West Civ^2 L 140 (W/ Outline)

Did World War II become more brutal as time went on? In what ways? Was the brutality on only one side?

World War II gradually became more brutal as time went on, hard as that is to believe. Despite today’s propaganda informing us that the Germans and Russians were the only evil ones, the U.S.’ tactics to win the war were just as horrific. Cities bombed into oblivion and millions dead were the fault of all parties involved in the war, most noticeably the Nazis, the Japanese, the Royal Air Force, and the U.S.

By the 1940s, in the wake of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler had begun to order more mass shootings than ever before of the Jews, the mentally or physically disabled, the Slavs, and the Gypsies. Fully half of these innocents killed over the course of the war were simply rounded up, forced to dig their own graves, and shot. By the time the Germans had invaded Yugoslavia, the Germans had instigated a reprisal shooting program in which for every single kidnapped, wounded, or killed soldier, they would simply march into the next town, round up 20-40 people, and shoot them. In one extreme example in 1944, in the village of  Oradour-sur-Glanein in Nazi-occupied France, the Germans massacred 642 citizens, wiping out the town in 4 hours. Starting in 1939, the T4 program was created to eradicate Germany of all people with congenital diseases. The “degenerates” of society were removed from their families and caretakers under the false promise of better care in Nazi-government institutions, but instead they were quietly killed. The bodies were piling up, and yet there were still more innocents to be shot. The Einsatzgruppen Killings of 1941, the work of mobile killing squads of the German SS, were noticeably affecting the executioners. The Nazis were in desperate need of an even faster and more efficient way to off their victims. Under SS Lieutenant Reinhardt Heydrich, gasses were perfected and employed in factory-style death camps, in which the prisoners were either worked to death or directly gassed upon arrival. Most of these camps were located in Poland. Around 70,000 handicapped people and about 3,000,000 non-Jewish Polish citizens were murdered by the hands of the Germans.

Simultaneously, the Germans, U.S., and British began to practice the tactic of bombing civilian areas in order to demoralize the other side and attain revenge. Many cities were completely destroyed and by the end of the war no large cities in Germany, London, France, or England remained un-bombed. Since factories helped rebuild cities and supply stocks quickly, incendiary bombs were invented to destroy and burn everything. The people couldn’t even fight those bombs with water because it simply made the bombs burn brighter. In fact, the incendiary bombs made air so hot that tornadoes–firestorms–were created and swept through the destroyed cities. The climax of the bombing was Dresden: a German city chock full of cultural artifacts and buildings from the Middle Ages. On Feb 1945, the Royal Air Force of Britain bombed the city filled with citizens fleeing the Soviets in three separate waves designed to create the most damage. After the initial strike, the British waited until rescue workers arrived at the scene and bombed the city again. Then they waited until morning when rescue crews finally were able to arrive to save the people and bombed the city for a final time, resulting in 40,000 innocent lives taken. Terror bombings by all sides completely ravaged Europe and indiscriminately killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Of course, the Russians cannot be forgotten for their part in the slaughter that was WWII. From the mass graves of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, to the “liberation” of Eastern Europe in in conjunction with the Allies, the Russian Army’s inhumanity remains the greatest of all in modern history. They pillaged and looted with abandon for days, all the while torturing and raping and murdering women from 8-80, and killing children and old people in new and creative ways. This was encouraged by Stalin as war reparation and reward for his soldiers during WWII.

Over the course of the war, a total of 60,000,000 men, women, and children were killed, innocent civilian and soldier alike. Beginning with T4 killings and progressing to the Operation Reinhard death camps in which fewer Germans had to get their hands “dirty” with murder, the Germans somehow maintained a feeling of superiority and false innocence even as they raised the bar for savagery. Not to be outdone, the Russian cruelty during and after the war has become historic in its evil. Even the US and British Allies bombed people with disregard, As much as we like to think of the Allies as gold-hearted defenders of the peace, all sides were horrifically brutal–nothing good can ever come of war. War only has the capacity to destroy.


 

I. Yes it did.

II. definitely not one sided–U.S. and Germans were the worst

    1. Began as a war–simply brutal
    2. early 1900s Hitler began ordering more mass shootings than even before
    3. Especially Yugoslavia lots of Jews began to be shot
    4. 1939 Berlin (T4 program), children with congenital diseases were given permission to go to castles or whatever and then they would kill the kid and send a not back to parents like, “Oh, your kid died suddenly. sorry.”
    5. Began to develop gasses
    6. By 1941 Einsatzgruppen Killings were sort of mentally screwing up the executioners so they had to replace bullets with gas
    7. All in the wake of operation Barbarossa
    8. 70,000 handicapped people were killed
    9. 3,000,000 non-jewish polish citizens murdered
    10. Around the same time, Germans, Japanese, U.S., and British mostly began to bomb civilian areas
    11. to demoralize and get back at the other side
    12. many cities destroyed
    13. factories helped rebuild cities quickly
    14. In desire to destroy targets invented incendiary bombs to destroy and burn everything esp. factories
    15. couldn’t even fight those bombs with water because it just gave the bombs more air
    16. incindeary bombs made air so hot it got tornadoes–firestorms started throughout cities
    17. no large cities remained un-bombed
    18. Climax was Dresden–German city
    19. bombed Feb 1945 and filled with citizens fleeing soviets
    20. British bombed in 3 waves
    21. waited until rescue workers got out into the burning wreckage of the great cultural center of Europe
    22. Then waited until morning when recuse crews got out to save people
    23. 40,000 people died in the attacks

III. As much as we like to think of the allies as gold-heated defenders of the peace, both sides were horrifically brutal–war can only ever destroy

 

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