Though WW II ended on August 15, 1945, things weren’t exactly roses from there on out. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that such an epic war would have repercussions, but some of them were far more disturbing than many people realize. Here you’ll find out just some of the many ways that world peace wasn’t exactly embraced overnight.
The worst time ever to be German
As the war drew to a close, countries like Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Yugoslavia decided it was time for every German ever to go back to Germany. This resulted in a mass forced relocation, as nearly 13 million Germans, even those who had opposed the Nazis, were rounded up and forced out of their homes. Nearly 1 million Germans, including very old people and pregnant women, died during the forced death marches.
The Soviets also had their savage revenge as they raped their way through Berlin, forcing themselves on German women. They rounded up teenage German boys who had been forced into Nazi-sponsored terrorist clubs and shipped them off to Soviet labor camps until after the death of Stalin.
Stalin’s stance on POWs
One might assume that those captured in the line of duty would be honored upon their return home. Not so for the Soviet POWs who somehow ended up surviving Nazi capture.
Apparently, Stalin feared that they were potential traitors and sent them for “show trials” in Moscow. Of the 1.5 million Soviet POWs, most were sent to gulags or flat out executed.
The continuing nightmare for many Jews
Even after the Holocaust ended, the horrors were far from over for many Jews. Displaced from their homes, many remained living in concentration camps simply because they had nowhere else to go. Though the conditions were obviously very different than before the war ended, some Jews ended up living in the same camps where they’d be held captive for to up to five years after the war ended.
Others found themselves persecuted during anti-Jewish rallies in countries such as Poland. During one such episode, 42 Holocaust survivors were killed after a boy caught skipping school claimed it was because he had been kidnapped by Jewish people.