World War II is one of the most famous wars in the history of wars. Why? Because it was a war that encompassed the globe on a grander scale than its previous counterpart, the Great War. I have always been fascinated by the wars that ravaged Europe. The complexities and the strategies always draw me in. However, World War II was a sad war, just like the one that preceded it. “But, all wars are sad,” you would say. Yes, but some more than others. I say this because World War II affected civilians in many countries, far more than most other wars. This was because of air raids, nuclear bombs, and advancing armies.
American civilians were untouched by the war; but British, French, German, Dutch, Austrian, Italian, Polish, and Russian people were affected by it every day. The Holocaust is a major topic of conversation whenever WWII is brought up. Countless people lost their lives because they were Jewish. I have read and watched many adaptations of Anne Frank and it makes me cry. It’s almost ironically funny how the Nazis incriminated themselves by taking pictures and keeping all those documents. The murderers were punished, but now, the entire country feels it needs to make reparations for the sins of the few, not the all.
However, there were other countless casualties that are glossed over because of who committed them. The advancing Russian army killed so many German civilians in brutal ways, but nobody asked them to apologize. They must have deserved it. Did little children deserve to be shot at point blank range? Did young girls deserved to be raped? Did boys deserve to be tortured, and their bodies left at the side of the road? No. Stalin was not asked to pay for his crimes because he was with the Allies, instead of the Axis.
Another factor that has been discussed is that Roosevelt knew Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, but decided against informing the military stationed there. Why? Because then they would be prepared and the attack would not have the devastating affect he wanted it to have. Men and women died so America could have a reason for entering the war.
In a way, many of the participants were villains. Not the soldiers fighting and dying, but the men above them; the politicians. Hitler tried to decimate an entire people and spread his ‘superior’ Aryan beliefs. Stalin wanted to crush the Germans, and spread his Communistic beliefs. Roosevelt wanted to make America the official world power, over the dead bodies of Europeans. All wars are terrible and come at great cost. World War II is just like the rest of them. It just seemed to leave the biggest scar.
And on that note, it’s been real!