Vite History Channel. Part 2. WW2. "Rise of Evil" or Beginning of World War II
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World War II was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
World War II is generally viewed as having its roots in the aftermath of World War I, in which the German Empire under Wilhelm II, with its Central Powers, was defeated, chiefly by the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.
The victors blamed Germany entirely for the war and all resulting damages; it was Germany that effectively started the war with an attack on France through Belgium. France had, in 1871, suffered a defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, and demanded compensation for financial devastation during the First World War, which ensured that the various peace treaties, specifically the Treaty of Versailles would impose tough financial war reparations and restrictions on Germany in the aftermath of World War I.
«A nation in despair, weakened by war, defeated
Lost their pride in Versailles
A former prisoner, with a vision or a grand delusion
Rise to power in the Reich»
Main countries of Axis alliance were Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when the country was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist totalitarian state which controlled nearly all aspects of life. The period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period.
Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party then began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer (leader) of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitler's person, and his word became above all laws. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen (motorways). The return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity.
From the beginning the NSDAP party platform included destruction of the Weimar Republic, rejection of the terms of the humiliating treaty of Versailles, radical antisemitism, and anti-Bolshevism. They promised a strong central government, increased Lebensraum ("living space") for Germanic peoples, formation of a national community based on race, and racial cleansing via the active suppression of Jews.
Racism, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples (the Nordic race) were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, and were therefore viewed as the master race. Millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitler's rule was ruthlessly suppressed. Members of the liberal, socialist, and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were also oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned. Education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler's hypnotising oratory to control public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others.
Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if they were not met. It seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939.
«In the last days of peace
Europe holding it's breath
An invasion is coming but when will it start?
Who will be first to fall? who will be last to stand?
Who will stop all this madness that has consequences no man understand?
No man, no land!»
So World War II is generally said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
Heroic defense of Polish soldiers in first days of war will be in The Part III of Vite History Channel.