The question and big idea of the benefits and consequences of war is primarily determined by the nature of the war.
Most people can argue that all wars have negative and harmful effects on both the civilians and soldiers. A few wars, I feel, have some positive outcomes. The time of 1939 to 1945 was a very devastating era for many people especially American’s.
During this time many countries were involved in the great war called World War ll. The major decision to go into war began on December 7, 1941 when the Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States American Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which killed many innocent lives. In response, the United States declared war on Japan. Following Germany’s declaration of war on the United States, World War ll had a large negative impact on America’s economy and as a whole it affected America’s financial status. American soldiers also did suffer mentally and as well have physical health issues during and after World War II. Also, many civilians lost their lives for this cause of protecting their country.
Was the wiping out of million and millions of people worth the outcome? During this decade, the United States suffered severe economic depression, that crippled the nation for many years. Despite all the warnings of war, the United States wasn’t completely ready when World War II broke out. The Depression had ceased many of the country’s machine and tool industries causing the military to be very under-supplied. The United States needed to control the industry to wage a global war of two fronts. But the lack of manpower made it very difficult. More than 15 million Americans eventually served in the military. Getting, supplying, and training soldiers was a huge challenge.
It took more than 6,000 people to provide food, equipment, medical services, and transportation to 8,000 soldiers. Many raw materials, such as rubber and oil, were in short supply. The war was so bad that people started to do everything they could not to be drafted to fight. Art Spiegelman’s Maus,the Prisoner of war chapter describes a scene on the intense measure that were taken to not be drafted.
Vladek tells a story that when he was twenty-one years old his own father purposely starved him and kept him deprived of sleep so that he would fail his army physical and not have join all the boys his age. Vladek’s father plan worked for his other son but not for Vladek, the army told him to work out for a year and come back. Vladek begged his father not to put him through starvation again and that he rather go fight in the war with the army. This shows how horrible being in the military service was at that time that his father would put his own son through starvation and suffering than let him be taken away to battle. However, the Depression was a good preparation for what was to come: Americans had learned to scrimp and persevere. And having been pushed into a fight, they were eager to oblige, Americans rose to the occasion.
The production of 50,000 planes in a year was called for. Many people thought that was impossible to do. By 1944, the country was producing 96,000 a year. Technology blossomed greatly in the United States. World War II left a huge number of soldiers traumatized. Many of the soldiers came home with physical and mental scars that will stay with them forever. Physically Veterans who fought in World War II may have been exposed to many different environmental and chemical hazards that caused potential health risks.
Noise that came from gunfire, explosives, rockets, heavy weapons, jets and aircraft, and machinery became a big risk for soldiers. Veterans that have been exposed to harmful noise during military service in combat, training, and general job duties later in life face hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Nuclear weapons, the most deadly and advanced military technology during World War II also had devastating health consequences for many veterans.
Between 1945 and 1963, around 250,000 American soldiers were intentionally exposed to the effects of nuclear explosions at close range during training exercises. Any of the soldiers who conducted atomic nuclear weapons tests, who occupied of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and who were prisoners of war in Japan were all affected by radiation poisoning. Certain cancers and other diseases was linked to exposure to radiation during military service. Not all veterans were helped with health problems associated with radiation exposure during service, only left to suffer alone until they eventually passed away. Mentally soldiers were affected greatly. Decades later their visions of all the war horror they have seen resurface in nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and emotional numbness. These are all symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is showing up in veterans as well as Holocaust victims, who’s fighting and survival days that have been long over long but not even close to being forgotten. Art Spiegelman’s Maus is a novel about Vladek and his experience as a Polish Jew during the Holocaust very much related to mental trauma even if he was not a soldier. The Chapter’s Here my troubles began, Saved and The Second Honeymoon shows the reality of the Holocaust where millions and millions of Jews were slaughtered by the Nazi regime. In the beginning of this chapter Art first asks his father to continue his telling of the Holocaust. Art is seems like he demanding Vladek to tell him “In other years I put by now the windows, that I didn’t need help” “Look I’ll do but first tell me more about Anja,” (103). Art want to know more about his mother’s experiences in surviving Auschwitz. Vladek, I feel takes it in a bad and a more offense way by saying “What is there to tell?””Everywhere I look I’m seeing Anja.” (103).
From this little part in the text it showed me that the Holocaust is not the only event in Vladek’s life that has deeply affected him. The death of his wife also continues to affect Vladek on every day of his life. Vladek rather forget this event then go through the pain of remembering it. This has been seen in other sections of the book Here my troubles lie. For example when Vladek and Art are talking about the exchanging of letters he did with a frenchman. ” I can’t remember even his name, but in Paris he is living…
for years we exchanged letters in the english I taught to him.” “Well did you save the letters?” “Of course I saved. But all this I threw away together with Anja’s notebook.” “All such things of the war, I tried to put out from my mind once for all…
until you rebuild me all this from your questions” (99). You could tell Vladek is in pain from all this horrible memories but Art doesn’t seem to care. The Holocaust have had a lasting effect on the people who lived through it and Vladek could never forget even as much as he wanted to.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Center for PTSD did a study that 1 in 20 of the nation’s 2.5 million surviving World War II as veterans or victims currently are suffering from the disorder. Many come out of this World War II did not always seek mental care. Survivors were told to get a job, raise a family and ultimately forget everything that happened to them during the war. Their mind set was thought as if they didn’t think about it, didn’t talk about it and in time they’d get over it. They have been suffering in silence the day the war ended. Their gruesome memories will forever be ingrained in their minds slowing destroying them from the inside out. World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history.
It is hard to say exactly how many people were killed during World War II, but estimates are between 50 million to over 80 million. One thing that everybody agree with is that it has been the deadliest war ever, wiping out around 3 percent of the world population at the time. Innocent people were murdered during this war killing a totalled 50 to 55 million citizens, including 19 to 28 million from war-related disease and famine. Civilian deaths included being caused by strategic bombing, being a Holocaust victim, famine and also disease.
Strategic bombing was used to bomb important industrial sights of the enemy. Targeted sights would be places like factories, oil refineries, railroads, or nuclear power plants. All these sights included citizen workers. Strategic bombing targeted civilians who were supporting the enemy’s war effort. In this war it was found that targeting military bases, supply depots and enemy combatants was not as useful.
During this era of war, Germany was out of control murdering six million Jews all done by the Nazi regime. This was known as the Holocaust, a huge mass slaughter of innocent people. German authorities targeted groups who they viewed as “racial inferiority”.
Those racial inferior people included Jews, Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, the disabled, homosexuals,Socialists, Communists, Russians and Polands. All other groups as well were killed during the Holocaust with certain political and ideological behaviors. One of the themes Art Spiegelman’s Maus was racism which is evident in Here my troubles began chapter. Vladek, the victim of perhaps the most horrendous event of mass racism, is himself a racist. Because of the Holocaust and the aftermath of it changed Vladek’s view of certain races but he could not have been the only one, other survivors could feel the same way. It evidenced by his reaction to picking up a black hitchhiker.This is shown how Vladek first responds to Francoise “HAH?! What for do you stop, Francoise? We’re not yet to the Bungalow” “There is a Hitchhiker…” “A Hitchhiker? and-OY-it’s a colored guy, A Shvartser push quick on the gas!”(98). His feelings towards African-Americans are the result of his experiences during his first few days in New York City.
He felt that they were always trying to steal his valuables and by letting him in the car he would steal their groceries. This is as well shown when Vladek screams in Polish “Oh my god! What’s happened to his wife? She’s lost her head!!” “I just can’t believe it! There is a Shvartser sitting in here” (99). From this, Vladek has judged an entire race of people in much the same way that the Jews were judged and rejected during the Holocaust but obviously on a less violent scale. Vladek’s way of seeing this African American is completely absurd and uncalled for. The basic values of Judaism is that “It is believed that each person is created in the image of one God.
Therefore, all people are created equal. Furthermore, our likeness to God is in our intellectual ability to understand. Judaism believes that people have freewill and are responsible for the choices made.Judaism is an ethical religion. When the Israelites accepted the Ten Commandments from God at Mount Sinai, they committed themselves to following a code of law which regulates both how they worship God and how they treat other people.
” I feel that Vladek doesn’t hold this basic value of Judaism instead he holds the belief that all African American are criminals even if it happened decade ago. Vladek should realize his race and culture were not the only ones being victimized by other also. He should additionally move on from the past and realize that times have changed to better. Civilian death by starvation and disease was largely ignored during this period of time. Famine was a huge problem being faced during the war.
At least 20 million civilians died as a result of malnutrition and diseases during the World War II. To keep the military successfully in war it was demanded to have a large and well equipped army. Which meant them having regular supply of food, medicines and arms. All supplies were created and grown to be given to the military as quickly as possible. The home front where all the civilians were lived suffered greatly because of this. Hunger was seen not a byproduct of war it was its engine. Civilians were seen to be useless eaters. They were to get nothing not even a slice of bread.
The people in the cities who relied on the country for its grain and livestock were to starve to death.World War II was the largest and most violent armed war in the history of mankind. Brutality and pain would describe the years from 1939 to 1945. This war taught every nation the handling of weapons,military preparedness and global strategy but not how many they would have to kill to win.
The works of the military brought pride for the sacrifices they made for the future.The consequences that came from war were accepted but not condoned for. The bloodshed made throughout those long 6 years of war left innocent lives to die alone. The faceless genocide left unidentifiable corpses. Knowing who each individual was as a person could only be told from the survivors and once they pass on that memory will be lost.
The innocent lives lost in this period of time will never be forgotten.