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Fascinating Facts About World War II.

30-06-2018

  1. Italian Fascists took as their symbol the “fasces,” a bundle of bound rods that symbolized the power of ancient Rome.
  2. The Nazis killed millions of Poles. But they thought that some Polish babies and children looked German and kidnapped about 50,000 of them to be adopted by German parents to become “Germanized.” 
  3. Special units run by the SS called Einsatzgruppen (“task forces”) followed the German army’s invasion of countries. They would force Jews to dig a pit and then shoot them so they would fall into an open grave. It is estimated that the Einsatzgruppen killed 1.4 million Jews. 
  4. Prisoners called Sonderkommando were forced to bury corpses or burn them in ovens. Fewer than 20 of the thousands of Sonderkommando survived, though buried and hidden accounts of some were found later at camps. 
  5. Several famous actors were decorated during WWII. For example, Henry Fonda   won a Bronze Star in the Pacific, Walter Matthau  was awarded six battle stars while serving on a B-17, and David Niven was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit. Christopher Lee  was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and also won a number of awards.
  6. John Wayne  (Marion Robert Morrison) starred in 14 WWII movies; however, due to a football injury, he never actually served in the war.
  7. Hitler kept a framed photo of Henry Ford,  founder of the Ford Motor Company, on his desk. Henry Ford also kept a framed photo of the Nazi leader on his desk in Dearborn, Michigan. In Mein Kampf, Hitler included some anti-Semitic views attributed to Ford.
  1. On January 31, 1945, Private Eddie Slovik was shot for desertion, the first American executed for the crime since the Civil War and the only one to suffer this punishment during WWII.
  2. Although Japan fought on the side of Britain, France, and the States. during WWI, it felt cheated by its failure to gain much territory when the peace treaty was composed. Additionally, in the 1920s, its government came under control of fanatical nationalists and allied with the army, which eventually prompted Japan to side with Germany.
  3. After its defeat in WWI, Germany was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Germany lost all its overseas empires as well as land to its neighbours, and it was prevented from maintaining a large army. Most Germans opposed the treaty, and their resentment would eventually undo the settlement, leading to WWII.
  4. The Great Depression  had a ripple effect throughout the world. It prevented Germany from paying WWI reparations, which forced Great Britain and France to default on their debts to the S. which, in turn, sowed discontent throughout the globe.
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