The only recognized atrocity of World War II was the Holocaust, but the real truth hides much deeper within. There were thousands of atrocities that occurred leading up to the war, within the years of World War II, and after the war. Many were unrecognized and undocumented and the stories of the dead still remain unknown. My purpose here is to tell the story of the men, women, and children that no one remember, or never even knew existed.
The Holocaust was perhaps the most dramatic and well known atrocity of World War II because of the sheer number of deaths and crimes that had to be put on trial in Nuremburg. Millions upon millions of Jewish men, women, and children were executed and experimented on in dozens of ways. The Russians assaulted hundreds of German towns on the way to Berlin, trying to end the war. When the Russian soldiers would go through the towns of Germany, “They raped every German girl from eight to 80,” a famous quote from the book Berlin: The Downfall 1945 by Antony Beever. If the women resisted rape by hundreds of men, they were tortured to death only to have their lifeless corpses raped. The Japanese would take POWs and citizens of captured towns and execute them in masses, burn them, gas them, and kill them in any way possible. The Japanese war crimes can be compared to that of the Germans, but the only difference would be the sheer number of people that the Nazis killed. Even the American soldiers committed war crimes, but the main ones were executing the SS soldiers found in liberated Death Camps such as Auschwitz.
Every Axis and Allied power in World War II had their “reasons” behind killing thousands of people or ruthlessly killing the surrendering adversaries. The Germans wanted to execute all of the Jews in the world because their leader, Adolf Hitler stated that they were the axis of evil. He blamed the crash of the German economy on the frugality of the Jewish race and wanted to punish them for their “crimes” to their country. The Russians said the reason they raped thousands of women, was because they had to destroy the “Master Race” that the Nazis declared themselves. The Japanese soldiers said that they had to “purify” their nation and destroy all who opposed them. The American soldiers pleaded innocent stating that they were giving the SS soldiers what they deserved for killing all of those Jewish people.
The one thing that no one talks about with the atrocities of World War II is how it affected the people. Modern combat does not compare to the combat tactics used in the 1940s. In modern-day combat, targets are engaged at distances of 500 yards or more. In the 1940s, you had to fight your enemy face to face, sometimes seeing the look on their face when they died. This had an incredibly negative effect on the soldiers that fought for both sides. In World War II, PTSD began to make an entrance and was recognized as a serious mental disorder. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder played an enormous role in the...