What an old atlas taught me

Going through my grandparents’ house, I found an old atlas from 1941. What a treasure! This was a volatile time for Europe and the maps clearly show it. Half of France and all of Belgium were shaded with the “occupied by Germany” color.

My boyfriend and I spent a lot of time last night pouring over the maps. To think in about 30 years, that atlas will be 100 years old. I would like to keep it in good condition, so I will have to research the best way to store it.

On the map of Europe, we were particularly interested in how the Eastern European nations differed from today. I mentioned Prague and the Czech Republic, but we couldn’t find the city. We weren’t even sure where on the map exactly the Czech Republic would be today. So I looked it up on the Internet, along with the history of the country. I had no idea about the Czech’s stormy past, being ruled by the Hapsburg Empire for 300 years, then forming an independent country only to be taken by Hitler, dealing with the Soviet Invasion, and finally pushing its way through the Velvet Revolution.

Looking at an old atlas really showed me how much I still have to learn about this world.

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