Stockman's History Extravaganza
What We Are Covering
THE HOLOCAUST AND WAR CRIME TRIALS
Due to the graphic nature of the Holocaust I will not post any videos that might bother anyone. I do encourage you to check out the Holocaust Museum online as well as watch Schindler's List. It is disturbing but we must not forget what happened to over 6 million innocent people,
The invasion of Europe by the allies also exposed the horrible atrocities committed by the Nazis against people labeled as socially inferior and unfit to live. Among the groups so targeted, the Jewish people suffered the most. Hitler ascended to power in large part due to Anti-Semitism. The Nazi’s set about attempting to exterminate the Jewish race through mass genocide. Under Hitler’s regime, the Jews were rounded up, separated from their families and either killed or shipped to concentration camps.
As allied soldiers began liberating areas of Europe, formally held by the Nazis, they encountered the camps that housed tortured and starving people. They found gas chambers for conducting mass executions and ovens for burning the bodies. Troop’s uncovered mass graves where victims had been thrown after they had been killed or left to die in camps .Roughly six millions Jews died during this horrible episode known as the Holocaust.
When the world became aware of the Holocaust, there was an outcry for justice. Hitler was dead but there were others in the Nazi regime that could be punished. The Nuremburg trials began in November 1945 and place more than 20 Nazi leaders on trial for crimes against humanity. The court sentenced several of the defendants to death, while others received long prison terms. The Japanese also treated prisoners harshly; as a result, the Allies executed seven Japanese leaders including Tojo Hideki. Over 2000 total war crimes took place.
THE NUCLEAR AGE
The war years produced advancements in technology; the greatest change was the introduction of the nuclear age. Not only did the atomic bomb end the war, but it changed how future wars would be fought. Truman chose to use the bomb as much to intimidate Stalin as to defeat Japan. When Truman told Stalin of the bomb, Stalin calmly expressed hope it would end the war. Stalin was concerned and determined to see his own country develop a similar weapon. As a result, a nuclear arms race between the U.S. and the USSR began.
RADAR AND SONAR
Another invention that had great military importance was radar. Radar uses sound waves to detect the approach of enemy planes while they are still a long way off. It was invented by the British and helped them defeat the Germany’s air force by giving them advanced notice of the attacks. The war also saw advances in sonar which uses similar technologies to detect objects under the water.
An American engineer discovered microwave technology by accident. While working on radar technology for the war effort Percy Spencer noticed his candy bar had melted in his pocket. He discovered the technology he was working with could be used to cook foods faster. By the 1950's, the first home unit microwave oven was on the market. By the 1970's, affordable counter top models were available.
During the war, the need for devices that could make fast calculations and decode enemy messages became critical. Computer technology proved to be important. The first computers were huge and took up an entire room. Within a short time, technological advances led to their size decreasing as their abilities increased.
World War II saw other inventions and innovations as well. New medical technology appeared in the form of antibiotics, such as penicillin to treat bacterial diseases. Advances in agriculture also took place as farmers enjoyed a rise in demand for their products. Radios became smaller and portable, thereby making them more popular.