily affected the curse of WWII if Hitler would have agreed to surrender at that moment. The message gives us a clear view of the situation that was being lived at Stalingrad and it includes facts. Plus, it shows that the communication between German generals and the president was through radio.

L: The main limitation of this primary source is that it is very brief and it lacks detail. If we look at the message we can see that it was sent precipitately, probably because Paulus knew that they could not wait more to get out of Stalingrad. This could have caused Paulus to forget important details or to make up facts and therefore reduces the credibility of the source.

"Primary vs Secondary Sources." Primary vs Secondary Sources. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2014.
"Primary Source." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 01 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Jan. 2014.
"A Soldier’s Cemetery." First World War Poems. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2014.

History is always a product of the relationship between the past and the present. It doesn’t give us just one defined truth about each historical event; it gives us a huge variety of truths, each one told from a different perspective, so that we can study them and come out with our own truth.
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