the aftermath of world war two
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THE AFTERMATH OF WORLD WAR TWO. Introduction World war two started in, sept 1st 1939 and ended sept 2 nd 1945 with the capitulation of Japan May 8th is only the end of WWIII in Europe ,with the capitulation of Germany

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World war two started in, sept 1st 1939 and ended sept 2nd 1945 with the capitulation of Japan

May 8th is only the end of WWIII in Europe ,with the capitulation of Germany

The end of WWII, marked a turning point in history and we’ll see that it opened a new era.

1- an unprecedented result

2-Geopolitical changes

I/ An unprecedented result

A/ Casualties graph 1


Graph extracted from …, dealing with casualties caused by WWII

The y axis reads casualties in million people while on the x axis we can read the name of countries.

What countries suffered the most and why ?

Russia/ the USSR: 20 million victims

Soviets/Stalin made up for the lack of high tech weapons by sending more troops. It was a very populated country.

Poland 6 million victims .

Hitler dismembered Poland and wanted to take revenge on the Poles. He set extermination camps in Poland and created ghettoes where Polish Jews starved to death ( ex: in Warsaw)

Germany 4.2

Germany was heavily bombed in 1944-1945 by the Allies and the bombings targeted both troops and civilians.

What countries suffered the less and why ?

Small countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway

They were not highly populated and they are small. Besides, they were quickly occupied by the Germans and disarmed


France was quickly defeated and signed the armistice in June 22nd 1940. It then collaborated with Germany under Petain’s dictatorship. Casualties came mainly from bombings and also from the troops lost in the colonies.

The case of China

China is not remembered as a major actor in the conflict. But it really suffered from the war because the Chinese fought against the Japanese.

In 1941, the republic of China officially entered the war, siding with the allies and received war material from the US via the lend and lease act of 1941.

Any things missing in this document?

It does not explain losses in percentage of total population: Poland suffered the most: 15%

Jews are not mentioned : 5 million Jews ( Holocaust)

B/ Migrations

-21 million uprooted people

-displaced and needed to be repatriated

-25 million homeless

C/ Material damage

-housing, factories, railways, livestock

For ex: 50 % of the total French wealth had been lost

BUT/ the US GNP increased during the war: from 91 billion $ in 1941 to 136 billion $ in 1945 !

D/ Trial of Nazism: Source 2

Nov 20 th 1945-Oct 1st 1946

Nuremberg because of facilities even if it was a symbolic place in history ( antisemitic laws 1935, parade)

22 Nazi Officers tried

4 chief prosectutors: Robert Jackson ( US), Sir hartley Shawcross ( UK), François de Menthon ( FRA), general Rudenko ( USSR)

4 indictments

-crimes against peace

-Crime against mankind/ humanity ( new charge)

-common plan for conspiracy

-war of aggression

Source 2

Cartoon by George Strube published in the Daily Express in September 28th 1945

Source 3

II/ Peace conferences and geopolitical changes

A/ Conferences

1-Source 4: Yalta

-feb 1945

-Crimea: Russia: Stalin in a strong position

-Attended by: Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill

DECISIONS: in the document we can read:


-restore democratic institutions

-dismemberment of Germany: 4 parts, France had a part thanks to Churchill

-New borders of Poland: Oder-neisse line

-Not said in the extract but it was decided the USSR will go to at war with Japan


-Not respected by the USSR which tightened its grip on Eastern European states

-Roosevelt was criticised and reproached with a « sell out »

2-San Francisco:June 1945

-25 April 1945 to 26 June 1945

-50 states founded the UNO based on the UN Charter

-It was to preserve peace and imporve the former « League of Nations »


-A General Assembly

-a Security council: France, the UK, the US, China, The USSR with a right of veto

-some branches to organise the pos-war world: UNESCO, UNICEF, BIRD, UNDP, FAO, GATT the WTO, WHO…

-Oct 24th 1945: entry into force of the UN Charter: celebrated as UN Day from 1948

3-The Potsdam conference

-A suburb of Berlin

-July 17th August 1945

-Attended by: Atlee, Truman, Stalin

-Division of Germany into 4 zones of occupation

-Reparations to be paid by Germany ( but not too harsh to avoid a crisis)

II/ Peace conferences and geopolitical changes

B/ A new map of Europe

Source 5

-Division of Gemany and Berlin

-Division of Austria and Vienna until 1955

-Restoration of Czechoslovakia

-Oder-Neisse line

-The USSR gains territories in the East

But : the document is focused on Europe and does not mention

-the Japanese capitulation September 2nd 1945 and had to hand over all the territories it had annexed

-Italy lost all its colonies: Somalia, Ethiopia, Libya

-anti colonisation movements started

Conclusion: the end of the « Grande Alliance »

-Appearance of strong East-West antagonism

-Stalin tightened its grip on Eastern Europe

-Spread of anti-communism in Western Europe

-Opening of e new era: the Cold War