The causes of World War II were in two separate parts. The first was Hitler’s attempt to make room for his Nazi Party. He called it lebensraum, which meant that he wanted space to the East of Germany to be under his control. The second was that Japan had similar intentions to those of Hitler. The country wanted to expand its economic space (Shubert & Goldstein, 2012). The Second World War differed from the First World War in casualties alone. According to Ransom (2016), the Second World War had more than double the amounts of casualties that the First did (p. 601, Figure 1). Also, the Second World War introduced fighter jets that bombed enemies rapidly and tanks which were used as heavy artillery. Edwards et al (2016) write about the important work that women did in the wars: “Whether they participated in the fighting, as did the Russian Women’s Battalion of Death, worked as ambulance drivers, nurses, journalists, munitions workers or merely spent their time preparing parcels of clothing and food for the men at the front, their role was vital” (p. 570). Race and ethnicity were at the forefront of World War II. Hitler wanted an all Aryan race without Jewish people. He had a hatred for them. It was not only about race and ethnicity though. It was also about disabilities. Hans Asperger was an Austrian physician who worked during World War II and stood with the Nazi regime by sending children from his clinic to a euthanasia program, especially those he found to be autistic. Czech (2018) writes that Asperger had to perform these types of treatments on his patients: “Regarding race hygiene policies, the two most important instances were the compulsory reporting of patients as mandated by the sterilization law and of children with mental deficiencies who were slated for “euthanasia” (p. 8). The Second World War ended because the Allied powers beat the Axis powers. The Nazi empire was tried for their horrific “crimes against humanity” (Shubert & Goldstein, 2012). The War had devastating effects on European society and culture. For those who had survived, the economy was destroyed, and they had to find new places to go since their houses and belongings were gone. Europe was no longer culturally superior, according to Shubert & Goldstein (2012) and there was a divide between eastern and western cultures.
Czech, H. (2018). Hans Asperger, National Socialism, and “race hygiene” in Nazi-era Vienna. Molecular Autism, Vol 9, Iss 1, Pp 1-43 (2018), (1), 1. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1186/s13229-018-0208-6
Edwards, L., Hanna, M., & Lorcin, P. (2016). The Legacy of the “War to End All Wars.” Gender & History, 28(3), 567–586. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1111/1468-0424.12239
Ransom, R. L. (2016). Confidence, Fear, and a Propensity to Gamble: The Puzzle of War and Economics in an Age of Catastrophe 1914–45. Social Science History, 40(4), 599–625. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1017/ssh.2016.24 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012). Twentieth-century Europe [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/