World War II was “the most devastating international conflict in history.” More than thirty countries were involved in the six-year-battle instigated by the Nazis. Adolf Hitler, who proclaimed himself as Führer, resorted to war to dominate the world. He believed it was the only way the “pure” German race could obtain the “Lebensraum” (living space) they need to expand. The nefarious, anti-semitic ruler also wanted to annihilate the Jews, for he believed they were the root of all Germany’s problems.
The Axis powers were established as Hitler allied with the leaders of Italy and Japan. The three countries signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin to solidify their alliance.
In September 1939, nearly two decades after the Great War, Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland. Due to the Anglo-Polish treaty, Great Britain and France declared war against Germany.
Thus, the death toll started to rise as the Second World War began.
The Holocaust alone claimed the lives of six million Jewish nationals. The number will increase if we were to include the homosexuals, Roma (gypsies), the people with disabilities, and others who were also executed by the Nazis for being “different”.
Homosexuals were ordered to wear a pink triangle on their uniforms.
In the Battle of Normandy, which started on June 6, 1944 (“D-Day”), 2,500 American soldiers were killed in a single day.
The death toll was higher in the Soviet Union, particularly due to the Siege of Stalingrad.
For years, entire cities were deprived of food, water, and supplies. People starved and both soldiers and ordinary people died.
From 1939 to 1945, approximately 70 million people were killed—-the majority of which were civilians.
More men, women, and children perished in WWII than in any other war in our history.
The figures were astounding.
Neil Halloran wrote and directed a compelling video that helps put that death toll into perspective.
As stated on the website:
“The Fallen of World War II is an interactive documentary that examines the human cost of the second World War and the decline in battle deaths in the years since the war. The 15-minute data visualization uses cinematic storytelling techniques to provide viewers with a fresh and dramatic perspective of a pivotal moment in history.”
You can also pause the narration and interact with the charts.
U.S. Military Deaths
German Military Deaths
Watch the full video:
Hopefully, though, no one would have to create anything like this documentary again; no WWIII to compare it with, especially now that the weapons we have are far more destructive and terrifying than before.
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