WWII caused unprecedented destruction. At the same time, it also helped to create a new postwar age. It caused more destruction than any other conflict in human history.
Most experts estimate that the number of war dead reached at least 40 million. Both the Allies and the Axis Powers absorbed terrible losses. The soviet Union alone suffered 20 million casualties, more losses than all nations put together in WWI.
The ghettos were allowed to last just a short time, the Nazis replace them with death camps.
By Jan. 1942, top Nazi officials met to coordinate the total destruction of the Jews. Such an attempt to kill an entire people is known as “genocide”.
When the victims arrived, they were divided into two groups: those judged healthy enough to do heavy labor for the Nazis; in the other were those who were to die at once. They might be shot, bayoneted, or gassed. Any who were merely wounded were buried alive (shower room)
Women and minorities: WWII created new opportunities for American women.
With more than 12 million men in the armed forces, the government urged women to take places in the work force. By the end of the war 36% of all American women were in the work force. This experience change the attitudes of many women about their traditional roles in society
When the war began, 120,000 Japanese Americans lived in the United States. The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor stunned the nation. Panic citizens feared that the Japanese would soon attack the West Coast.
False rumors spread that the Japanese Americans were committing sabotage by mining coastal harbors and poisoning vegetables.
An ugly wave of prejudice against the Japanese Americans. So Roosevelt felt he could no longer ignore the public’s fear.
On February 1942,Roosevelt authorized the establishment of military areas. Japanese Americans were moved to “internment camps,” or prisionlike camps.
Despite this mistreatment, Japanese Americans nevertheless demonstrated their patriotism honoring the American flag every day.
In 1988 American congress voted a tax free payment of $20,000 to all those who had been sent to “internment camps”. Congress also officially apologized to Japanese Americans for the grave injustice they had suffered.