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World War II



Civilian and Infrastructure Casualties

Numerous buildings and infrastructure in European countries were damaged during bombings and attacks in countries such as England, Italy, France, Germany, and Russia. Many historical sites and sites of heritage were wrecked and rebuilding of entire cities was extremely expensive. Civilian casualties were also numerous in European countries and death could not be rebuilt like buildings were. Many men in the forces lost their lives. Families lost fathers, brothers, husbands and sons. About 25 million Allied civilians lost their lives and 5 million Axis civilians lost theirs. A total of about 56,125,262 deaths occurred due to World War 2.


Hiroshima and Nagasaki

After Hitler had committed suicide and Germany had surrendered in early May of 1945, Japan still put up a fight. When it was clear that they had no intention of backing out of the war, the United States ordered a B-29 bomber, The Enole Gray, on a secret mission. On August 6th 1945, The Enola Gray dropped an atomic bomb onto Hiroshima, Japan. The city was devastated and 400 000 people were instantly killed. While the Japanese were trying to come to terms with the death and devastation, another atomic bomb was dropped three days later in Nagasaki, Japan. Another 400 000 people were instantly killed. Both cities were flattened to dust. On August 14th 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allies and the Second World War was officially over.

Two thirds of the cities were in ruins. Shadows of bodies imprinted themselves onto the ground and the buildings that hadn’t melted. On top of the 800 000 people instantly killed, 700 000 more were killed due to the radiation in the five years that followed. Women who had carried the cancerous cells in their bodies passed it onto their children whom hadn’t even been conceived when the atomic bomb took place and destroyed everything. 


Hiroshima and Nagasaki


The Liberation of Nazi Camps

After the end of the war, soldiers of the Allied forces found the concentration camps all over Nazi territory. What they saw was disturbing and the full extent of the holocaust dawned on them. They saw barely living men, women, and children who resembled skeletons more than they did live humans. The corpses scattered the camps waiting for crematoriums to be cleared of previous corpses. Gas chambers, labour camps, torture sights, blood stains, and the reek of death was everywhere. Over 6 million Jews had been killed in these camps as well as millions of gypsies (Romas,) homosexuals and disabled people. After the Allies liberated the survivors of the death camps, they were too weak to survive. They were so malnourished and weak one could see a man’s backbone from the front of his body. Although the world had known about the killings of the minorities in Europe, it never quite dawned upon them the extent of the horrors until they saw it for themselves.



The Nuremberg Trials

In Nuremberg, Germany from 1945 – 1946 a series of war crime trials were held and charged were laid against leaders of organizations that helped conduct war. More than 20 crucial Nazi leaders were guilty and sentenced to death. Some have avoided prosecution and went to other countries where they changed their identities and many have committed suicide. More trials went on until 1949 but they were minor in relation to the first trials. Prison sentences were given and some executions but war crime trials were abandoned after that. Many Nazi leaders still have not been accounted for.

The Nuremberg Trials helped establish the International Criminal Code.


The Nuremberg Trials

The Nuremberg Trials