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What were the short and long term effects of World War II?

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Germany suffered from hunger between and when the food supply from occupied countries ceased. In the US occupation zone, the Office of Military Government for Germany established a goal of calories per day in , but in the first months of occupation, this goal often could not be met.

There were regions where average calories per day were around Gimbel, Death rates raised by the factor 4 for adults and 10 for infants during this period. With a good harvest and currency reform in June , nutritional shortages were overcome Zink, Figure 2 demonstrates that hunger episodes during the war were much more severe in war countries than in those countries that did not participate in the war.

We also see that there was a great amount of diversity in periods of hunger within war countries. Hunger is more common in regions where combat took place within war countries. Finally and not surprisingly, the experience of hunger was far more common among those of low socio-economic background as a child.

With respect to hunger, our analysis shows that the individual-level reports in SHARELIFE match well historical information on the timing and location of hunger episodes we collected from historic sources. To illustrate, in figure 2 the Greek hunger spike occurred in —, the Dutch in —45, and the German in — Dispossession was often associated with persecution and resulted in geographic displacement of populations during and immediately after the war.

There were three main periods when people were forced to flee their homelands. During WWII, millions of Jews, but also opponents of the Nazi regime, were expropriated, and often sent to concentration camps and were murdered there. These border changes induced millions of individuals to leave their places of residence and flee to other parts of Europe.

The Soviet Union annexed territory from some of its neighboring countries, inter alia from Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Poland.

Poland in turn received one part of pre-war Germany in compensation. Those Poles having lost their homes in the part occupied by the Soviet Union were moved to the new part, so Poland and with it millions of people were moved westwards. Figure 3 shows inflows and outflows of populations during and after the end of WWII into the new states in their new borders.

Germany lost about one quarter of its territory. About 2 million people have been estimated to have died on the flight. After the war, the remaining territory of Germany was divided into four occupational zones. About 4 million people fled from the approaching Soviet armies to the British and US zone where the occupation was less severe.

In Germany, destroyed cities had to accumulate millions of ethnic Germans from other parts of Europe. A further wave of dispossessions happened in Eastern countries after WWII when private property was nationalized in the socialist and communist economies.

Mainly banks, energy, and transport firms were nationalized, but there were also some expropriations which happened as penalty for cooperation with the Nazi regime. The bottom left-hand side of table 3 displays dispossession rates in our SHARE countries by time period with the final column indicating the percent ever dispossessed. For respondents living in Germany and Poland, dispossession happened more frequently during the war period, while they happened after the war in Czechoslovakia.

Dispossessed individuals in our sample are over proportionally born outside of the current borders of their country. Analyzing countries of origin, many of them came from Eastern Europe, thus they most probably lost their property with the big wave of nationalizations after WWII.

Not surprisingly, it is the foreign-born living in our SHARE countries who were most likely to be dispossessed. Based on the descriptive data and review in the prior section, we find enormous variation even among war countries in the immediate impact of WWII. Instead, changing gender ratios induced by differential male mortality in the war appear to be a more plausible pathway operating both through absence of fathers and difficulties faced by women in marrying.

Hunger and immediate and long-term stress created by battles, dispossession, and persecution would also appear to be plausible pathways that could impact adult health, both physical and mental, and our later life measures of adult SES. To analyze long-term impacts of WWII on health and economic outcomes, we use the fact that different countries in Europe and different people in those counties were differentially affected by WWII at different points in time.

To study effects on adult outcomes, we use two indicators of being affected by World War II: Our first measure essentially creates a war dummy equal to zero for everybody in a non-war country Denmark, Switzerland, and Sweden , and for everybody born after the war period no matter what country they lived in.

Alternatively, it is equal to one for everybody alive in a war country Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, and Poland during the war period. The war period ends in for all war countries, while it includes to in Germany and Austria, when they were under allied occupation.

For these countries, the war period ended with the currency reform in Germany in Individuals could certainly have been affected by the war even if they were born after the war, but the channels we emphasize in this paper—combat, hunger, dispossession, persecution, and the absence of a father—were more likely to have affected those who lived during the war.

Our second war measure involves constructing a variable indicating whether there were combats and how many combats occurred in the region within the country in which the individual lived during WWII. Thus, in the war countries, we create two dummy variables based on the number of months of exposure the respondent had to combat in the place they lived during the war—0 to 2 months of exposure to combat and 3 or more months of exposure to combat.

The purpose of this variable was to test whether actual exposure to combat was an important mechanism for the war effects that we estimate below. We did not include Spain in our analysis since Spain experienced a civil war in the late s, so a distinction between whether Spain is a war country or not is very ambiguous. The results were not significantly different if Spain was included.

For all of our later-life health and SES outcomes and channel outcomes, our estimating equation takes the form. Male indicates a respondent was male. War is one of our two measures of war exposure outlined above, which vary by country or region within a country and year of birth. Since error terms within country and within year may be correlated, we used the cluster option in STATA.

We estimate reduced form models using our two War variables on later adult life health and SES outcomes and the principal channels of war. Health outcomes include prevalence of diagnosed diabetes and heart disease, body height in centimeters a summary measure of early-life health conditions , whether an individual is depressed using a dummy variable for presence of at least four symptoms on the EURO-D scale, and self-reported health status.

Self-reported health status is recorded on a scale excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor which we have translated to a scale from one to five with five the best health status.

Our adult SES and economic outcomes include log of household net worth, whether the individual was ever married, and life-satisfaction in The first is obtained from baseline SHARE in and, in an attempt to make the education variable comparable between individuals in the same country, assigns a standardized year for each education value.

For example, university graduates in a country would be assigned a The second education variable is available in the second SHARE wave and is equivalent to the actual number of years spent in education. We use the second measure because Poland and the Czech Republic were not part of baseline SHARE and for those two countries the first measure is not available.

However, we hypothesize that WWII may have disrupted education for many respondents and resulted in a longer time to complete a given level of education. To test that hypothesis for the sub-sample of respondents who have both measures of education from the second and first SHARE waves, we estimated a model that amounts to the difference between the two education measures the second-wave education minus the first-wave education variable. Figure 5 displays the association of three of our key outcomes—education, self-reported health, and depression—with time period of birth using three sub-sets of countries—Germany and Austria combined, other war countries, and the non-war countries.

These outcomes are each expressed as the difference between each of the first two kinds of war countries minus the outcome in the non-War countries.

For all three outcomes, the outcomes deteriorate relative to the non-war countries for those born at a time they would experience war. Table 5 summarizes results obtained for adult health outcomes and table 6 for adult SES outcomes. We present regressions in the A panels that use only the aggregate war exposure measures and in panel B the measure that distinguishes between very limited exposure to combat two months or less, including zero or an more extensive combat exposure three or more months with the left-out category being not exposed to war at all.

In terms of right-hand side variables, there are no missing values for gender. If the outcome in any particular model is missing, this observation was not included in that specific model. Missing values in our outcomes are relatively rare. In terms of main channels dad absence, dispossession, hunger, and persecution , missing values are in the order of one in a thousand observations. OLS regressions include both country dummies and birth-year dummies. OLS regressions include both country dummies and birth year dummies.

Consistent with the literature, men have higher levels of adult diabetes and heart disease, lower levels of depression, and report themselves in better subjective health than woman do Banks et al. Our principal concern involves estimates for aggregate war and combat variables. Being in a war country during the war increased the probability of diabetes in later life by 2.

These increases are all high relative to baseline rates Appendix Table B. Estimated effects on heart disease and height are not statistically significant. The B panel of table 5 displays results for months of combat exposure variables—number of months of exposure respondents had to combat in the place they lived during the war in war countries using 0—2 months of exposure to combat and 3 or more months of exposure to combat.

These results basically parallel those obtained for the war variable in both direction and magnitude—those with combat exposure were more likely to have diabetes as an adult, were in worse self-reported health, and were more likely to be depressed. Table 6 repeats the same type of models for adult economic outcomes in Not surprisingly for these generations, compared to women men achieve more years of schooling, have higher net worth, are less likely to marry, and have higher levels of life satisfaction—common findings in the literature.

Those in a war country during the war achieved about three-tenths of a year less education 7 and achieved lower levels of life satisfaction about a third of a point lower relative to a mean of 7. The education difference model suggests that war makes respondents take longer a third of a year to reach a given level of education.

Similarly, this exposure to war reduced the probability of women being ever married about three percentage points but not the marriage probability for men, consistent with the relative scarcity of men due to war. In contrast, ln household net worth is not associated with the wartime experience suggesting that this outcome mainly depends on post-war savings behavior and trends in asset prices.

The war combat models in the B panel of table 6 produce roughly similar results in direction and magnitude of these outcomes. One purpose of our combat variables was to test whether the actual exposure to combat was an important mechanism for the war effects that we estimate above.

With the sole exceptions of adult depression table 5 and live satisfaction table 6 , the estimated magnitude of the worse adult SES and health outcomes appear to be about the same amongst those with large or small exposures to actual combat.

The exceptions are of interest since it seems reasonable that frequent exposure to combat is associated with adult depression and lower levels of life satisfaction as the vivid memories of that experience persist into adulthood. As in any such analysis, there are issues of possible selection effects due to fertility, mortality, and migration that may have biased our estimates. The concern with selective fertility is that high-SES mothers reduced their fertility more during the war, which on average would lead to less healthy babies.

SHARE does not contain variables on education of parents so we used instead our measure of childhood SES, acknowledging its possible endogenity. Childhood SES was split at the median. In all three periods, fertility is highest in the low-SES groups.

But differential changes by SES in fertility across these three time periods do not seem large enough to be producing our results. Comparing pre-War and during-War periods, there was about 0. Similarly, comparing post-war to during-war periods, average fertility rose by about one child in both SES groups. Moreover, when we added childhood SES measures to our models, which should partly control for any selective fertility associated with the war, our estimates of the long-term effects of war did not change much.

Individuals in our analytical sample are those still alive in so they are a selected sample of the population that experienced WWII. To the extent that those more affected are less likely to have survived, our results should understate the full effects of war on long-term health and SES outcomes.

A more complicated issue concerns differential mortality by SES induced by the war. If mortality due to the War was much higher in low-SES groups whose health would have been worse anyway , we would further understate health effects of War. We examined data on age of death of father by SES by whether one lived in a war or non-war countries, and by whether you experienced the war as a child born before Once again, dividing SES at the median we found the following for the mean age of death of father.

Those born after who did die should be younger but the key comparison is differentials by SES. For non-war countries, we find that in comparing pre- and post that the age of death of father decreased by. Using the same comparison, the age of father fell by. Once again, this degree of selection does not seem large enough to be driving our results. Because of population shifts, especially inflows documented in figure 3 , we confined our analysis to the native-born in each country.

Among countries in our data, figure 3 shows that outflows were significant only in Czech Republic, Poland, and Germany. Since it was not encouraged by receiving countries, migration during and after the War was quite difficult in Europe. But there was some migration and one must allow for the possibility that selective migration may influence our estimates on war effects especially for these three countries.

Of course, people could have temporarily left combat areas as combat was taking place but stayed inside the same country, which should lead to an understatement of combat effects.

We next turn to our estimates of how the micro pathway channels we highlighted above—hunger, dispossession, persecution, and the absence of father—are related to the experience of WWII. They were also asked whether they had ever been victims of persecution because of their political beliefs, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or their background. Unfortunately, no time period for that persecution was asked. Finally, the absence of the father is defined as the absence of the biological father at the age of We also included in our models an additional possible pathway—whether a respondent received immunizations as a child.

A shows how micro channels are related to the experience of war. Males are both more likely to suffer from hunger and to be persecuted.

The latter is what we expected given that mainly men were politically active during this period of time. Having experienced WWII increases the likelihood of experiencing hunger by about eight percentage points, 9 dispossession and persecution by one percentage point, the absence of a father by two percentage points. These estimates are large relative increases given baseline risks.

The experience of war was associated with a lower probability of immunization as a child, which is unsurprising given that this was wartime.

This immunization result may be a pathway through which adult health eventually suffers. B our interest lies in whether the experience of combat is the mechanism that leads to war effects. Once again, the size of these estimates is very similar to those obtained by the country wartime variable. The experience of hunger and absence of the father is somewhat stronger for our respondents who lived in a region strongly affected by combat 3—10 months of combat than for those in regions with none or only mild experience of combat.

However, differences are not large. In fact, we expect the death of men during wartime to not necessarily happen in their region of residence. Persecution is related to war per se, but not necessarily to an increased experience of combat. Thus, combat does come with an increased likelihood of hunger as, for example, was the case in the Dutch hunger winter. Also, combat led to local deaths of the civilian population, but military casualties and the deaths of fathers often occur far from the families affected by it.

Childhood SES is an index generated by factor analysis Mazzonna, For our analysis, we divide childhood SES status into three terciles and label those terciles low, middle, and high. Given the destructive scale of WW2 that included bombing that sometimes destroyed civilian homes and movement of men into the military, the possibility of such endogenity is clearly an important caveat to keep in mind.

We did re-estimate all models in tables 5 — 7 with these dummy variables for childhood SES terciles included and our estimates of the war barely changed. Our distributional results are contained in table 8. All models continue to contain country and year of birth dummies and a dummy for male. We include both main effects for experiencing war and for childhood SES being either low or middle class. To identify distributional effects of war, we include a full set of interactions of the war with childhood SES.

Once again, the results obtained are very similar whether we use the war country variable or our combat variable so table 8 only displays the results for the war variable. The outcomes modeled are the same as those in tables 5 — 7 —adult health, adult SES, and channels of war.

We first discuss main effects of childhood SES. Compared to those in the high childhood SES group, those in the lowest one have higher levels of adult diabetes 3. The middle childhood SES group consistently lies between the bottom and top in terms of these adult health outcomes. These results conform to the general finding in the literature that childhood economic circumstances are very predictive of later-life adult economic and health outcomes Currie, ; Case et al. Similarly, in accordance with the literature, higher childhood SES is associated with much higher levels of adult education, net worth, and life satisfaction, another indication of the strong economic transmission across generations in these outcomes.

The more novel results are in the third panel of table 8 which deals with the channels of war. The probability of being dispossessed was highest in the high childhood SES group, not surprising as there was more to capture. Persecution was also highest in the high SES category, while obtaining childhood immunizations was highest in the lowest SES category.

Absent fathers were not strongly differentiated across SES categories. Finally, we examine differences in associations with war by childhood SES categories. For childhood SES by WWII interactions among the health variables, we find the negative health effects to be either neutral by SES categories or that the negative health effects are concentrated on the middle class as in the summary measure of self-reported health or concentrated in the middle and lower class as with heart disease, possibly reflecting the role of lifetime stress with that disease.

In contrast, we find very strong interactions of a negative middle class war interaction for many of our adult SES outcomes—education, and ln net worth. Life satisfaction decrements associated with the war were concentrated on the lower and middle class. In terms of being ever married, the negative effects of the war were highest on the highest SES women and the lowest SES men.

A summary of health and SES outcomes does suggest that the middle class suffered more due to the war with the lower class next in line. Finally, the length of time it takes to achieve a given level of education due to war expands the most for the low and middle class compared to the upper class. The bottom panel of table 8 shows that some pathways through which war operates are concentrated among the poorest households hunger and immunizations present for the middle class , some are concentrated among middle class dad absent , or the highest SES households dispossession.

Persecution was focused on the middle and upper classes. To conduct this analysis we use new data—SHARELIFE—that records not only adult outcomes in , but also contains retrospective data for salient aspects of the wartime experiences of respondents.

We augment these data with historical information on how WWII affected individuals differently over time and across regions. Our data allow us to analyze which type of individuals were most affected, and by which channels. Our analysis shows that experiencing war increased the probability of suffering from diabetes, depression, and with less certainty heart disease so that those experiencing war or combat have significantly lower self-rated health as adults.

Experiencing war is also associated with less education and life satisfaction, and decreases the probability of ever being married for women, while increasing it for men. We also analyze pathways through which these wartime effects took place and found strong effects for hunger, dispossession, persecution, childhood immunizations, and having an absent father. While a war of the magnitude of WWII affected all social classes to some degree, our evidence does suggest that the more severe effects were on the middle class with the lower class right below them in size of impact.

Population-based economic panels are relatively recent, but combining them with life-histories covering salient past personal and macro events opens up many new research opportunities of which WWII is only one illustration.

This is especially so in Western Europe where the political and economic history of the past four decades is particularly rich and varied.

Sarah Lehner and Johanna Sophie Quis provided excellent research assistance. Smith is supported by various grants from NIA. Additional funding from the U. National Institute on Aging as well as from various national sources is gratefully acknowledged. See table 1 for definitions of variables in first column and Appendix table A for definition of War combat variable. Adult respondents whose health deteriorated between PSID waves were no more likely than before to say their childhood health was not good or to cite additional childhood health problems Smith, b.

He shows that the productivity of those departments in Germany which lost a relatively high share of their professors was permanently lowered, while shocks to physical capital due to Allied bombing had returned to their old growth path by the s. More generally, to make up for investments in human capital takes years, while plants and factories can be repaired and replaced much more quickly.

In spite of deaths of large numbers of civilians in WWII, the existing evidence indicates that affected cities went back to old population growth paths in Western Germany and Japan Brakman et al. Most of the civilian deaths in WWI were due to famine and disease. The two countries most directly affected in terms of number of causalities were Japan and China.

They find that the loss of schooling is about a fifth of a year compared to the following cohort. The Soviet Union , too, had been heavily affected. In response, in , U. By the end of the war, the economy of the United Kingdom was one of severe privation. More than a quarter of its national wealth had been consumed.

Lend-lease came just before its reserves were exhausted. In spring , the Labour Party withdrew from the wartime coalition government, in an effort to oust Winston Churchill , forcing a general election. Britain's war debt was described by some in the American administration as a "millstone round the neck of the British economy". Although there were suggestions for an international conference to tackle the issue, in August the U.

The abrupt withdrawal of American Lend-Lease support to Britain on 2 September dealt a severe blow to the plans of the new government. It was only with the completion of the Anglo-American loan by the United States to Great Britain on 15 July that some measure of economic stability was restored.

However, the loan was made primarily to support British overseas expenditure in the immediate post-war years and not to implement the Labour government's policies for domestic welfare reforms and the nationalisation of key industries.

Although the loan was agreed on reasonable terms, its conditions included what proved to be damaging fiscal conditions for Sterling. From , the UK introduced bread rationing which it never did during the war. The Soviet Union suffered enormous losses in the war against Germany.

The Soviet population decreased by about 27 million during the war; of these, 8. The 19 million non-combat deaths had a variety of causes: Soviet ex- POWs and civilians repatriated from abroad were suspected of having been Nazi collaborators, and , of them were sent to forced labour camps after scrutiny by Soviet intelligence, NKVD.

Others worked in labour battalions to rebuild infrastructure destroyed during the war. The economy had been devastated. Roughly a quarter of the Soviet Union's capital resources were destroyed, and industrial and agricultural output in fell far short of pre-war levels. To help rebuild the country, the Soviet government obtained limited credits from Britain and Sweden; it refused assistance offered by the United States under the Marshall Plan.

Germany and former Nazi satellites made reparations to the Soviet Union. The reconstruction programme emphasised heavy industry to the detriment of agriculture and consumer goods. By , steel production was twice its level, but the production of many consumer goods and foodstuffs was lower than it had been in the late s.

The immediate post-war period in Europe was dominated by the Soviet Union annexing , or converting into Soviet Socialist Republics , [10] [11] [12] all the countries invaded and annexed by the Red Army driving the Germans out of central and eastern Europe. The Allies established the Far Eastern Commission and Allied Council for Japan to administer their occupation of that country while the establishment Allied Control Council , administered occupied Germany.

In accordance with the Potsdam Conference agreements, the Soviet Union occupied and subsequently annexed the strategic island of Sakhalin. In the west, Alsace-Lorraine was returned to France. The Sudetenland reverted to Czechoslovakia following the European Advisory Commission 's decision to delimit German territory to be the territory it held on 31 December Close to one-quarter of pre-war Germany was de facto annexed by the Allies; roughly 10 million Germans were either expelled from this territory or not permitted to return to it if they had fled during the war.

The remainder of Germany was partitioned into four zones of occupation, coordinated by the Allied Control Council. The Saar was detached and put in economic union with France in In , the Federal Republic of Germany was created out of the Western zones. The Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic. Germany paid reparations to the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union, mainly in the form of dismantled factories , forced labour , and coal.

German standard of living was to be reduced to its level. In accordance with the Paris Peace Treaties, , reparations were also assessed from the countries of Italy , Romania , Hungary , Bulgaria , and Finland. US policy in post-war Germany from April until July had been that no help should be given to the Germans in rebuilding their nation, save for the minimum required to mitigate starvation. The Allies' immediate post-war "industrial disarmament" plan for Germany had been to destroy Germany's capability to wage war by complete or partial de-industrialization.

Dismantling of West German industry ended in By , equipment had been removed from manufacturing plants , and steel production capacity had been reduced by 6. Clay and George Marshall , the Truman administration accepted that economic recovery in Europe could not go forward without the reconstruction of the German industrial base on which it had previously been dependent.

From onwards West Germany also became a minor beneficiary of the Marshall Plan. Volunteer organisations had initially been forbidden to send food, but in early the Council of Relief Agencies Licensed to Operate in Germany was founded.

However, after making approaches to the Allies in the autumn of it was allowed to investigate the camps in the UK and French occupation zones of Germany, as well as to provide relief to the prisoners held there.

On 4 February , the Red Cross was permitted to visit and assist prisoners also in the U. The Treaty of Peace with Italy spelled the end of the Italian colonial empire , along with other border revisions.

In the Italian constitutional referendum the Italian monarchy was abolished, having been associated with the deprivations of the war and the Fascist rule, especially in the North. Unlike in Germany and Japan, no war crimes tribunals were held against Italian military and political leaders, though the Italian resistance summarily executed some of them such as Mussolini at the end of the war; the Togliatti amnesty , taking its name from the Communist Party secretary at the time, pardoned all wartime common and political crimes in Austria called Ostmark by the Germans was separated from Germany and divided into four zones of occupation.

After the war, the Allies rescinded Japanese pre-war annexations such as Manchuria , and Korea became independent. The Philippines and Guam were returned to the United States. The Dutch East Indies was to be handed back to the Dutch but was resisted leading to the Indonesian war for independence.

Roosevelt had secretly traded the Japanese Kurils and south Sakhalin to the Soviet Union in return for Soviet entry in the war with Japan. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese were forced to relocate to the Japanese main islands. Okinawa became a main US staging point. The US covered large areas of it with military bases and continued to occupy it until , years after the end of the occupation of the main islands. The bases still remain. The Allies collected reparations from Japan.

To further remove Japan as a potential future military threat, the Far Eastern Commission decided to de-industrialise Japan, with the goal of reducing Japanese standard of living to what prevailed between and In early , the Licensed Agencies for Relief in Asia were formed and permitted to supply Japanese with food and clothes. In April the Johnston Committee Report recommended that the economy of Japan should be reconstructed due to the high cost to US taxpayers of continuous emergency aid.

Japan provided no special assistance to these people until In the Winter War of —, the Soviet Union invaded neutral Finland and annexed some of its territory. From until , Finland aligned itself with Nazi Germany in a failed effort to regain lost territories from the Soviets.

Finland retained its independence following the war but remained subject to Soviet-imposed constraints in its domestic affairs. In June , the Soviet governments of the Baltic states carried out mass deportations of "enemies of the people"; as a result, many treated the invading Nazis as liberators when they invaded only a week later.

The Atlantic Charter promised self-determination to peoples deprived of it during the war. With the return of Soviet troops at the end of the war, the Forest Brothers mounted a guerrilla war.

This continued until the mids. An estimated one million military and civilian Filipinos were killed from all causes; of these , were listed as killed in seventy-two war crime events.

According to a United States analysis released years after the war, U. As a result of the new borders drawn by the victorious nations, large populations suddenly found themselves in hostile territory. Poland lost the Kresy region about half of its pre-War territory and received most of Germany east of the Oder-Neisse line , including the industrial regions of Silesia. The German state of the Saar was temporarily a protectorate of France but later returned to German administration.

As set forth at Potsdam, approximately 12 million people were expelled from Germany, including seven million from Germany proper, and three million from the Sudetenland. During the war, the United States government interned approximately , Japanese Americans and Japanese who lived along the Pacific coast of the United States in the wake of Imperial Japan 's attack on Pearl Harbor.

After the war, some internees chose to return to Japan, while most remained in North America. The Soviet Union expelled at least 2 million Poles from east of the new border approximating the Curzon Line. This estimate is uncertain as both the Polish Communist government and the Soviet government did not keep track of the number of expelled. The number of Polish citizens inhabiting Polish borderlands Kresy region was about 13 million before World War II broke out according to official Polish statistics.

Polish citizens killed in the war that originated from the Polish borderlands territory killed by both German Nazi regime and the Soviet regime or expelled to distant parts of Siberia were accounted as Russian, Ukrainian or Belarusian casualties of war in official Soviet historiography. This fact imposes additional difficulties in making the correct estimation of the number of Polish citizens forcibly transferred after the war.

Additionally, the Soviet Union transferred more than two million people within their own borders; these included Germans, Finns, Crimean Tatars , and Chechens. As Soviet troops marched across the Balkans, they committed rapes and robberies in Romania , Hungary , Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Foreign reports of Soviet brutality were denounced [ by whom?

Rapes also occurred under other occupation forces, though the majority were committed by Soviet troops. This offensive attitude among our troops is not at all general, but the percentage is large enough to have given our Army a pretty black name, and we too are considered an army of rapists. German soldiers left many war children behind in nations such as France and Denmark, which were occupied for an extended period.

After the war, the children and their mothers often suffered recriminations. In the first few weeks of the American military occupation of Japan, rape and other violent crime was widespread in naval ports like Yokohama and Yokosuka but declined shortly afterward. There were 1, reported rapes during the first 10 days of the occupation of Kanagawa prefecture. Historians Eiji Takemae and Robert Ricketts state that "When US paratroopers landed in Sapporo, an orgy of looting, sexual violence, and drunken brawling ensued.

Gang rapes and other sex atrocities were not infrequent" and some of the rape victims committed suicide. Eichelberger , the commander of the U. Eighth Army, recorded that in the one instance when the Japanese formed a self-help vigilante guard to protect women from off-duty GIs, the Eighth Army ordered armored vehicles in battle array into the streets and arrested the leaders, and the leaders received long prison terms.

A former prostitute recalled that as soon as Australian troops arrived in Kure in early , they "dragged young women into their jeeps, took them to the mountain, and then raped them. I heard them screaming for help nearly every night'. Such behavior was commonplace, but news of criminal activity by Occupation forces was quickly suppressed.

Rape committed by U. Soon after the U. At the time, there were only women, children and old people in the village, as all the young men had been mobilized for the war. Soon after landing, the marines "mopped up" the entire village, but found no signs of Japanese forces. Taking advantage of the situation, they started "hunting for women" in broad daylight and those who were hiding in the village or nearby air raid shelters were dragged out one after another.

According to Toshiyuki Tanaka, 76 cases of rape or rape-murder were reported during the first five years of the American occupation of Okinawa. However, he claims this is probably not the true figure, as most cases were unreported. The alliance between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union began to deteriorate even before the war was over, [67] when Stalin , Roosevelt, and Churchill exchanged a heated correspondence over whether the Polish government-in-exile , backed by Roosevelt and Churchill, or the Provisional Government , backed by Stalin, should be recognised.

A number of allied leaders felt that war between the United States and the Soviet Union was likely. Stalin responded by charging that co-existence between communist countries and the West was impossible.

Due to the rising tension in Europe and concerns over further Soviet expansion, American planners came up with a contingency plan code-named Operation Dropshot in It considered possible nuclear and conventional war with the Soviet Union and its allies in order to counter a Soviet takeover of Western Europe, the Near East and parts of Eastern Asia that they anticipated would begin around In response, the US would saturate the Soviet Union with atomic and high-explosive bombs, and then invade and occupy the country.

The approach entailed a major buildup of US nuclear forces and a corresponding reduction in America's non-nuclear ground and naval strength. In Greece , civil war broke out in between Anglo-American-supported royalist forces and communist-led forces , with the royalist forces emerging as the victors.

On 12 March , to gain Congressional support for the aid, President Truman described the aid as promoting democracy in defence of the " free world ", a principle that became known as the Truman Doctrine. The US sought to promote an economically strong and politically united Western Europe to counter the threat posed by the Soviet Union.

This was done openly using tools such as the European Recovery Program , which encouraged European economic integration. The International Authority for the Ruhr , designed to keep German industry down and controlled, evolved into the European Coal and Steel Community , a founding pillar of the European Union. The United States also worked covertly to promote European integration, for example using the American Committee on United Europe to funnel funds to European federalist movements.

However, without the manpower and industrial output of West Germany no conventional defence of Western Europe had any hope of succeeding. The attempt was dashed when the French Parliament rejected it. In Asia, the surrender of Japanese forces was complicated by the split between East and West as well as by the movement toward national self-determination in European colonial territories.

As agreed at the Yalta Conference , the Soviet Union went to war against Japan three months after the defeat of Germany.

The Soviet forces invaded Manchuria. This was the end of the Manchukuo puppet state and all Japanese settlers were forced to leave China. The Soviet Union dismantled the industrial base in Manchuria built up by the Japanese in the preceding years.

Manchuria also became a base for the Communist Chinese forces because of the Soviet presence. After the war, the Kuomintang KMT party led by generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and the Communist Chinese forces resumed their civil war , which had been temporarily suspended when they fought together against Japan. The fight against the Japanese occupiers had strengthened popular support among the Chinese for the Communist guerrilla forces while it weakened the KMT, who depleted their strength fighting a conventional war.

Full-scale war between the opposing forces broke out in June The KMT forces retreated to the island of Taiwan in Hostilities had largely ceased in Intermittent military clashes occurred between the PRC and Taiwan from Taiwan unilaterally declared the civil war over in , but no formal peace treaty or truce exists and the PRC officially sees Taiwan as a breakaway province that rightfully belongs to it and has expressed its opposition to Taiwanese independence.

Even so, tensions between the two states has decreased over time for example with the Chen-Chiang summits From this point, the relations between them have improved over time although some tension and rivalry remain even with the end of the Cold War and the PRC's distancing from the Communist ideology. At the Yalta Conference , the Allies agreed that an undivided post-war Korea would be placed under four-power multinational trusteeship.

After Japan's surrender, this agreement was modified to a joint Soviet-American occupation of Korea. Korea, formerly under Japanese rule , and which had been partially occupied by the Red Army following the Soviet Union's entry into the war against Japan, was divided at the 38th parallel on the orders of the US War Department. Hodge , enlisted many former Japanese administrative officials to serve in this government. Simultaneously, the Soviets enabled a build-up of heavy armaments to pro-communist forces in the north.

What Were the Causes and Effects of World War II?

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Some of the long-term effects of World War II were the division of Germany into two separate states, the destruction of numerous European and Asian cities, a major realignment of political power into Western and Soviet factions, the creation of the United Nations, a strengthening of corporate power and the beginning of a period of increased prosperity in the United States.

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World War II had short-term and long-term effects. One short-term effect was it put an end to the threat posed by the aggressive actions of the governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan. These countries were invading other countries and taking over these lands.

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Mar 01,  · We investigate long-run effects of World War II on socio-economic status and health of older individuals in Europe. We analyze data from SHARELIFE, a retrospective survey conducted as part of SHARE in Europe in SHARELIFE provides detailed data on events in childhood during and after the war for over 20, individuals in 13 European countries. The long-term effects of World War II were many, and as we discuss them, it is important to remember that the most important effect of the war was the over 50 million people, mostly civilians, who died during it. Long-term effects included the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as the world's two predominant superpowers.

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I looked at all of the answers, and the one, most lasting, effect of World War II was not even mentioned! It was the doctrine of “Never Again!”, the doctrine of instant readiness, retaliation, and MAD. Before World War II countries had very small standing armies, and readiness for war was dependent on mobilization. World War IZi changed that. Well, peace could be considered easily one of the shortest-term effects of World War 2. From about on, there has been an almost constant state of conflict, somewhere on the globe.