Second World War
October 20, 2021
The Second World War saw, between 1939 and 1945, the so-called Axis powers and the Allies who, as already happened to the belligerents of the First World War, fought each other on a large part of the planet; the conflict began on 1 September 1939 with the attack of Nazi Germany on Poland and ended, in the European theater, on 8 May 1945 with the German surrender and, in the Asian one, on the following 2 September with the surrender of the Japanese Empire after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Considered the largest armed conflict in history, it cost humanity six years of suffering, destruction and massacres, with a total death estimate ranging between 55 and 60 million individuals; the civilian populations found themselves involved in the operations to a hitherto unknown extent, and were indeed the declared target of bombings, reprisals, persecutions, deportations and exterminations. In particular, the Third Reich carried out the Holocaust with engineering methods to annihilate, among others, populations of Jewish origin or ethnicity, also pursuing a policy of ethnic-political reorganization of Central-Eastern Europe which provided for the destruction or deportation. of entire Slavic populations, of gypsies and of all those whom the Nazi regime considered "undesirable" or enemies of the Aryan race. At the end of the war, Europe, reduced to a heap of rubble, completed the process of involution that began with the First World War and definitively lost its political-economic world primacy, which was largely assumed by the United States of America. They were opposed by the Soviet Union, the other great superpower forged by the conflict, in a tense international geopolitical balance that was later defined as the Cold War. The tremendous destruction of the war led to the birth of the United Nations Organization (UN), which took place at the end of the San Francisco Conference on June 26, 1945.